Photo Shoot on Mt. Takao – Tokyo, Japan

Hello friends! I wanted to share a recent photo shoot and tell you a little bit more about the gear we used and show some of the final photos. First of all, the video was shot solely on the FujiFilm X-Pro2, the photos seen here were taken by me on my FujiFilm X-T2, while my photographer buddies Bob and Derek were shooting with their Sony A7RII’s. You may be asking yourself, why shoot the video on the X-Pro2 when you have an X-T2 at hand? Well, I wanted to use the X-T2 as my stills camera and see what the X-Pro2 was capable of (especially since it’s getting a 4K video boost next month via firmware update). In the first half of the video on top of Mt. Takao we shot with the Godox AD-200 and Westcott RapidBox. The mountain was crowded with tourists and locals enjoying the fall colors, so we picked a spot off the beaten path to avoid having them in our shots and to avoid getting attention from park rangers. I was shooting at f/1.2 on the Fuji 56mm lens and used a shutter speed of around 1/2000 sec. Thankfully, Godox recently released the X1T-F radio transmitter for their flashes so now High Speed Sync (HSS) is no problem all of the way up to 1/8000 sec!

Bob was shooting on his A7RII with a SmallHD monitor attached to the top of the camera. He uses it as a focus/composition aid since it’s bigger and clearer than the built in LCD screen on his camera. His go to lens for this shoot was the 85mm f/1.4 G-Master lens by Sony (awesome lens by the way). Bob and Derek swapped lenses a few times since they were both using the same cameras and had different lenses between them. Derek mentioned the fact that he has the 70-200 f/4 and wants to get the f/2.8 version soon…

We then proceeded back down the mountain on a cool steep inclined cable car. When I say steep, I mean it. Even inside of the car you had to hold on to prevent falling out of your seat or while standing. When we got to the bottom we were in search of a river or waterway we could setup in and not be bothered by cops or locals. We stumbled upon the spot you will see in the video and quickly drew a crowd of over 20 onlookers as we started shooting. I setup the Westcott 50″ Apollo soft box on a sturdy 13′ light stand with the Godox AD-600 inside. I chose to use the AD-600 since the 50″ soft box eats a lot of light output and didn’t want to burn through the batteries of the AD-200. We were shooting at about 1/8 power on the AD-600, which ensured fast recycle times and saved battery power (even though the AD-600 can fire 500 full power flashes).

Final thoughts – My prediction is that FujiFilm will surpass all other camera manufacturers in relevance and popularity in the next 10-15 years. I know, that’s a bold statement, but here’s why I say this. FujiFilm gets it and they not only listen to their customers, but also implement updates to OLD CAMERAS! Who does that, other than putting out firmware to fix bugs that weren’t caught before the initial release. I remember when the Nikon D600 came out and the D800. The D600 had an oil problem and my D800e had a mirror box alignment issue. Both issues were seen by many other people on the internet and I’m not here to bash Nikon, instead of making it right, they just released the next models. This is not how you take care of your customers. Secondly, FujiFilm has a great mirrorless system with constant updated via firmware and they have an ever growing selection of lenses (3rd party manufacturers make them too). Final thought, if Nikon and Canon decide to bring it with a mirrorless system, I think it will fall short due to the fact that they will just release a new model to add new features, unlike FujiFilm. If Fuji merged with Panasonic, Olympus and Pentax to form a monster company, it wouldn’t surprise me (but I doubt that will happen). Anyway, enough jibber jabbering from me for now, get out there and shoot with whatever camera you have and enjoy photography…It’s fun!

You can check out the BTS video here Mt Takao Photo Shoot Video

New Photos from Recent Photo Shoots – Tokyo

Here are some recent portraits in Tokyo I made. Keep it simple. Chris

FujiFilm X-T2 with Godox Strobes in Tokyo

I’ve been a professional photographer for over 10 years now and my passion is portraiture! The coolest thing about shooting portraits with off camera lighting is having the ability to shape the light and shadows on your subject and their surroundings. It doesn’t matter if you are on location or in the studio. A few tips for creating the look you want is to learn how to control the ambient light in the scene or to simply overpower it or blend the strobes with the ambient. There are 2 ways you can do this. First, you can use a variable ND filter, basically adjustable sunglasses for your camera. You can darken the ambient light down to a point where you are able to set your camera to ISO 100-200 and get a shutter speed of 1/250 sec, which for the X-T2 and X-Pro2, is the flash sync speed. This allows you to shoot with wide apertures to get the bokeh you may want to make your subject pop from the background.

The second thing you can do is to use High Speed Sync (HSS). A lot of FujiFilm users have been annoyed by, and rightly so, the inability to shoot reliably in HSS, if at all. Well, I’m here to tell you that there are now a few ways you can shoot in HSS with FujiFilm cameras. The way I currently achieve this is by using Godox flashes and strobes like the TT600 and AD-600BM with a Cactus V6II and an X1TN on top set to center pin mode on the X1T. The Cactus should be setup to FujiFilm camera system, Nikon flash system and Force HSS settings. Once you do this you need to have the Cactus trigger learn the Fuji HSS algorithm. Set your camera to 1/1000 sec and take a photo when prompted to do so by the Cactus V6II. Now you turn on force HSS by pressing the command dial in on the V6II. You should now be shooting in HSS. The last thing I do is set the flash or strobe to HSS setting by pressing and holding the HSS button until the HSS icon appears. Now you can shoot at 1/8000 sec on your FujiFilm with no issues. The Cactus interprets the HSS signal, sends it through the hotshoe to the X1 trigger, which sends it to the AD-600 or other Godox strobes. Some of you may not want to stack triggers on your camera, so in that case simply buy 2 V6II triggers and use a mini phone cable to trigger the strobes. One on camera, one on the flash.

Third option – Godox, aka Flashpoint in the USA, is releasing a new FujiFilm dedicated hotshoe flash called the TT350, which is currently available for preorder in Adorama.com. Soon after that release they will make an X1TF for FujiFilm. So, why buy the TT350? I personally don’t like having a flash on top of my camera, but it will be the first official offering for Fuji users that can do HSS with Godox strobes natively and it can be used as a commander to control flash power remotely from the camera. I will not be using the flash on camera as a flash, but rather as a Commander to shoot in HSS. I highly recommend that you update your firmware on all of your flashes and triggers to ensure maximum compatibility.

What light modifiers do I use and recommend with the Godox AD-600? My absolute favorite light modifier is the 35″ Westcott Zeppelin with Bowens mount. My second favorite light modifier, and it’s slowly turning into my favorite surpassing the Westcott Zeppelin, is the Fotodiox 60″ Octabox with eggcrate fabric grid. At $99, you can’t beat the quality and soft light that this double baffle large light source provides.

There’s another light modifier that is significantly cheaper than he Zeppelin and it’s called a Rice Bowl. It has an adjustable arm like the Westcott to focus or spread the light around and is a great alternative to the Zeppelin if you are trying to save some of your hard earned cash.

The last 4 modifiers I use on a regular basis are the Westcott 50″ and 28″ Apollo series softboxes, 60″ Softlighter II and grid spots of varying degrees.

Thats all for now, I hope this helps someone to finally achieve their dream of HSS with FujiFilm and below are some recent photos on location and in the studio using his gear.

-Chris Bergstrom

Bushido Photo, LLC

Tokyo, Japan

Amazing images using flash and photoshop!

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As a professional photographer, I enjoy experimenting with lighting, backgrounds, lenses and off camera lighting. Here are a few examples of how I turned my vision into a reality using very limited equipment in a small studio space. I used one light in each of these images and a studio background.

Before (Straight out of camera)
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After (Photoshop)
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I used a slightly different approach on this image. Originally, I was not planning on doing any photoshop to it since I liked it the way it looked SOOC, but I always love to tinker and thought the background looked like snow, so I decided to add snow just to see how it would turn out. The good news is, I loved it!

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After
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Here’s a test shot of just the background before the girl even entered my frame. I normally use a light meter, but i didn’t really need to for this one light portrait.
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Equipment used to make these images:

FujiFilm X-Pro2 camera
Westcott 35″ Zeppelin Parabolic
Westcott speckled light gray background (10×20′)
Solid white backdrop for the first image from Denny mfg. (10×20′)
Godox AD-600BM strobe
Triggered with Godox X-1N trigger (strobes have built in radio receivers)

Software:
Photoshop CC
Alien Skin Exposure X
Rad Labs Totally Rad software
DXO FilmLab
Mystical Suite Gen1

Thank you for your time reading this article and if you have any questions I’m always willing to help… I teach these techniques at my workshops and hundreds of students have walked away from them knowing nearly nothing about photography to having all of the knowledge they could ever need to be a professional. When I started I wished someone would have shown me what I know now after 20 years of experience.

-Chris Bergstrom
Bushido Photo, LLC
Tokyo, Japan

$50 OFF Photo Shoots all of September 2016

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Bushido Photo, LLC serves all of Tokyo, Japan including Yokota. We are offering $50 for the entire month of September 2016. Outdoor photo shoots with professional lighting services on location are $300 and studio photos are normally $200, but you will receive $50 off by claiming the coupon at $50 OFF COUPON CODE . Chris Bergstrom has been a photographer since 1988 and takes pride in making you look amazing! Contact us today to schedule your photo shoot today. How do you get this coupon? Send a message via Facebook with the coupon code 50OFFNOW in the message body. Please let us know what dates you are available so we can check availability. https://www.facebook.com/BushidoPhotoLLC/ Thank you.

Bushido Photo, LLC

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Kimono Kid

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One photo shoot, three different looks!

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These shots were taken during a lighting workshop I taught here in Tokyo, Japan! All shots utilized off camera lighting. I shoot with a Fujifilm X-Pro2 and Godox AD-600BM strobes. I would love to teach a workshop on Creative Live or do something fun like shoot for Digital Rev TV with a crappy camera. I am blessed to have the opportunity to travel all around the world and make portraits regardless of whether or not the masses know who I am or what I do. I don’t need fame and glory in photography, I just want to get the shots! If you have any questions on how these shots were created, please let me know by leaving a comment. I answer all of them. Have a great day and may good light be with you!

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Lighting Workshops in Tokyo

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I had a successful off camera lighting workshop today in Tokyo! Special thanks to the models/students for making it a fun time with me. I enjoy teaching others about photography and lighting more than any other. If you or someone you know lives in the Tokyo area and needs a boost to get them to the next level, please send them a link to this website. I shot these images during instruction using a Godox AD-600BM and Fujifilm X-Pro 2. I am a Fujifilm fanatic now that I have finally put the camera through its’ paces! Please comment if you have any questions about how to achieve these results and I will try to help you understand how to create images similar to them. Thank you for your time and have a wonderful day!

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Fujifilm X-Pro2 – Godox – Ikigai – Talk

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Hello fellow photographers! I wanted to share this video about my Godox world of gear and why I choose to use their lighting gear. I am a photographer who loves a great bang for the buck and Godox gear has given me that 10 fold. I’ve been shooting professionally for a long time and simply want to share my personal opinions. You may have other gear you love, which is great! I just wish all of these pieces of equipment were available back when I first started. I am here to answer any questions you may have on how to use or which gear I recommend. I have spent years buying and testing gear for myself, I am not a social media guru by any means. Heck, just look at my followers. The reason I do this is if I can influence one photographer and make their life easier and to get them to the level they want to be at sooner, I have done my job. For me, it’s personal enjoyment to help others… Enjoy this video for what it is (self produced video with no sponsors or following). It’s not about me, it’s about helping others, which is my goal. I hope you like this video, please share, like and subscribe. Dislikes are cool too, but if you can, please let me know what you disliked so I can fix it. I can’t fix “sucks” either, tell me what sucked specifically. 🙂 Thank you!

Gear Talk

Tokyo, Japan – Off Camera Lighting Workshop 11 June 2016

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Come join us as Chris Bergstrom teaches you 8 hours of jam packed studio lighting on location and indoors. This is a workshop that should not be missed! Japanese and English speakers are welcome! Click here to reserve your spot today.

Topics covered

Fundamentals of photography

Subject posing

Lighting scenarios

Studio Photography

Shooting at night (dragging the shutter)

Location shooting

Neutral Density Filters (ND)

Light Meters

Radio Triggers

Post processing

Color correction

Shooting any time of the day while using variable neutral density filters and high powered strobes outdoors

and much, much more…

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On Location in the Netherlands

Tokyo, Japan – Studio Photo Shoot

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Here are some samples images from my weddings, engagements and photo shoots in and out of the studio. Contact me for a free estimate for your personalized photo shoot today! Our specialty is making you look amazing in a relaxed and efficient setting. You don’t have to worry about a thing and we’ll take care of the rest.

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