Commercial Photography with X100s ?


A few years ago, my first encounter with the Fuji X100 was actually by a window of a electronic store
in a shopping mall. I have never own one; but the impression have left a deep footprint since. Love the
whole retro design and the rather compactness of it. All the reviews can’t be wrong; great street
camera indeed.

Recently I was handed a X100s to test it out. The one feature that impresses me the most is the flash sync of
1/4000! As a commercial photographer this is a big deal to me. My Phase One medium format camera could
only achieve a 1/1600 with the used of a leaf shutter lens and high speed sync transmitter.

With that in mind I decided to do a big project with this little camera. I was cracking my brain trying to whip
out an idea. Almost all the time when it comes to flash duration; one will see a model with water or paint
splash on them in a dark studio environment.

After much thought I decided to try to freeze a shot of a fitness model running across a puddle of water in a
daytime outdoor environment. Hopefully to create a more sport lifestyle scenario with the splashes from the
puddle of water. Like what I will do for a commercial shoot.





Call time, 730am at Marina Bay area. From here one could have a lovely view of  Art Science Museum and Marina
Bay Sands. Make-up artist, Ashley started doing her artistry magic on our fitness model, Madeleine Png.
Who was recently crowd 1st at a national fitness competition in Singapore.

As for my 2 trusty assistants, Lionel and Thain Lin, they are busy getting the gears ready. Primarily a Broncolor
Move battery pack with 2 heads. Its a 1200 watts pack. Plus a Broncolor Para 88, parabolic umbrella. The other
important element; setting up the place for the “water pool” where the model will run across. And hopefully we
could get a great splash!








And the camera for today’s shoot is the famous street camera; Fuji X100s. But we are using it as a commercial
photography perspective. Eye-Fi SD card is used to wifi the jpeg files to the laptop. Viewing via Capture One as
my workflow. As for the raw file its kept in the SD card. The other 2 important person is Adam Ho and his asst.
Adam is a establish wedding photographer and cinematographer. Today he is the man in charge of art direction
and the documentation of the video for this whole project. Every drop of water is filmed! Stay tune for the video soon. DSCF3265







By 9am we are good to go. After getting the lighting right; the camera setting is at F2.8 and 1/4000 of a second.
The only problem that I face is getting a bigger splash. I have prepared 6 x 1.5 litre of water for this shoot. After 10
minutes of running and hoping to get the right splash I am left with 2 x 1.5 litre of water. At this point a mutual friend;
Diana Ho was also at Marina Bay. As she work around here and is very familiar with the environment; she was kind
enough to offer her service to help as top up all the empty bottles. She know where to get the water! Even though
Diana is not part of the team; she plays a very important role!

By 10am the shoot is a wrap. Its indeed a big day for a small street camera. Can I use the X100s for a commercial
shoot? My answer is yes and I better start looking for a client now!

Final photo after retouching.  Fuji X100s. F2.8, 1/4000.
Final photo after retouching.
Fuji X100s. F2.8, 1/4000.

Behind the scene video.


  1. Hi Ivan, nice work there. I just want to know what would be your recommendation for a flash to use on and off camera for the xt1? what do you use on your setup? Thanks.

    1. Hello there. Honestly I don’t own a flash other then the little flash that comes with the Xt1. If I need one it the strobe for me.
      Maybe someday I will get the nissin i40.

Leave a Reply