Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Warning: More of Yours Truly in the Offing

One of the drawbacks of being an amateur photographer is that there never is enough opportunity to hone the old skillz. Now I freely admit that I'm married to a woman whose unbridled joy at being at the business end of a Zuiko 50mm f/2.0 is second only to the pleasure she takes in her 8-hours-of-the-dreamless each night. But even so, having to stand for hours on end while her photog. spouse makes ever-so-slight adjustments wears somewhat thin.

I've often considered practicing portrait lighting on myself of course, but the drill is awful: Press, run, get in position, <click!>, run, gawk at botched picture to figure out what to adjust, press, run... well, you get the idea.

First, the good news...

A fellow strobist reminded me of this little feature that I remember glossing over in the camera's user manual (yes I did RTFM --- just not that carefully): Video-out. Simply put, God's greatest gift to narcissistic photographers.

Most recent LCD monitors have a composite-video input jack, and my E-330's USB output doubles as a video-out line. They've even provided a handy cable for the purpose. Combine that with the its live-view feature (which Olympus was something of a pioneer at with DSLRs) and you've got heaven. Now I can simply connect up the monitor, point the camera at the finely chiseled, and I make composition adjustments right where I sit while viewing them on the 20-incher. This assumes that I've got the lighting parameters (shutter, aperture, flash-power) nailed down of course, but that's getting easier all the time.

All that's lacking now, is to get one of those little IR remotes that I can use to trigger the camera remotely.

Now the bad news... Given my new found freedom, you can probably expect more pictures of yours truly. I know I'm not as easy on the eyes as the beautiful ball-and-c., but hey, you can always volunteer as a guinea-pig, even if it is just to keep me from myself :)

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Oh. That was easy...

I remember trying a couple of years ago to get Flash working on my 64-bit desktop, with not much success. This weekend I thought to myself "Maybe I should give it another go, and throw a couple of hours at it again...". So quick search for [gentoo amd64 32 bit firefox] pulls up this page at the top result which (halfway down) provides the following incantations as advice:

> emerge netscape-flash
> emerge nspluginwrapper

So, I dutifully installed the indicated packages, restarted Firefox and voilĂ ! Instant Flash. Note that the nspluginwrapper spits out this message at the end of the install:

* Auto installing 32bit plugins...
* Any 32bit plugins you currently have installed have now been
* configured to work in a 64bit browser. Any plugins you install in
* the future will first need to be setup with:
* "nspluginwrapper -i path-to-32bit-plugin"
* before they will function in a 64bit browser

Good to know.

Now what do I do with the remaining 118 minutes?