Ángel Castillo Perona: El Olivo (The Olive tree)

This photo is called ‘El Olivo’ (The Olive tree) and it belongs to my series of trees called The Way Through the Woods.

I took it recently on August 28th in Casas de Haro, a little village where my mother was born, which belongs to the province of Cuenca in Spain and it’s located between Alicante and Madrid.

In this village, which I try to go to a couple of times a year, I like to get lost on its rural roads full of almond trees, vineyards and olive trees. One of my favourite trees, the olive tree, has been always very “reluctant” to be photographed by me. Perhaps, its complicated trunk and its oval shape or maybe just because I haven’t been that good at it…

Anyway, not only I do like to walk along these paths to watch the sun setting, I am also mesmerized by the atmosphere of calmness and by the golden colours that surround the little hour that remains of light before dawn. It’s just perfect for photography, so that afternoon, at the end of August, I had a mission; try once again to add an olive tree to my collection of trees.

I have to say that I spent a lot of time to get a photo that I was satisfied with, but I can finally say that the result satisfies me. It ticks all the boxes when it comes to my personal signature as a photographer which it’s to create an impressionistic flare (not too abstract not too neat) Also, this olive tree is impregnated with that magical light that sunset splashes. It is full of life and seems to glow like a torch in the night.

But what makes this photo special is not only what is described above. While I was ‘entertaining’ myself with the olive tree, I saw this man walking and coming towards where I was (people tend to walk early in the morning or before sunset to avoid the intense heat of the day). He obviously bumped into me and straight away recognized me (I also recognized him although I didn’t remember his name) and he started to talk about my mum and how good friends they were. It is exciting that people outside my daily basis bring up the memory of someone that you have loved so much and that unfortunately is no longer with us.

This photo is not only bathed in light and roots, but it also has this beautiful memory that I will never forget.

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