Termite home on a bark




Ganesh H Shankar
Termite home on a bark
Images of subjects like this in nature are often uninteresting. Part of the problem is we only take a cursory look at them. Unless we spend some time taking a much closer look at it and ponder over its beauty and mystery of Nature they will remain uninteresting.

This is an image of a small narrow tree bark, may be 3+ inches in diameter. I made this image by stacking 75 images, each 101 megapixels, about 500+ MB in size to get fine quality, details and depth of field. The animation of stacking is shown below to get this final image.

Stacking Animation.

If you don't see the below image it its full size (resized to 4000pixels on larger size) you will miss this whole point for sure. Feel free to download the below image if you want to see it in its full size using your favourite photo editor.

High Resolution Image.

When we see the image at such a high resolution many questions will come to mind. I think we will have better appreciations for the designs in the nature that we simply take for granted. Back to this image, we may think about collective work of termites to create the fine sheet of home, porous in structure, using fine gravels, leaving space between sheet and bark, the purpose it serves, this list goes on. Do each one of the termite know how the final home will look like? Or do they collectively know how the home will finally look like? When it comes to non-human life forms we have a nice way of characterizing animal knowledge/skill/emotions exhibited by them as "instincts", meaning it is not the result of "conscious thinking" or making full use of the brain. Is this correct? That reminds me of Bertrand Russel's quote.

"Organic life, we are told, has developed gradually from the protozoan to the philosopher, and this development, we are assured, is indubitably an advance. Unfortunately it is the philosopher, not the protozoan, who gives us this assurance."

Are these termites pests to these trees or there is more in this relation which we are not aware of? Now, back to other half of the picture. Look at those intricate designs on the bark!
(check the higher 4000 pixels version). What are those tiny green patches? Some of kind of moss? What are those other colored patches? Look at the gum at bottom of the tree. Probably tree wanted to heal a wound caused by fungus or something using its gum? How did the tree come to know that? How those gum secreting cells came to know that they have to fight a wound or fungus? Do trees have brain? Now that humans know that brain need not reside only in the head?

Why all these things in nature? Why not nothing at all? Who is there behind this "Nature"? Nature itself? Should we say, "God" without hurting atheist scientists? Or should we treat Nature and God as synonyms? Well, that goes back to Spinoza's and Einstein's pantheistic beliefs and philosophy.

To write subjects in nature off as "natural history" and moving on appears very unaesthetic to my taste buds. Nature Photography is about Nature. Not about "myself". Needless to say I don't deserve a credit. I think there is no "more meaningful" work of art than what Nature creates. We often have a tendency to compare/debate about "Nature photography" vs "Art" (as in painting). There is a tendency to separate "nature photography" and "art" and call "nature photography" as a "documentation", meaning "it lacks creativity/thinking". As a human process of capturing an image it may often be true. However as a subject of photography with all its mystery, it is beyond comparison. In my mind the comparison is apples to oranges. Human art compared to Nature's art is very shallow. Opinion of an artist typically revolves around patterns, colors, illusions, distortions and emotions that have roots in human created morality for self preservation and that of progeny. Most of the art works/opinions/views die with an artist. Nature's art has a beauty, purpose and mystery which will remain as timeless truth. I am not giving or taking credit as a Nature Photographer. The credit obviously goes to the Nature. There is also a tendency to dismiss subjects in Nature as unworthy of "art". In a related note, I completely disagree with this below quote by Picasso -

"God is really only another artist. He invented the giraffe, the elephant and the cat. He has no real style, He just goes on trying other things."

Only if we close our eyes and pass a judgement. I guess Cubism is now part of the "art history" similar to "natural history"?!

A long note for an uninteresting image?!

You may enjoy the high resolution image if it makes sense to you..
Sat Jun 06, 2020 10:24 pm
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Ganesh H. Shankar
Wishing you best light,

Fine Art Nature Photography

Ganesh H Shankar  Joined CNP On 24 Apr 2008    Total Image posts 991    -   Total Image Comments 7984    -   Image Post to Comment Ratio 1:8    -   Image Comment Density 38     -     Total Forum Posts 956

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Commentby Rajkumar on Sun Jun 07, 2020 6:52 pm

the high resolution image where one can hover over like a drone has the real impact this could as well be a aerial landscape shot

Art is about what is inside rather than what is outside

Commentby Madhav Jois on Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:57 pm

Thanks for the high resolution image and the animation Ganesh. I think it is your sheer interest and keen observation combined with philosophical thoughts makes you put so much effort into making one image. While i agree with you that it is the creation of nature, you too deserve credit for capturing it so effectively and putting your thoughts across in a manner which make us all 'think'.

Nature's art has a beauty, purpose and mystery which will remain as timeless truth.

Fully agree on this. I also feel, term 'ART' is coined by us to describe something very appealing and imaginative. In the eyes of nature, may be term ART is not applicable or not valid.

On a related note, i found this video interesting. You may already know about it, still sharing it:

Sometimes i feel time has a role in deciding what is art!

Best Regards,
My Gallery

Commentby Ganesh H Shankar on Thu Jun 11, 2020 7:52 am

Thanks, Madhav for sharing the video, i did not see this earlier, loved it! Yes, that word, “art” has become very elusive. Everyone need to start with their own definition which others may not agree with. In summary, discussions may remain disjoint and often personal. Yet, it seem to bring people together!

Ganesh H. Shankar
Wishing you best light,

Fine Art Nature Photography

Commentby Nevil Zaveri on Sat Jun 20, 2020 12:43 am

Love the way you ponder nature n make us see it's grandeur n the magic as well, Ganesh. I think, definition of Art itself is different in someway, for each of us!