John Grubb works in IT support and loves to travel with his wife. He used the Fujifilm X-Pro1 and a Fujifilm X100S cameras to shoot this colorful images of Bangkok’s Floating Market.
My name is John Grubb. I have been working in IT support for the better part of 20 years now and do enjoy this as a career. I am married to a wonderful lady and we’ve traveled quite extensively over the past 15 years, mostly to Mexico. We’ve also enjoyed trips to Cuba, The Bahamas, Hawaii, France, England, Hong Kong, and Bangkok. It is my wife that is responsible for my travel bug even prior to our marriage but it was our wedding photographer that planted the little seed that became a passion for photography.
I had always had an interest in photography, even in my early teens but I never really knew how to pursue it and didn’t have the benefit of a mentor to give me some guidance so I never really went anywhere with it. Once I started taking an interest in it again I started to use the internet to see what others were doing and to learn how to grow my skills in the areas I was most interested in.
The internet, in effect, became my mentor. I found that Street photography and documentary photography were the areas that I was most interested in and was able to combine these areas of photography with our trips. Now, whatever the location we travel to, I try to document our trip with the street photography and documentary type photos.
I have now developed a style that is a fusion of travel, documentary, and street photography that performs the two-fold task of providing a good record of our trips as well as capturing the essence and feel of the location for others to enjoy. This fusion of styles has worked well for me and in some cases, has helped others in making their travel plans.
I find it very inspiring to be able to capture that moment in time, something that only happens once, and be able to make a record that I can always go back to and relive that experience in another part of the world and also be able to share it with others.
While in Bangkok, my wife and I really wanted to see the Floating Market. I decided that I wanted to try to show the traditional as well as the effect of tourism on that particular way of life. I went with the mindset of a documentary photographer and incorporated my streetshooting style to capture what I saw. I was also thinking about how best to do so as if I were shooting for a magazine although it was only for my own site.
I tried to make as complete a record as I could by incorporating close in shots along with wide angle, all encompassing shots showing the crowds and overall impact of the tourism. I have always been a fan of National Geographic magazine and have the highest respect for the photographers and their work so while I was shooting throughout our visit, I was trying to put myself in their place in trying to capture a story with my pictures.
I know that my work falls a long way short of National Geographic standards but for my purposes, I was quite pleased with the results I got. I truly believe that by doing this and using this mindset, the quality of my work also improved. It was a very enjoyable exercise that I will definitely use for future trips.
For equipment, I use a Fujifilm X-Pro1 and a Fujifilm X100S. The lenses are the 14mm, 18mm, 35mm, and 60mm. I have really been won over by these cameras for travel and street photography due to their unimposing presence and great picture quality.
I also like the hybrid viewfinder system and will quite often swap to the OVF for low light situations and take advantage of the preview function of the EVF when doing black and white work if I want to see how the scene with look sans colors.
This is helping me ‘see’ in black and white now and I have to fall back on the preview mode less and less as I’m learning and this allows me to stay in the OVF more often. With the OVF I can see what is entering the scene while I’m shooting and that gives me a better tool to choose when to release the shutter, something I learned from studying street photographers on the internet.
Street photography is training me to ‘see’ and to be able to quickly capture those special scenes that I might otherwise have missed by only looking but not seeing. By combining it with my traveling, I think my work is slowly improving and is getting more interesting for others to look at and hopefully, enjoy.
I am no longer satisfied with just snapshots of our vacation, but must have a good quality record of our visit to other cultures, a record that I am not embarrassed to share with others.
In closing, I’d like to state that for me, the photographic journey has no destination.
No final endpoint. I have a multitude of paths open to choose from and there is no wrong way to turn. I do this simply because I love doing it. I don’t have to worry about paying the bills with my photographic work so there is no pressure on me to go in a direction that I may not like. It has just become a very fulfilling and enjoyable sideline in my life and if others enjoy what I come up with, that is just a big bonus.