The Help Portrait Project - St.  Petersburg

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Bishop Raymond T.  Baker
Macedonia Freewill Baptist Church

Help Portrait is an annual Christmas season event in which photographers gather to spend a day taking portraits, family and individual, for those who might not otherwise be able to afford them.

Information is available from the U.S.  based charity, Help Portrait, Inc., for photographers and clubs who would like to organize such an event.  The URL is

The St.  Petersburg event this year was hosted by the Macedonia Freewill Baptist Church and organized by photographer friend, Chuck Vosburgh.

An impressive number of photographers set up in the church activity room.  A large number of people came, probably mostly from the nearby community.  Many stayed though the day, enjoying the social aspect.

Toward the end of the day, it was my privilege to photograph the church pastor, Bishop Raymond T.  Baker, assisted by my photographer friend, Andrea Eniko Lypka.

The Feature Image
Date Taken:  Saturday, December 3, 2016 at 2:34 pm
Camera:  NIKON D300
Exposure:  1/125 sec at f 8 ISO 200
Exposure Mode:  Manual
Lens:  AF-S DX VR 18-200mm Nikkor f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED
Focal Length:  52 mm (35mm Film Equiv:  78mm)
Flash:  2X Studio Strobe
Software:  Adobe Photoshop CC 2017 (Macintosh)
Software:  Topaz ReMask v5
Software:  Topaz Texture Effects

Here are the Photoshop layers, not necessarily in the order that I would have created them:

* Image layer:  Minor clean-up with the Healing Brush.
* A new layer with solid colour; a texture applied using Topaz Texture Effects
* A new layer with the cross which is thrown onto the background, set to 80% opacity.
* A new Levels Adjustment layer clipped to the texture layer, to control the black level of the cross.
* A new layer with a sunburst, created by using the radial filter in Photoshop, set to 80% opacity.
* an image layer of just the couple, created with Topaz ReMask, using the original, background.
* A new layer, set to Soft Light Blend mode, used to dodge the darker areas of the image, including the lapels of the suit, and the shadowed side of the wife's face. 
* Curves Adjustment Layer, set to Multiply Blend, to provide some vignette.

Posted December 12, 2016 at 5:30 pm.