Rising Stars Steel Band and Grilled Meats in Red

Rising Stars Steel Band - 2009

Some of the best steel pan music in the world can be heard from the large orchestras that compete at Carnival time on the island of Trinidad in the southern Caribbean. This seems appropriate since Trinidad is the birthplace of the instrument. While perhaps not the best in the world, we are fortunate on St. Croix to have several steel pan orchestras of our own, including the “Rising Stars”. The dedication of these young people and their leaders to create such stirring music must be admired.

The original photograph for the image above was taken at night under the glare of orange sodium street lights, with just a hint of flash to create the specular highlights on the pan in the foreground. Post-processing focused on enhancing the moody atmospheric qualities of the scene.

While the image below was captured under similar conditions, its focus is more on social commentary than atmosphere. This was a street vendor selling grilled meats set up in front of a perfume and beauty product store window, creating the contrasts between the pattern of the vendor’s dress, the poster in the background, and the condiment bottles in the foreground.

Grilled Meats in Red - 2009

10 Comments on “Rising Stars Steel Band and Grilled Meats in Red

  1. That second photo is ever the statement. The social commentary is that condiments are more likely the fragrance of the day, as is cooking oil and deep fried anything, than the latest $85 per ounce import from Paree`.

    Swift eye of yours caught it.
    I really love the composition and color relationship in this photo Don.

  2. Thanks, Bonnie! This is another reason one should carry their camera around with them. These opportunities often pop up where you least expect. It’s a lesson I continually need to re-learn.

  3. Yep, I’m lovin’ the second photograph as well but I thought “ditto” what Bonnie said” was bad commenting ethics and since I’m having ethical issues these days in the weirdest places…. I love the background of the first one, how you have composed all of this group..I just don’t recognize the drum…but, then, it’s not like I am exposed to them as you are…I thought it was a champagne or ice bucket which I do have some familiarity with….oh, hell, I’m going back to the jacuzzi.

  4. Thanks, Pat! After reading your own post, I understand the bit about “commenting ethics” and the jacuzzi. So if you’d rather have that thing in the first image be a champagne bucket… you’re welcome to it!

  5. The 2nd photo made me think of genies in bottles for some reason.
    … I’d probably be pretty surprised if a genie came out of my ketchup bottle.

  6. Planetross, but look at that barbeque sauce bottle. The genie always seems to come out of that one and leave tracks on my shirt. How does that happen?

  7. Nice images. Everybody else has beaten me to the punch with the second shot so I’ll just comment on the first.

    The steel drums look like braziers and the musicians like the heat and flames coming out of them.

    Quite appropriate!

  8. Love the sound of the Steel Pan music. At the Caribana festival in Toronto we have several great bands. Maybe both photos are about the “heat” (as represented by the red color). Heat from the music and dancing and from the spicy meats. Great composition in both pictures.

  9. Thank you, Catherine! Yes, the “heat” is one of the reasons I put these two together. I have heard there are several great steel pan bands from the continent, some of which compete and sometimes win at the big competitiions in Trinidad.

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