Bereaving Mother

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Bereaving Mother

Postby Ganesh H Shankar » Mon Jan 02, 2023 9:02 pm

ele_baby_pramod.jpg (593.47 KiB) Viewed 650 times

My dear photographer friend Dr. Pramod Shanbhag shared this above image he made (in color which I converted to B&W with his permission) in a private mail to me with following note:

Due to drought, many young ones are dying in Amboseli N.P.
This elephant has lost her calf and is unwilling to move away, though the herd has moved on.
We were very much moved by the mother's grief and her attachment to the offspring.

I am sharing his image here with his permission. Needless to say the image evokes intense emotions.

This image reminded me of a couple of my images of a langur holding its dead baby which are here and here.

I made these langur images about 20 years ago. Why did these images appealed to me most then? I think I found the answer later. These images remind me of my own uncertain future. Nature gave me traits to preserve myself and my loved ones first, next comes the species that are similar to us. Death of a langur baby seem to hurt me more than death of an ant or a spider or a plant. Further, we seem to care more about misery than happiness. The google search for greatest photos shows, for example, these 100 photos as "greatest photos". Take your time to count how many of them portray misery and death. You will see similar pattern of "greatest images" across many websites.

Why don't we see not as many "greatest photos" with happy notes in them? Is this inevitable?

May be it is. Are there any other way to see/feel the images like langur and elephants above?

I think (hints to) answers/views to such questions may come from philosophical inquires and may not come from books on photography.

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
—Albert Einstein

This is what Einstein seem to have said, consoling his step daughter, when Einstein's sister Maja died.

look_deep_1.jpg (166.02 KiB) Viewed 650 times

Are these elephant and langur images "beautiful"? If I see it as Nature wants me to see it then "beautiful" may not be the word that I want to associate these images with. I think they may look "beautiful" to those who look deep into Nature.

Did Nature had a choice to design its creations in any other way? Where does the "cycle" comes from? Is breaking the cycle (as a concept) as "beautiful" as the cycle itself?

Still thinking..

I am fortunate to be a "Nature Photographer" - whatever that means..
Ganesh H. Shankar
Wishing you best light,

Fine Art Nature Photography
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Re: Bereaving Mother

Postby Madhav Jois » Tue Jan 03, 2023 9:51 am

Heart melting image Ganesh. Your questions and observations are too deep, perhaps one day I may comprehend. Thanks for this thread Ganesh.
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Re: Bereaving Mother

Postby Rajkumar » Fri Jan 06, 2023 5:33 am

I was thinking of how perspective changes everything but could not put it words. Then I got a close example. If we were watching a tragic film with a happy ending for a second time how would we experience that ? Not so much anxiety and impact because of what we know ? What would it take to get that feeling when we see these events ? A maturity, perspective, wisdom to see that it will all workout anyway and we can return to see another movie and we can choose a happy, sad , tragic whatever film we want :)
BTW in the 100 greatest photos most are about "tragic films" made by humans and the few that are not are so quiet and peaceful , unchanging
Art is about what is inside rather than what is outside
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