Imagine the job ad: ‘Person needed to wander through idyllic Italian olive groves for days, possibly weeks.’ You’d be inundated, right? Who could argue with a job which offers a lunchtime panino under an olive tree?
But when your job is to photograph every single tree in the Nudo Adopt an olive tree program – yes all ten thousand of them – it’s not quite such a cushy number.
Taking on the challenge is Masiar, our friend, professional photographer and fast-track-to-professional cartographer. All the trees in the program have already been mapped, aged and their olive variety identified; Masiar, using the hand drawn Nudo maps, has to carefully match the mapped tree to the real life version. When he is sure he has a match, he invites them to have their portrait taken. (Some of them are right old divas). In some groves the lines of trees are perfectly straight and aligned, in others – well not so much. He has completed portraits of two complete groves’ worth of trees, but the snowy weather has temporarily halted work. His photo mapping mission will resume in the spring.
Although this seems a mammoth task fit for a lone Don Quixote-type, we’re happy to report that Masiar has enjoyed some support along the way. Farmers in the Nudo collective have been welcoming him with open arms, often peeking over his shoulder to approve each tree’s pose. He’s also had some keen companions in the form of his partner, Maddalena, and yours truly to help capture some of the more wily characters.