Oak Gall

December 15, 2017

Oak gall 111317 SMCC 2 144 (1)

Photographers: Students from Southern Maine Community College Photography Class 
Summary Author: John Stetson 

Certain insects release a chemical that stimulates a tree to form a growth. Oak galls, like this one found on a red oak tree in Brunswick, Maine, protect insects during their reproductive cycle from would be predators as well as from harsh weather. For over 2000 years the substance in these galls has been used to create ink. Oak gall ink was used by the ancient Roman writer, Pliny the Elder (in his book, Naturalis Historia), by Leonardo da Vinci, Bach, and by Rembrandt. Moreover, it was the ink used for a 4th-century bible, the Magna Carta in 1215, the both the U.S. Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution. Photo taken on November 13, 2017.

Photo Details: Camera Model NIKON D5100; Exposure Time 0.050s (1/20); Aperture ƒ/25.0; ISO equivalent 800; Focal Length (35mm) 78; Software Adobe Photoshop CS4 Macintosh. Image processing included sharpening image; dust removed from the background cloth.