January 8, 2014

An Appointment with the Ancient Past...

3000 year old ancient Olive overview

To meet the most ancient Olive trees in the world. During a second visit at the Ermioni olive groves, we were guided by a local agriculturist to the spot, in order to document these magnificent survivors.
The specific olive pictured above was calculated by contemporary scientific methods to be between 3000 and 3500 years old, and as the oldest in the area.

Camera: Canon EOS 7D
Lens: Canon EF 17-85 IS USM
ISO: 400
Exposure: 1/125 sec
Aperture: 8.0
Focal Length: 17mm (27.2mm)


It is astonishing how this tree has survived for thousands of years, through hardships of climatic changes and fires documented in the area. The deep scars on the bark speak their secret language, narrating their story of numerous grafts and revivals from devastation.
3000 year old ancient Olive trunk details
Camera: Canon EOS 7D
Lens: Canon EF 17-85 IS USM
ISO: 400
Exposure: 1/60 sec
Aperture: 8.0
Focal Length: 66mm (105.6mm)
This Olive was grafted and tamed in ancient times with signs very low on the bark. But still small twigs of wild olive emerge from the ancient tree near the roots.
3000 year old ancient Olive wild twig details
Camera: Canon EOS 7D
Lens: Canon EF 17-85 IS USM
ISO: 400
Exposure: 1/60 sec
Aperture: 8.0
Focal Length: 78mm (124.8mm)
3000 year old ancient Olive lighted by sun setting
Camera: Canon EOS 7D
Lens: Canon EF 17-85 IS USM
ISO: 400
Exposure: 1/250 sec
Aperture: 8.0
Focal Length: 26mm (41.6mm)
The trunk has split, creating a large cavity inside.
3000 year old ancient Olive lighted by sun setting - cavity
Camera: Canon EOS 7D
Lens: Canon EF 17-85 IS USM
ISO: 400
Exposure: 1/320 sec
Aperture: 8.0
Focal Length: 50mm (80mm)
These trees still exist and thrive producing olives, in the western area of Ermioni, in Argilis, Peloponnese, Greece.
3000 year old ancient Olive in area panorama
A three frame handheld panorama of the Ermioni bay with the oldest Olive tree in the world, in the middle, standing on top of a small hill (Click to view enlarged).
Camera: Canon EOS 7D
Lens: Canon EF 17-85 IS USM
ISO: 400
Exposure: 1/500 sec
Aperture: 8.0
Focal Length: 17mm (27.2mm)



Some other ancient Olives that are found lower in the plain are thriving more due to water sufficiency. The Olive tree trunk pictured below has split into two distinct trees through the ages.
Ancient Olive with split trunk
Camera: Canon EOS 7D
Lens: Canon EF 100-400L IS USM
ISO: 400
Exposure: 1/640 sec
Aperture: 8.0
Focal Length: 400mm (640mm)
Ancient Olive in the plain
Camera: Canon EOS 7D
Lens: Canon EF 100-400L IS USM
ISO: 400
Exposure: 1/500 sec
Aperture: 8.0
Focal Length: 400mm (640mm)
Magnificent shapes, appear to have come out of fairy tails. The Olive trunk below has a big cavity large enough to embrace a man.
Ancient Olive with large man-size cavity
Camera: Canon EOS 7D
Lens: Canon EF 17-85 IS USM
ISO: 400
Exposure: 1/50 sec
Aperture: 8.0
Focal Length: 41mm (65.6mm)
Ancient Olive with split roots
Camera: Canon EOS 7D
Lens: Canon EF 17-85 IS USM
ISO: 400
Exposure: 1/25 sec
Aperture: 8.0
Focal Length: 41mm (65.6mm)
Ancient Olive with split roots detail
Camera: Canon EOS 7D
Lens: Canon EF 17-85 IS USM
ISO: 400
Exposure: 1/8 sec
Aperture: 8.0
Focal Length: 17mm (27.2mm)

Although the broader area of Ermioni is full of carefully arranged olive groves with younger trees, ancient olives scattered between them guard tirelessly the immortal spirit of Greece through millenniums.
Olive groves with ancient guardians Olives
Camera: Canon EOS 7D
Lens: Canon EF 17-85 IS USM
ISO: 400
Exposure: 1/125 sec
Aperture: 8.0
Focal Length: 17mm (27.2mm)

I hope you have enjoyed this small documentary. Thank you for viewing.
All Photos were shot in RAW and post processed in Canon's DPP (Digital Photo Professional).
All Photos: © 2013 S.C.Vlachos

Relevant Articles:
On Assignment at the Olive Groves

Reference Articles:
Canon EF-S 17-85 mm f/4.0-5.6 IS USM Lens Reference
Canon EF 100-400 mm f/4.0-5.6 L IS USM Lens Reference

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