St. Lucia is a sovereign island at the eastern boundary of the Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean, and a member of the cluster of Islands called the Lesser Antilles. Others in the group are Martinique, Barbados and St. Vincent. In January 2010, exactly three years ago, I was giving talks on a cruise that sailed out of Miami, on a course to visit St. Lucia, Barbados, Papillon, and then head south onto Rio de Janeiro.
St. Lucia was first colonized by the French who signed a treaty with the Carib Indians. Hundreds of years before Columbus discovered the New World, the Caribs had swept out of the Amazon and populated the Caribbean Islands — named after its settlers. Also called the "Cannibas," the Caribs were cannibals, who give us the word related to their gruesome practice. In the 17th century the island changed hands numerous times between the French and the British. (The two nations, constantly at logger heads, were at war 14 times, and each owned the island seven times.) St. Lucia finally gained its independence in 1979.
There are two unpleasant memories associated with the cruise. We made a pair of mistake: first, for not procuring visas to visit Brazil — both required for Americans; and second, for not getting vaccinated for Yellow Fever. The vaccine is necessary to enter Brazil, following a visit to Papillon. Accordingly, after touring St. Lucia and Barbados, we had to cut the cruise short, and return to the United States. Far more serious was the experience of sailing just north of Haiti. An unusual number of passengers on the cruise ship suffered from sea sickness from the swells and waves. What we found out was that the swells were caused by an earthquake that had just struck Haiti, devastating the island.
One pleasant memory exists from the cruise. We met the Broadway and Hollywood star, Rita Moreno, and her husband (seen in the Workshop).
While touring the Island in a taxi, we visited a banana plantation owned by the British Sainsbury Grocery Chain of stores. Here a worker is seen spraying the bananas. Just as I jumped out of the taxi, to shoot a few photos of the juxtaposition of the worker, bananas, mist... the man suddenly pulled up a gas mask, charged among the banana plants and disappeared. So... this is not an entirely successful shot!
As for the practice of spraying pesticides on the banana plants, what is sprayed are the leaves, not the clusters of bananas that are tightly wrapped in plastic (the bright blue area just above the spray gun).
Critiques | Translate
holmertz (56075) 2013-01-06 7:39
This is a nice, or at least well timed shot. Picturewise it is very eye-catching and interesting with good colours and a fine composition. What is not so nice is the amount of poison being sprayed on the bananas we are going to eat. Maybe that's why he ran away, because he didn't want to be seen doing this work.
Regarding Rita Moreno I remember her well from her outstanding performance in the movie version of West Side Story, and maybe one or two other movies. Approaching 80 in that picture she still looks stunning. Remarkable, isn't it :-)
snunney (103197) 2013-01-06 8:04
A successful daily life image captured at an opportune moment. The man is well placed and stands out well against that delightfully green background. I didn't realise Sainsbury's owned their own banana plantation. You learn something every day on TE! Happy New Year to you and your family.
emilbo (22616) 2013-01-06 8:14
Bien captée pour une photo prise à la sauvette. Je n'ai jamais vu arroser les plantations de bananes mais le gars est bien équipé pour faire le travail. Excellente composition, Beau jet d'eau et jolis tons de vert.
Toutes mes amitiés et bonne semaine,
ACL1978 (7511) 2013-01-06 8:16
An interesting shot here, Bulent, of modern industrial agriculture. Not sure I want to know what is being sprayed there... Good work to get this shot off before being noticed!
Sounds like a most eventful (and largely unfortunate) trip, but with a couple of high points. And one note on the history: as far as I know, the rumors of cannibalism among the Carib - or any other Caribbean peoples in pre-Colombian times - are mostly based on conjecture by explorers themselves, not always the most reliable anthropological group... but then his is the wonder of pre-history, so much that we don't know!
worldcitizen (8980) 2013-01-06 8:50
I enjoyed reading your note, and also studying this lovely photo. It is rare to see photos from the Lesser Antilles here on TE. I am pulled into this photo by the large, green leaves that dominate the background, and then we see the man, and the mist as he sprays the plants. Everything comes together to create an excellent photo.
krzychu30 (15512) 2013-01-06 9:45
I have no idea what is beeing sprayed by this man,but I think that´s the reason why we can eat bananas in all corners of the world,even thousands of miles from this plantation.
Very interesting scene-well captured and framed.It has very good clarity,contrast and beautiful,vibrant colors.
Have a nice sunday
Antipodean (1312) 2013-01-06 11:01
Kia ora Bulent,
A very interesting shot of something that happen everyday in one way or form in agriculture. While you may have taken the shot quickly it has really worked out very well. Cheers, Neil
danos (100786) 2013-01-06 12:28
the view of the scene is beautiful without the worker to spray with this poison the trees.Unfortunately we eat a lot of poisoned foods so and our health is very sensitive.
daddo (27264) 2013-01-06 14:43
Merhaba Bulent Bey. "How green is my plantation?"Unfortunately upholding this "healthy' look are litres of unhealthy chemicals- some of which are banned in the West but which are promoted and sold in non European countries. Greed pays little heed to the well being of others, especially if the are not one of us. What is also alarming is the absence of any breathing mask on the man.I wish you a chemical(the harmful varieties) free 2013.Klaudio.
thebest (4276) 2013-01-06 20:51
A HAPPY NEW YEAR to you!!!
Your notes are extremely informative & interesting... I remember Sainsbury's only too well for their divine Raspberry trifle... ha! along time ago.
These banana plants look very healthy & are enhanced by your wonderful photography.
chrisvek (7001) 2013-01-06 21:02
Very clever look and splendid contrasts here.The lightning is so nice and the POV too.I also like very much the framing you chose.Well done.
All the best for the week
ChrisJ (116674) 2013-01-07 3:15
Queenslanders are nicknamed 'bananabenders' and there are certainly a lot of banana trees in the far north of the state. But there are actually more in north eastern NSW. Most cityfolk never see this scene. Here, the blue bags protect the fruit from bats & birds. They are also chemically impregnated so I always wash fruit purchased from a supermarket. Hope your next cruise is less eventful! Tfs!
Nicou (146688) 2013-01-07 8:28
superbe scène de ce travailleur en train de pulvériser des produit sur les plantation quel couleur quel vert et l'effet du produit splendide.
bravo et amitié
Disabled_A (0) 2013-01-07 11:05
though to someone (for example, to this man in the photo) this may be a pretty ordinary daily life scene, to me this looks exotic and, of course, interesting :)
excellent POV and composition!
best wishes to you from Stockholm,
annjackman (21899) 2013-01-07 11:10
An trip with several incidents and memories so I was interested in yor note.
I have always shopped in Sainsburys and your title caught my attention immediately - now I know that my bananas have been sprayed! Your image is clear and very well composed.
Best wishes for 2013.
Gigidusud (21191) 2013-01-07 14:39
Nice capture of this scene with splendid green tones.Interessante note and wonderful photo on WS.Congratulations!
emka (102484) 2013-01-07 16:24
Hi Bulent, very interesting scene from the banana plantation. Interesting note and other comments. Maybe it is not so piosonous as the man has no masque and he is still alive besides, I do no see here any bananas. Are they already taken or wii be later? Nice green photo.
Yellow fever is I suppose the only obligstory vaccine in some countries in tropics, even in the areas where there is no fever, like in Asia (when you go from South America) strange that you didn't have it. Rather unpleasant surprise.
Wonderful Worksop, nice to see Carol Jean and this star still very attractive.
Didi (60590) 2013-01-07 16:51
Hi dear friend
Interesting local scene with a good light ambiance
Pesticid is no good for us.
The soil has a big pourcentage of poluttion in our place and the water is no good to drink.
Best wishes for 2013 and I hope many pictures from you
kato (11630) 2013-01-08 1:59
You're capturing well this daily scene by a good composition and excellent tone/clarity, so it's interesting and impressive to see Banana farm and worker. It's impressive in big green leaf of banana and the spectacle in which the banana is disinfected with the instrument which the worker is carrying on his shoulder.
Cricri (122455) 2013-01-08 11:23
Très joli ce paysage exotique avec la scéne de l'homme rafraîchissant la nature, intéressant sa pompe a eau accrocher a son dos, belle lumière et couleurs
mirosu (16273) 2013-01-09 0:47
An excellent colorful action snapshot. You have captured it very well.
jhm (156446) 2013-01-10 5:13
Thank you very much for your note, I learn almost everyday.
Your picture is technical very well made, sharpness and clarity are perfect.
Excellent view with the man between the bananas trees.
Lovely colors, excellent captured also nice composition.
Congratulation with your portrait and Carol Jean.
Very well done, TFS.
mesutilgim (96248) 2013-01-12 15:31
Selam sevgili Bülent,
Mükemmel bir kare ! Hem fotoğraf olarak hem de verdiğin bilgi notları ile çok başarılı bir TE katkısı.
Selam ve sevgiler
PS.Bilmem biliyormusun, ama İstanbul'un göbeğinde Süleymaniyedeki botanik bahçesinde (1933 de Türkiyeye sığınan Alman Profesörlerden Alfred Heilbronn'un kurduğu yer) bu devasa muz ağaçları hala yetiştiriliyor ! Bir daha İstanbula geldiğinde seni gezdirmek isterim.
Royaldevon (40988) 2013-01-13 3:40
Good Morning Bulent,
Well, I'm glad you got back safely from this memorable cruise!
I love this shot.
It is engaging, it is attractive, it is very well composed and gives a sense of action. Those banana leaves make a fine backcloth for the worker.
It's so pleasing that workers are diligently striving for Sainsbury's welfare. Indirectly, it affects me, as my son is a pharmacist at Sainsbury's.
All the best for 2013,
Fis2 (102234) 2013-01-16 3:32
Excellent POV and composition.
Good reportorial work.
I like colors.
Chemistry is everywhere :(
Have a nice day
ktanska (28365) 2013-01-19 9:50
Impressive work related image, indeed teaching new things to me! Well framed and timed too. Light shows good contrasts on those banana leaves.
Very interesting note too, especially being so near to that catastrophy of Haiti.
macjake (70515) 2013-01-19 13:38
there's alot of information in that note! :)
seems like you had quite the experience, gotta remember those Visa's and immunization shots next time!!
and as for the photo, its cool to see how they wrap up the banana's to protect them from the pesticides i suppose.
thanks for this interesting post and story
papagolf21 (105198) 2013-01-20 12:08
Bonsoir, cher ami Bulent,
Le masque à gaz laisse supposer que le produit projeté est dangereux !
La culture aujourd'hui a bien changé !
La réussite est bien présente à travers cette réalisation.
Réaction, déclenchement, réussite !
Mes meilleurs voeux, cher Bulent, pour l'année 2013.
eldancer1 (36343) 2013-02-12 9:46
Great timing and documentation of the daily life of people. And good action shot. Thank you for the wonderful information. Good lighting and dof with sharp details. Very well done, tfs.
Mondaychild (378) 2013-02-18 6:49
interesting photo! A photo from which we can really "learn about the world through photography". You show us something that is hardly ever depicted. Everybody knows that the fruits we eat are sprayed. You are the one who shows us how it is done.
Well compesed with the tree trunk on the right side. Also the frame with the three different shades of grey fits perfectly.
ikeharel (74701) 2016-11-09 8:08
Taken a swift stroll through your paintings-album from Oxford, Bulent. Beautiful no-less than your photos, my cong.'s.
About this picture: Beautiful light upon the bananas plants enhanced wonderful green tones upon, and the pose of the man at work well collected as well.
My best regards, many thanks for your critique from today.
- Copyright: Bulent Atalay (batalay) (39515)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2010-01-15
- Categories: Daily Life
- Camera: Nikon D200, 18-70mm DX Zoom Nikkor
- Exposure: f/6.3, 1/160 seconds
- Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
- Date Submitted: 2013-01-06 7:26