March 17, 2020

A portrait of British Comedian Chris Turner

British rapper and comedian Chris Turner visited Perth, Western Australia recently where I had the pleasure to take his portrait to serve as material for his upcoming tour. Of course we used flash! This post will breakdown how we created the image.

Do you like rap? like comedy? Then this is your man!  Chris has a truly brilliant mind and he blends comedy and rap together into a very entertaining showcase on stage. That also translates to his youtube where he now has over 200K followers! ⁠⠀

Read on to see the full version of the image and the breakdown of how I created it.

Perth hosts one of the largest Fringe Festivals in the world, so Chris decided to jump on a plane and pay a visit ‘down under’ to perform a run a Fringe shows for his Rap God show. Which was very funny by the way as I wasn’t going to miss that. So he got to work for me and I got to work for him.

Chris Turner needs a portrait

Chris needed a new portrait to use in promotional circles for his upcoming tour and no doubt for the beast we call social media. So myself, along with my kick ass talented team got to work and got it done! ⁠⠀
We shot a series or portraits around Perth city but the main hero shot was the “mic drop” shot with a beautiful gold microphone featured here below.

The Image Breakdown

We found an alleyway, and I lit it up with a simple One-Light approach, using the sun as a strong backlight to create a crisp shadow. The shadow was a vague idea in my head but I wasn’t sure if it would work due to all the variables. We had time constraints, and I didn’t know where the sun would be when we had to take this shot. The shadow could have been too long or too short and the angles may not have worked. This isn’t something we had a week to scout, it was a last minute shoot so we just had to roll with the punches. Fortunately, we got lucky and it worked! Rather well!  (The full version doesn’t crop the shadow so much)⁠

The Lighting

The main light was a Godox AD600 Pro with an Elinchrom 100cm Deep Octabox attached to it, using some kind of chinese speed ring adapter. Elinchrom modifiers have always been my favourite and I still think they are probably the best on the market. I took the outer diffuser off and just used the inner as I wanted a little extra punch so I didn’t have to over work the strobe. It also allows me to get a bit of extra distance away from the subject.

This light was positioned slightly above Chris’ head, angled slightly down, and just slightly off to the right of camera. You can see the camera-right side of Chris’ face is well lit, but the camera-left side just has the triangle under the eye. Classic Rembrandt.

The Hanging Microphone

The microphone was attached to a boom pole using some fishing line so we could have a real microphone in the shot getting the correct lighting from the environment. Editing out a couple of fishing lines is easier than adding a whole microphone in and making it look seamless. I like to do things for real in camera a lot of the time.

The Visual Breakdown…

Have a look at the setup breakdown below. The setup you see here below is correct, but you will notice I am actually kneeling on the right side of the Octobox. I took the actual final photo from the other side of the light, but this was the only behind the scenes image that was suitable for this breakdown.

Post Production

A fair amount of photoshop actually went into this image. I extended the image out to the left in an effort to center align Chris a bit better. Just some simple clone stamping as well as some Content Aware fill took care of it. A little blending perhaps afterwards to make it work nicely.  I had to perform some open heart surgery on the shadow created by the building on camera-left. Lines are important in an image, and I wanted this to be perfect so I straightened out the shadow which now works as a leading line towards the centre of the image.

Obviously the fishing lines had to be removed for the microphone as well as patching up the mic itself. I cleaned up Chris and his outfit a bit⁠, enhanced the details and threw in some local and overall contrast. I edited a fair few elements out of the background including all the posters in the windows and graded it with a fairly simple colour scheme.Taking the yellow out of the bricks and throwing a little cyan into the sky.

You wont be able to see all the changes, but this gives you a rough idea of the before and after:

The Team

I didn’t recruit just anyone to help out on this shoot, I dragged out some of Perths best creatives who fortunately happen to like me, and they were keen to offer a hand. Local Comedian Jason Wood lended his height to operate our microphone boom pole. Magician Adam Murby put his camera skills to work shooting the behind the scenes for us, and Coffee Connoisseur Jay Wells came in to control the Main light which he does very well.⠀

Behind The Scenes

Here is just a few little snippets of action behind the scenes from our shoot.

Where can I find Chris Turner Comedy?

Chris is based in LA and is touring everywhere, so keep an eye on his socials for when he’s near you. Also check out his Youtube page!⁠

Instagram: Chris Turner Comedy

Follow me on instagram here: @BrodieButler

Have a good day!