THE OLD OAK TREE
The first English settlement in America took place in Virginia exactly 400 years ago, in May of 1607. This White Oak tree, I am told by botanists at the university, is around 500 years old. Where it stands on Maryes Heights in Fredericksburg, Virginia, it had been around for a hundred years when the English settlers first arrived. Then, at the mature age of 280, it witnessed the Revolutionary War that liberated the colonies from their British rulers. Indeed, the 'Father of Country,' George Washington, who grew up in Fredericksburg, would have seen the tree, having worked as a land surveyor in his younger days.
Fredericksburg is an extraordinarily historic town, just fifty miles south of Washington, DC. It is located at the center of a circle of 50-miles radius that produced four of the first five Presidents of the United States Washington, Jefferson, Madison and Monroe. The state itself produced a total of eight of the 43 Presidents that served the Nation, with Woodrow Wilson being the last. For the number of Presidents it produced, it holds an impressive record.
The old oak was around 360 years old when it witnessed the Civil War. Indeed, on May 2nd of 1863 during the Battle of Fredericksburg of the Civil War, the famous war photographer Mathew Brady photographed a group of Union (Northern) Army troops resting with their backs against the tree trunk, their rifles arranged in a tripod formation nearby. With the pioneer photographic technology extant at the time, the subjects had to remain still for the very slow exposure. Thus, hundreds of photographic plates exist from the battle, but none shot during the action. The Library of Congress and the National Archives make available approximately 1,000 photos from The American Civil War.
I took the photo of the Old Oak Tree on the third day of Spring Friday March 23 around 5:00 pm. I had no tripod available; I was using my Nikon D70 set on ISO 200, with a polarizing filter screwed on the 18-70 mm Nikkor lens. Another photo I've posted of Fredericksburg appears at The Walking Umbrella.
Critiques | Translate
ribeiroantonio (22637) 2007-03-29 2:14
OK, it is just a tree but it is huge. Look at those branches, they are so long. It must be simply wonderful when it is all covered with leaves. The photo itself seams lacking a bit of sharpness but the POV is good and the colours are excellent. Well done.
Ertan (2988) 2007-03-29 2:18
Merhaba Bulent Abi
Yasli agaci cok guzel kadrajlamissin.Renkler ve detaylar harika.Ellerine saglik
jhm (150858) 2007-03-29 9:16
Hi friend Bulent,
Not alone in America are old oaks, in my village we have a lovely park, there are different old oaks, one with a contour from 36 foot!
You took a excellent composition with the oak tree in middle of the picture, maybe a little bit unsharp through you polarizing filter
system! Thanks for yourintersting note and link!
Have anice day,
delic (6735) 2007-03-29 13:25
I knew this was from Virginia the minute I saw it. Hope that oak sees many more seasons and witnesses good times.
wilkinsonsg (8662) 2007-03-29 14:35
Informative note - complements and adds to the image - TFS :)
KemaLMerT (12048) 2007-03-29 17:25
Az kaldı yapraklanmasına ağacların kuzey yarı kürede.
Ve siz çok güzel ve başarılı bir şekilde kışı ve yanlızlığı anlatmışsınız.
Tezic (17867) 2007-03-29 17:34
Enfes bir ışık ve mükemmel bir kadraj... tebrikler...
stego (24132) 2007-03-29 19:12
Everybody knows knows I am too biased when the theme is oak trees, no matter where they are from, but this one is very beautiful, both the tree itself and the photo.
THe compo is very effective, but I am not sure if it wouldn't be even better to have included all the branches. The late Winter atmosphere given by the light and colours is also very pleasant.
Maybe the only (minor) flaw is the slightly low sharpness.
singuanti (15250) 2007-03-29 22:32
Hi Bulent. For around here that is impressively old. It looks like you needed a super wide-angle or to back up your POV to fit that all in easier. I bet that the same POV with all of the leaves would be quite nice. Speaking of old trees I've seen bristlecone pines and redwoods in my travels west. tfs Bulent!
vincz (19113) 2007-03-30 3:28
Fascinating tree, great note. Your compsotion is great and the wide angle very well choosen. Could be a bit sharper. maybe just at PP time. In anu case a very good one. Congratulations.
setenay (7706) 2007-03-30 9:14
Merhaba Bülent Bey,
Ben yine ara verdim TE.e iş-güç yüzünden,pek çok güzel resmi kaçırmış oldum.Böyle gün görmüş,Ulu ağaçlara bayılıyorum ve çok özel saygı duyuyorum bende.Amerikanın geçmişini bilen en yaşlı canlılarından,nelere şahit oldu, altında kimler oturup gölgesinden yararlandı ne sırlar sakladı şimdiye kadar kimbilir.Muhteşem görünüyor,çevresindeki pekçok ağaca göre heybeti, güzel çekiminiz sayesinde ortaya çıkmış.Tebrikler.İyi hafta sonu dileklerimle selamlar
carper (96) 2007-03-30 11:11
the oak is well centered in the composition, it looks me interesting when you put also your technical settings by the shot, because then we can give, when we want to do that, your a technical advise too. the pov is nice, I think it's not whole sharp and then I mean the oak, this can be done much better, farther yes the note it's oke, very good job anyway.
john_c (24666) 2007-03-30 11:52
Good morning Bulent,
Well composed with good lighting and shadow effects. The tree spreads its branches in stately fashion, befitting a living monument to the past. As reading and writing history are my passions, I find scenes like this of great interest, and your fine note gives one a real sense of time and perspective. It is truly amazing that the tree has survived both natural and human depredation. Your low angle POV was well chosen, for it allows the tree to breathe in the frame, with a pleasing swathe of grass. Well captured.
Cretense (68701) 2007-03-30 12:24
I always like photos of "lonely" trees, but this one is really outstanding! Simple but excellent composition, perfect light managment. Congratulations!
jemaflor (95421) 2007-03-30 13:40
Impressive tree, interesting for a shot in winter and alos in others season, in autumn for example to see colourful foliage. Well taken, maybe a bit more sharpness wpild be interesting.
mesutilgim (94024) 2007-03-30 13:59
Çok güzel bir kompozisyon ve her zamanki gibi onu daha da güzelleştiren açıklamalar.
Ellerine sağlık, tebrikler
norenastramus06 (1226) 2007-03-30 14:53
Işık renk ve detayları ile güzel bir komposizyon.
missninja (497) 2007-03-30 15:36
These old trees always impresses me. I always think of all the things and situations such an old tree has seen. It´s a good pov and the light conditions are also good. I like the brown "circle" around the trunk, the brown gives a good contrast to the green grass.
Warm regards from Germany!
salvator (19110) 2007-03-31 3:29
Hello Bulent Bey,
Wonderfull this simple composition. Simple yet strong in a way. The details, the shades and the colors allover are superb. The sky with the hint of clouds in the background are wonderfull. Best personal regards. Salvator.
JCG (35129) 2007-03-31 4:42
A marvellous tree which, if it could speak, would provide us a multitude of information on its history and what it lived. Beautiful catch of sight of this secular tree and as usual thank you for the always instructive and very interesting comment.
With all my friendships and a very good WE,
ALIRIZA (16423) 2007-03-31 4:54
Merhaba Bülent Abi,
Yşilin ve mavinin güzellikleriyele harika bir manzara. Ellerinize sağlık...
selam ve saygılarımla....
emjleclercq (15780) 2007-03-31 16:38
Very nice old tree, not very tall but with very wide branches. Natural colors (although some more light would have helped), but I think the sharpness could be improved. But very good note.
All the best,
Angshu (56750) 2007-04-02 3:42
Dear Professor "A"
This is a massive tree alright. The branches are really big. The centred compo helps as the well spead out branches cover the entire frame. I have taken the liberty to do a small WS..some little highlights, some shadows & sharpening. Hope you don't mind. Your note as always is absorbing reading!
With warm Regards
branley (3681) 2007-04-03 3:39
there's no other way to show this than centrally to take in the magnificent spread of the branches but it still has a long way to go to beat the major oak. This is a tree I used to play inside as a child, sadly one's not able to do that in this day and age of health & safety, todays youngsters have been stifled and have no idea of the fun that was to be had just a generation ago. Back to your fine image my friend. As has been mentioned it's not overly sharp but in this case it doesn't matter as the subject is more important. I like the bareness of the tree but would like to see it in full bloom during the summer, it must make an impressive sight? A lovely capture and, as always a very fine note, well done.
molla (7129) 2007-04-04 3:12
Do you know if this Oak is exactly the same spices as our (Quercus robur) or if it is an native american Oak. If it is European, because of it's age It askes som peculiar quest's
Who'd brought it here, was there people wisiting Norht America during the middleage?
Anders Mohlin in Gnesta
Bluejeans (64251) 2007-04-05 15:40
Ola amigo Bulent que arvore maravilhosa com os seus longos troncos sem folhas , bom enquadramento , gostei das cores .
Um abraço Gonçalo
Bom fim de semana!!
vagabondtravels (6511) 2007-04-17 6:36
Really nice capture of this historical tree. It must have witnessed a lot. Very informative image and note. Well done.
gunbud (34066) 2007-04-25 23:12
Wonderful old tree with its branches reaching everywhere. Lovely spring time colors and great details to this old bastion. Excellent note to the many historic events that this on tree has witnessed.
Silvio1953 (139961) 2007-04-28 7:48
Hi Bulent, superb view of a splendid old oak, good light and colors, wonderful composition, very well done, have a nice week end, ciao Silvio
captainsgirl (3448) 2007-05-01 19:51
And a beautiful old oak tree it is. So nice to see its being well taken care of too. You've photographed it beautiuflly in all its majesty. TFS
thanks so much for your comments on my photo " Going Nowhere (8) " :o)
Aliza (597) 2007-05-05 7:47
Bu muthis agaci mükemmel bir kadrajla ekranlarimiza tasiyip bizlerle tanistirdiginiz için çok tesekkür ederim.
BWJ (3094) 2008-06-14 5:58
The grace of the old oak tree is beautiful with different lighting in 'Sunrise Over Marye's Heights' as well as this picture taken in March. Now in the summer season, it is providing a cool shady canopy over the lawn at Mary Washington.
- Copyright: Bulent Atalay (batalay) (38553)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2007-03-23
- Categories: Nature
- Camera: Nikon D-70, 18-70mm DX Zoom Nikkor, 67mm Circular Polarizer
- Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
- Theme(s): Daily Drive to Work... [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2007-03-29 1:51
- Favorites: 2 [view]