Firmware: The Bourne Identity

Imagine yourself waking from a period of unconsciousness.  You don’t know where you are, you don’t know how you got there, and you don’t know if your life is in immediate danger.  It could be intimidating, right?  Well, just like the spy in Robert Ludlum’s International Bestseller, until you find the answers to these questions and many more, life could be very unpleasant and disorienting.

Self identity is critical to the mental health and well-being of sentient beings throughout the planet, and consciousness begins with a very focused version of who am I?  Why am I here?  Am I in danger?  After these questions are answered the body and mind can run a checklist confirming your identity, your plans for the day, and what you need to do to accomplish those plans based on what you have at your disposal.  Are your legs working?  When you open your eyes can you see clearly?

Amazingly enough, if electronics were sentient, intelligent beings, this is how their days would begin, as well.

Matter of fact, it does.  The initial start-up sequence that drives all of this information is called firmware.  Just like your waking thoughts of self diagnostics and self-identity, firmware runs its initial assessment, verifies everything is in order, and puts the device or computer in its normal operating mode.  If some piece of the puzzle is missing, something isn’t working properly, or if a new player is worked into the equation that the electronic item does not recognize, it can shut itself down until that error is corrected, or until further information is gained.

Sometimes an electronics manufacturer can put out a device in 2014 and it works great.  In April 2015, a new camera hits the market, and that device does not work with the 2014 model, so the manufacturer will release a firmware update to make sure the camera and the new device can work properly together.

Firmware updates fall into the category of ROM, or Read-Only Memory, the most basic, forgive the analogy, subconscious, information available to your electronic device.  It is information that is not turned off every time the power switch goes in the “Off” mode.

Pick a couple of good dates throughout the calendar year, tax time your birthday, anniversary, back to school, etc.  look up the firmware versions and release dates for the high-end electronics that you depend on and make sure everything is running correctly.  The manufacturers will tell you when the updates came out, what they fixed, why they fixed it and so on.  If a new update has been released, take the time to connect it to your computer, following the manufacturer;s instructions and get that device the information it needs to start the day in good working order.

Make it a habit, stay current, stay competitive, and stay safe.

Las Vegas Glamour 2015

Early last month I had the pleasure of working with four fantastic models at a Rolando Gomez Workshop in Las Vegas, NV. As usual, I drove all night,worked all day shooting photos, hotel check-in, dinner, sleep, all day behind the camera, drive all night Sunday, then back to work at 10 am Monday morning.
And the trip was definitely worth it.
For the longest time, I’ve heard that the truest test of a photographer is being able to pre visualize an image in your mind as the camera will interpret it.
After all, you’re taking a 3-dimensional , stereo view of the environment and applying it to a 2-dimensional interpretation of the scene before you.
I’ve learned from many unsuccessful attempts that “what you see is what you get” is not the case when it is not paired with training and experience. That is typically more what you see (visualize) is what you hope you get.
You know what I mean, you get the shot set up, the model in place, everything is as it should be, then click. Not that one. Click. Nope. And so it goes. But on that rare occasion early on, and with more frequency through training and experience, You and the camera begin to see as one.
I got some fantastic photos of all four of the amazing models I was working with, but my favorite was the one that I saw clearly in my mind minutes before I set up the shot.

Below is an image I shot of American Idol contestant and glamour model Amy Davis. I am pleased at how precise this image appeared in camera, identical to the image I had envisioned before setting up the shot. And yes, she was a real treat to work with.

Thanks Amy.



Dewayne’s Digital Photography Weekend Update 10-13/14-12 (Red Bull World Record Skydive)

Since it’s been a while since I posted much of anything, it was time to flex the blog just a bit.  The weekend began with a trip to the Krav Maga studios with some fun with a new student Deborah, who really gave me a workout.  I don’t instruct, but I do get to work with the newer students quite a bit and it’s a real blast.

Following Krav it was time to make a decision about the direction of the next couple of days.  One thing for sure, the new Kevin James comedy, “Here Comes The Boom” was high on the list.  While the movie hasn’t generated stellar reviews, if you spend any time at all in the business side of physical fitness, you’re sure to appreciate the role played by former UFC Heavywieght Champion Bas Ruten.  For those who don’t know, Bas finished his UFC career on a 22-fight winning streak.  One of my favorite anecdotes came from the way he approached his training, with the mentality if he didn’t pass out during his workout, then he wasn’t trying hard enough.  If you’re familiar with Bas Ruten, or any of his training tapes, you’re sure to enjoy the movie.

The second stop for the weekend, “Atlas Shrugged Part 2: The Strike”, a very interesting movie with a ton of information to mull over durting and after the film, but sure to keep you interested all through the ride.

The last stop for the weekend was a toss-up, spend the weekend looking at attractive bottoms… (No, there wasn’t a cheerleader convention in town.  The leaves have dropped in the mountains, the only foliage left is in the stream and riverbeds), or head down to Roswell for a world-record skydive from 24 miles over the surface of the Earth by “Fearless Felix” Baumgartner.  Well, a four-hour drive to Roswell didn’t seem entrely out of the question, so off I went.  Here’s a few shots of the preparation and takeoff from the Roswell Air Park.

Mission Control

The above image was taken 14 miles East of Roswell at Bottomless Lakes State Park, a mineral deposit (water-filled caves) and local swimming hole in the Roswell area. See the tiny white dot in the center/top?

The above image was shot of the fully inflated balloon at altitude just before the jump with a Tamron 300mm lens with a 1.4 teleconverter giving an effective focal length of 420mm

And here’s the Official (Not mine) Youtube video link:

This was an incredibloe accomplishment involving tons of equipent, millions of dollars and corporate sponsorship. Something that I would like to try in the future. But, I need a sponsor, do you think Fruit of the Loom would be interested?