<Does the record of the existence of a tree, a stream, clouds in a sky, the interior of a temple, address anything about the conditions that human beings experience?>

No, but the choice of HOW to record it does. Compositional and relational decisions made in photographing allow us to reorder the world in a distinctly human way. The fact that the result isn't "wholly new" diminishes nothing and only shows that as an art -- as an act of re-creation rather than creation -- it's just more firmly bounded by the human condition than other forms of expression (maybe even uniquely suited to exploring it?)