Acclaimed Photography – Family, Senior & Headshot Photos in Seattle, WA

Seattle Area Photography, Acclaimed Photography, Bothell, Wa

Personalized Cell Phone Covers for iPhone4, iPhone3, Samsung Galaxy, HTC Desire, iPod Touch, Blackberry 4700, Balckberry 8520 September 12, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kerri Kirshner @ 11:07 am

Do you have one of the following phones: iPhone4, iPhone 3, Samsung Galaxy S. HTC Desire, iPod Touch, Blackberry 4700, or Blackberry 8520? If you do, you can get a custom cover for your phone through Acclaimed Photography


Personalized Cell Phone Cover. Personalized iPhone Cover, Personalized Blackberry Cover, Blackberry 8520 cover, iPhone 3 Cover, iPhone 4 cover

Personalized phone covers by Acclaimed Photography. Do you have one of the following phones: iPhone4, iPhone 3, Samsung Galaxy S. HTC Desire, iPod Touch, Blackberry 4700, or Blackberry 8520? If you do, you can get a custom cover for your phone through Acclaimed Photography


Improve Your Precision with LensAlign MkII July 17, 2012

By Ellis Vener

It’s no secret that working professionals need to make sure that the tools of the craft work together smoothly and reliably. It is also true that just because high quality cameras and high quality lenses cost a lot, it doesn’t mean they will work together perfectly straight out of the box. Cinematographers and camerafolk in the broadcast industry, and some still photographers, have known this for decades.

While most of us still photographers are not able to cherry pick our lenses—trying several examples of the same lens to find the best one— and fewer go to the expense and trouble of having the optics in their lenses centered and collimated. Even if you do that does not ensure that the lens will then perfectly match an individual camera body. What is needed is a system for fine-tuning the autofocus system for individual lenses to eliminate the computational errors that result in front focusing or back focusing. Fortunately nearly all mid-range and high-end cameras introduced since 2007 have this. All that is needed is a method for testing and a target.


Outside of making one yourself, there are a couple of kits available to make the AF fine-tuning process easy, but the most venerable is the LensAlign fromMichael Tapes Design. The original LensAlign PRO ( review) and LensAlign Lite have now been replaced by the LensAlign MkII and MkII Plus. The difference between the standard MkII and the MkII Plus models is the size of the focusing target and the length of the ruler, with the larger target and longer ruler of the Plus model designed for use with 300mm and longer telephoto lenses. The long ruler and target of the Plus can be purchased separately and used with the basic MkII.


Both the LensAlign PRO and MkII targets consist of a target for your TTL AF system to use, a sighting method through the center of the target to make sure that target is parallel to and centered in your image sensor, and a ruler mounted at a slant. The markings on the ruler guide you in determining whether you need apply positive or negative autofocus adjustment. The numbers do not translate to the precise amount of correction but serve as a general guide and for evaluating the results using Photoshop’s emboss effect as proof of the adjustment. Both the older and current models have a standard tripod screw socket for mounting the rig on a tripod head. But there are differences.

For starters, where the LensAlign PRO came preassembled, the MkII comes disassembled and can be broken down flat to travel. Snapping the MkII pieces together takes a couple of minutes and is an uncomplicated process. Also where the LensAlign PRO allowed you to change the ruler angle, on the MkII the angle is fixed at 45 degrees.

So how does it work? Ideally, start by mounting both the LensAlign MkII and a camera on separate tripods. While you can mount the LensAlign on a light stand, it helps to use a tripod with a head so you can fine tune the height, pitch, and yaw angles. In the worse case, you only need a tripod for your camera and a surface to rest the LensAlign on.


Line up the center of the focus target with the center of your lens so that you can see all of the red circle on the back plane of the target inside the hole in the center of the target (above). The alignment process goes faster if you have an assistant moving the target while you look at the camera’s preview screen. Alignment is critical to make sure the zero mark on the ruler is not at an angle to the sensor plane on the focus target.

Once set up, shoot at different AF micro-adjust settings and the with lens wide open. Use a low ISO as well. While Canon and Nikon both recommend a target-to-camera distance of 50X the focal length, I’ve found that a 25X distance for most lenses works best. If you regularly shoot with the camera at a fixed distance to a subject, for studio headshot portraits for instance, use the target at that distance.

On most cameras the auto-focus micro adjustment range goes from -20 to +20. To speed the process along I shoot these initial series in increments of three starting at -18 (-18, -15, -12 … +18) and then import them into either Photoshop or Lightroom and view at 100%. Once I have found the best setting then shoot a second set of images at single step increments around the best result. For example, if +9 yields the best initial result shoot at +7, +8, +9, + 10 and +11.

To confirm the results, Michael Tapes suggests opening the select image in Photoshop and applying the Emboss filter. You want to look for offsets of color around the zero mark on the ruler. Once you’re confident of your results, make sure the best setting is programmed into the camera for that lens and you can move on to the next lens.

Zoom lenses present a slightly different challenge, as the settings that work at one end may not be optimal for the other. Canon addresses this in the EOS 5D Mark III and EOS 1D X by allowing for settings at both the Wide and Tele ends. We hope Nikon follows their lead.

There is one more significant difference between the older LensAlign PRO and the LensAlign Mk II: the cost. While the price of the LensAlign Pro was $179.00 while, the MkII sells for $79.95.

Fine-tuning autofocus performance really makes a difference in image quality. While it can’t turn a bad lens into a good lens, or a good lens into a great one, it will markedly and sometimes startlingly improve the results you get from that lens and camera.

The LensAlign MkII is available either directly from from Michael Tapes Design  or online through B&HAdorama, and similar online retailers.

LensAlign MkII: $79.95 
LensAlign MkII Plus: $159.95 
LensAlign MkII Long Ruler Kit (turns the basic MkII into a MkII Plus): $84.95



Photographing Fireworks – 4th of July July 4, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kerri Kirshner @ 9:10 am
Tags: , , ,


Happy 4th of July!!

Michael Snow shot this multi-blast scene with his Fujifilm FinePix S5000 EVF camera by using a 2-second exposure and setting his aperture to f/8.

What you need

A camera. While an SLR is best because it gives you the most control over exposure, a simple point-and-shoot will do in many cases. Ideally your camera should have both exposure and aperture controls. Most compact cameras have some form of manual override. These can come in very handy.

A lens. Really, any lens will do, depending on the effect you’re after. If you want a panorama that includes an interesting landmark or land form, use a wide angle. If you want to fill your frame with fireworks, use a telephoto. Not sure? Bring a wide-to-tele zoom! There are many long-range SLR zoom lenses on the market these days that can cover your needs quite well.

A tripod. Handheld fireworks photos simply don’t work because the most effective fireworks photos are long exposures, and humans can’t keep a camera still for the one-second exposure you will likely need. The lines that trace the path of the bursts will be jiggly and detract from the beauty of the blasts. Even optical image stabilization won’t help much (it might help a little). To eliminate shakes, the camera must be mounted on a stable support–and a tripod’s the best. 

What gear do I need?

The answer to that question depends on how much you are willing to invest, your level of experience and your interest in photography. We’ve put together three possible kits for photographers with different needs. Why type describes you?

Basic: I’m a snapshooter and I just want my fireworks photos to come out clearly.

Camera: At a minimum, you need a camera that lets you set the shutter speed manually (shutter priority mode), or has a “Fireworks” exposure setting. It should also have the ability to record relatively long exposures, and have no shutter lag (a tall order for many compact cameras).

Tripod: You needn’t spend a mint on a tripod, but since lower-cost tripods may not be as rock steady as pricier models, hang your gadget bag from the center post to give it a more stable center of gravity. 

Hobbyist/enthusiast: I want to take prizewinning photos of fireworks that I can blow up to 11×14 or bigger and proudly hang on my wall.

Camera: An advanced compact or low to middle-range DSLR camera or MILC will give you sufficient exposure control and decent resolution and overall image quality for a fine blow-up.

Suggested lenses (for DSLRs): A good general-purpose zoom lens should be sufficient, as fireworks typically fill the sky if you’re standing in the designated viewing area. Check out standard wide-to-tele zooms.

Committed/Pro: I want to shoot marketable fireworks photos that I can sell as wall art, market as a poster, or licence out for use as stock photography.

Camera: Advanced metering and exposure control, high resolution, and fast burst rates will help you capture exactly the right moments at the correct exposure. Prosumer and pro cameras will get you there with no doubts.

For a lens, use a better quality midrange zoom (read Bob Atkins’ article about how to tell the difference) and a good, steady tripod. Also consider a remote shutter release to minimize camera vibration during those long exposures.

Zoom out and show your location: Water’s a great way to add an extra dimension to your fireworks photos, and if the fireworks are being launched on the water, you’ll be able to see the rockets streaking skyward and smoke below, which adds another element of interest. Photo © Ruslan Gilmanshin /

Where to Stand

Before the fireworks start, find out where the fireworks will be taking place, and scout around the area. Here are the best kinds of locations:

Good: An unobstructed view of the sky, upwind of the action. Make sure there are no buildings or trees in the way. Look for an elevated position so you don’t have the heads of the people in front of you in the shot. Why upwind? You don’t want the smoke blowing towards you because it can block the view–and do you really want to smell that?

Better: An unobstructed view with water. A body of water can result in interesting reflections of the fireworks.

Best: An unobstructed view with a landmark. Fireworks blazing against the profile of a well-known (and hopefully well lit) building or natural landmark can add a point of interest (and possibly salability) to your image.


Dramatic, yes–but tricky: The sunset meant a shorter exposure of around 1/8 sec, since the background is brighter than usual for fireworks–hence the smaller burst trails. In tricky light like this just the sun dipped below the horizon, choose a small aperture and the lowest ISO setting available so you can get the longest exposure possible. If your camera has auto bracketing, use it! Photo © Jacom Stephens /



Exposure tips

Aperture: Most photographers use ISO 100 and an aperture of between f/8 and f/16. The smaller aperture intensifies the colors of the fireworks and prevents overexposure. Experiment and see how the different aperture setting changes the look of your image.

Shutter speed: Use your camera’s “B” (bulb) setting. Start your exposure at the moment the burst begins, and end it when the burst reaches its peak. How long is long enough? For a single blast, a second or two should be sufficient.

Some photographers leave their camera on B and block the lens until there’s a burst, and repeating the process over several bursts. This results in a multiple exposure that can fill the frame with fireworks.

Scott Laliberte used his Canon Digital Rebel XT and Canon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 DO IS USM lens to capture this amazing blast.

Color balance: Daylight is fine, but if you have lit buildings you should set color balance based on how they are lit.

What about auto-everything cameras?

If your camera lacks manual settings, you can still get reasonably good fireworks shots. Set it to Landscape mode so it focuses on infinity. Disable the flash. Start the exposure before a blast if possible and the lens will remain open longer. 

To reduce lag time (a delay between when you press the shutter release and the camera takes the picture), keep your finger on the shutter release, pressing it halfway down.

Reducing noise

If your camera has a noise reduction feature, by all means use it. The long exposures are bound to overheat the image sensor, which results in digital artifacts (“noise”) that look a bit like grain in your photograph. The black sky will look muddy or worse. There is also software and there are techniques for reducing grain in Photoshop—but that’s another story. 


By Mason Resnick


Comparing Cameras to Buy. Not sure which camera to buy? June 29, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kerri Kirshner @ 1:00 pm


On a daily basis I get asked the question, “What camera should I buy”. My answer is, “It depends”. It depends on how you are going to use the camera, for what, how large or small you want the camera body to be, does it need to be fast…are you photographing sports or a wedding? If you have these burnng questions here is a website to help you compare cameras side-by-side:

Let me know if you found this website helpful!

Acclaimed Photography


Bake your photographer a cake they will love! June 26, 2012

I saw this photo floating around and I just HAD to share. I have looked at all the instructions and it looks like it is a bit time-consuming, but your photography friend will love it! Here is a photo and the link for instructions on how to make the Nikon cake. Yummy!!


Nikon Cake, Acclaimed Photography Bothell, Bothell Photographer, Bake a Photographer a Cake


Bake your photographer a cake, Acclaimed Photography Bothell, WA, Bothell Photography


Here is a link to the full instructions on how to make this great cake:



Kerri Kirshner



You can hire a cheap photographer…. read on! January 7, 2010

I just received this email (that was a post on Craigslist) and could not help but to post it. Please read it and consider this amateur next time you are in need of a photographer.


Elegant Wedding Photography (Salt Lake City, Utah)

Date: 2009-12-26, 4:48PM MST
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]

Hi there! My name is Lindsay and I’ve just got a brand new camera for Christmas but haven’t even taken it out of the box. I really want to get into the wedding photography business because I see so many people in Utah are getting married and it looks like easy money. I can’t guarantee that even one photo will turn out looking good but I sure will try. Some pictures will be used for my portfolio and my future website. I start booking appointments this week! I am now booking for Spring and Summer of 2010.

I specialize in all types of Lifestyle photography including:

Weddings – You’ll have to pay $15 for gas money outside of Salt Lake City

My style is classy, elegant and artistic. I would be honored to be part of your special occasion or photography needs considering I have no professional experience. I would love to capture those beautiful moments for you and your family.

I have so much passion for being a pro wedding photographer! All my friends and family tell me I take great pictures at all our outings and picnics. I’m putting together a web site of all the flower pictures and sunsets I’ve taken so you can see how good I am. I even have a few pics of my pet dog which turned out really great!

But I don’t have a business license, liability insurance, flashes, extra batteries, or even more than a kit lens that came in the box. If something goes wrong, you’re out of luck. To keep things cheap for you, I won’t even back up any of your images. Less cost for me means less cost for you. Just passing the savings on. I expect to be paid in cash or personal check because I don’t plan on claiming this income on my taxes.

I know many fun and beautiful locations. I really care about making brides look beautiful! I add glow and selective color to all of my images, giving them the best look possible. No need to hassle with computer programs.

Bridals and Engagements are only $100. Please trust me to do your wedding. I’ll do it cheap just to build up my portfolio. I will only charge you $250 for your entire wedding day. This is a deal. My camera cost me $700 brand new. All sessions include a Hi Resolution CD with FULL copy right release included, which means you get to print your pictures at Wal-Mart! Here’s the BEST Part! I offer 100% guarantee on ALL my sessions! Don’t pay a cent until you are 100% happy with your pictures!

I own a camera therefore I can take photos like the pros, who charge alot more. Most brides in Utah spend $2,500 on professional wedding photography. Since I have no experience I’ll only be charging $250 (90% off regular wedding photography prices) to shoot full day wedding coverage.

Think about it: Pros charge alot of money because they have alot of expenses. I don’t.

Pros have:
-a business license
– multiple cameras
-thousands of dollars in lenses and flashes
-hard drives to back up the images
-people skills
-color calibrated monitors
-professional print labs
-professional albums

I have none of this stuff so we’ll keep it cheap, just for you!

E-mail me if you want to set an appointment or if you have any questions, I will gladly respond.

  • Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
  • it’s NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

PostingID: 1525534132


Hosting SPPA Picnic at Acclaimed Photography June 26, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Kerri Kirshner @ 10:20 pm

The first model series will be an opportunity to practice your illustrative bridal posing with a few of our wedding experts on hand for questions and consultations; the second half of the series will be our Trash the Dress Northwest Style, with a Goth Bride and Groom as well as our bridal models ready to climb out of the box and into the trees!

Put your imagination in overdrive and come play at Kerri’s farm, her new studio location for Acclaimed Photography.

Directions divulged upon payment!

– Bring your family
– Bring your camera
– Bring your prints for competition
– Bring chairs

Want to bring guests? Non SPPA member photographers are most welcome. SPPA Members and their family $10 per person; Non members $20.
To pay in advance, please use SPPA’s paypal account by visiting Paypal and hit “send money”!
Send it to


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