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Thread: Official Photography Thread

  1. #1081

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    Quote Originally Posted by creekster View Post
    It's been decades since I used one and my guess is they are a lot better now. Back in my day they were okay, but suffered from serious degradation around the edges of the shot. If she is serious about the photography you should pop for the real deal.
    They are much better now. I would only pop for the real deal if athletics or birds are a major part of enjoying the hobby. Even then, you will end up getting the extenders anyway, so buy them first. Rent a longer lens before buying one.

  2. #1082
    The dude abides Jeff Lebowski's Avatar
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    Swampfrog, you have an incredible talent. I don't comment much, but I love these photos.
    "There is no creature more arrogant than a self-righteous libertarian on the web, am I right? Those folks are just intolerable."
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  3. #1083

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Lebowski View Post
    Swampfrog, you have an incredible talent. I don't comment much, but I love these photos.
    Thank you. "Incredible talent" is reaching, but I can look back over the past few years and see improvement. It continues to be a satisfying hobby.

  4. #1084

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    Those are some really nice eagle pics,SF.

  5. #1085
    it's all a blur mtnbiker's Avatar
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    How do you pull out the details like that, especially of the underwing which would typically be all shadows? And without overdoing the white plumage?

    Quote Originally Posted by swampfrog View Post
    More from the refuge on Saturday. The eagles were out--but not quite close enough for great shots. Still coveting an at least 400mm f/4 lens... Practicing flight images.


  6. #1086

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pelado View Post
    I think this one is my favorite of that grouping.
    That's the closest it came to me, so I was able to get the most detail. The other shots were more interesting, and would be better if I had a longer lens or the two eagles had decided to engage one another closer to my car. I really envy those that can afford to drop 5-10K on the longer lenses. Maybe someday.

  7. #1087

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbiker View Post
    How do you pull out the details like that, especially of the underwing which would typically be all shadows? And without overdoing the white plumage?
    There's really a lot of things that go into answering that question. Some of which I haven't mastered yet. First, don't shoot birds (or most anything else) in the sun, you will get exactly the result you describe. Digital sensors (and film) have less dynamic range than the eye, so they cannot resolve really high contrast. The choice will be made between black shadow areas or detail-less white areas. Sometimes this is easier to think about by looking at any scene and thinking, "When I expose for the brightest parts of the scene, even slight shadows will be emphasized more than what my eye perceives."

    When you can't use HDR techniques, which is true for most moving subjects, then you expose for the whites you want to keep. There are various techniques for this, most digital cameras are capable of showing a histogram of the data captured in the image. Reading a histogram will tell you how close you are to losing detail in the white areas. Some cameras also provide a "clipping" indicator on images, where parts of the image which have been overexposed blink. With moving subjects, if you want to freeze the motion, high shutter speeds (1/1000 or faster) are required. This will mean using relatively high ISO values. I think most of these are between ISO 1250 and 1600.

    Note on the eagle images, there is no detail in the sky. It was cloudy and there was detail to be captured but I deliberately sacrificed all detail in the clouds to get as much detail in the darker areas of the eagle as possible. I typically use a technique taught by Arthur Morris, in a cloudy situation, point your camera at the cloudy sky. Set your exposure at about 3 stops more light than that. If the subject has white areas, 3 stops will be too much light, if the bird has black areas, 3 stops might not be enough. If it has both (and bald eagles are close enough), then you go with what works for the whites. Depending on the cloud cover, this may vary from time to time, so reset as needed.

    Note what that means for these eagle pictures. If I had just told the camera to figure out what the best settings were to expose, I would have had a nice image of clouds with a black silhouette of an eagle. I had to know that what I wanted was correct exposure of the eagle, not the whole scene. The camera can't know that, so the operator has to take greater control of the exposure.

    Shoot at something close to the tonality that you will be capturing and review for "blinkies" and look at the histogram. Add or subtract light as needed. Usually, this can get you to the right exposure for the scene relatively quickly. Always capture as close to overexposing as possible (exposing to the right, or ETTR). It's very easy to darken a scene if it is brighter than reality, but lightening up a dark scene is more problematic.

    Capture using RAW if the camera supports it. This allows greater latitude when editing the image.

    Once I brought the Eagle shots into Lightroom, I raised the shadows to bring some detail into the dark areas. In this case Lightroom is aptly named, it's very good at adjusting the light of any given part of an image. You can make light areas darker and dark areas lighter. How much adjustment depends on the actual data in the original, if the area is too dark, there isn't enough information to maintain the detail in the dark areas as it is lightened, and it will start to look blotchy or posterized. This also occurs when compression is applied when producing a final image.

  8. #1088

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaloAltoCougar View Post
    Yeah, I fear that might be the case. In addition to the cost, there's also the problem of packing around that much glass, but we'll see. Gone are the days when a dozen roses would have sufficed....

    BTW, swampfrog, this is the extender I'm giving her, subject to further input, if any...

    EDIT: Didn't see your response until I posted this. Makes sense. I'll give her what I have but with your advice, she may exchange for the 1.4. Thanks.
    Just buy them both...might as well get it over with. I shoot the 2x a lot more than the 1.4x, more often I want the reach rather than the speed. But if your main goal with the puffins is to catch them in flight, go with the 1.4x or rent a longer lens--puffins are fast (and I'm jealous--never had the chance other than those in captivity--need someone to carry your luggage around?). I do use the 2x for sports in decent light and it would be fine for other large mammals. I don't know the Nikon big lenses very well, but the later released Canons show very little focus performance decreases with the 1.4x. Some people claim image degradation, and it is true if you look close enough, but I haven't found it to be significant at all. The eagle head shot earlier in the thread (at the zoo) was made with the 2x attached.
    Last edited by swampfrog; 02-06-2017 at 06:16 PM. Reason: I guess I only posted one head shot, removed the plural

  9. #1089
    Semper infra dignitatem PaloAltoCougar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampfrog View Post
    Just buy them both...might as well get it over with. I shoot the 2x a lot more than the 1.4x, more often I want the reach rather than the speed. But if your main goal with the puffins is to catch them in flight, go with the 1.4x or rent a longer lens--puffins are fast (and I'm jealous--never had the chance other than those in captivity--need someone to carry your luggage around?). I do use the 2x for sports in decent light and it would be fine for other large mammals. I don't know the Nikon big lenses very well, but the later released Canons show very little focus performance decreases with the 1.4x. Some people claim image degradation, and it is true if you look close enough, but I haven't found it to be significant at all. The eagle head shots earlier in the thread (at the zoo) were all made with the 2x attached.
    Well, as a matter of fact... But I'll be driving us breakneck speeds the backroads of Ireland (on the left, if I remember) and you'd be in mortal danger. There are 2-3 places where we're supposed to see puffins, including near the Cliffs of Moher, but my highest hopes are for Skellig Michael (the place where Luke Skywalker has been hiding and received his old light saber). The place looks fantastic but weather may keep us away; if we get there, there are supposedly hundreds of puffins, not to mention a 1500 year-old monastery. We hope we get there as some great photo ops await.

  10. #1090
    Senior Member Katy Lied's Avatar
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    Incredible talent is right.

  11. #1091

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaloAltoCougar View Post
    Well, as a matter of fact... But I'll be driving us breakneck speeds the backroads of Ireland (on the left, if I remember) and you'd be in mortal danger. There are 2-3 places where we're supposed to see puffins, including near the Cliffs of Moher, but my highest hopes are for Skellig Michael (the place where Luke Skywalker has been hiding and received his old light saber). The place looks fantastic but weather may keep us away; if we get there, there are supposedly hundreds of puffins, not to mention a 1500 year-old monastery. We hope we get there as some great photo ops await.
    Thanks, that's exactly what my life needs right now, a little more jealousy.

  12. #1092
    Senior Member Eddie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampfrog View Post
    There's really a lot of things that go into answering that question. Some of which I haven't mastered yet. First, don't shoot birds (or most anything else) in the sun, you will get exactly the result you describe. Digital sensors (and film) have less dynamic range than the eye, so they cannot resolve really high contrast. The choice will be made between black shadow areas or detail-less white areas. Sometimes this is easier to think about by looking at any scene and thinking, "When I expose for the brightest parts of the scene, even slight shadows will be emphasized more than what my eye perceives."

    When you can't use HDR techniques, which is true for most moving subjects, then you expose for the whites you want to keep. There are various techniques for this, most digital cameras are capable of showing a histogram of the data captured in the image. Reading a histogram will tell you how close you are to losing detail in the white areas. Some cameras also provide a "clipping" indicator on images, where parts of the image which have been overexposed blink. With moving subjects, if you want to freeze the motion, high shutter speeds (1/1000 or faster) are required. This will mean using relatively high ISO values. I think most of these are between ISO 1250 and 1600.

    Note on the eagle images, there is no detail in the sky. It was cloudy and there was detail to be captured but I deliberately sacrificed all detail in the clouds to get as much detail in the darker areas of the eagle as possible. I typically use a technique taught by Arthur Morris, in a cloudy situation, point your camera at the cloudy sky. Set your exposure at about 3 stops more light than that. If the subject has white areas, 3 stops will be too much light, if the bird has black areas, 3 stops might not be enough. If it has both (and bald eagles are close enough), then you go with what works for the whites. Depending on the cloud cover, this may vary from time to time, so reset as needed.

    Note what that means for these eagle pictures. If I had just told the camera to figure out what the best settings were to expose, I would have had a nice image of clouds with a black silhouette of an eagle. I had to know that what I wanted was correct exposure of the eagle, not the whole scene. The camera can't know that, so the operator has to take greater control of the exposure.

    Shoot at something close to the tonality that you will be capturing and review for "blinkies" and look at the histogram. Add or subtract light as needed. Usually, this can get you to the right exposure for the scene relatively quickly. Always capture as close to overexposing as possible (exposing to the right, or ETTR). It's very easy to darken a scene if it is brighter than reality, but lightening up a dark scene is more problematic.

    Capture using RAW if the camera supports it. This allows greater latitude when editing the image.

    Once I brought the Eagle shots into Lightroom, I raised the shadows to bring some detail into the dark areas. In this case Lightroom is aptly named, it's very good at adjusting the light of any given part of an image. You can make light areas darker and dark areas lighter. How much adjustment depends on the actual data in the original, if the area is too dark, there isn't enough information to maintain the detail in the dark areas as it is lightened, and it will start to look blotchy or posterized. This also occurs when compression is applied when producing a final image.
    I can't even begin to describe how much i would love to follow you around some day and have you show me how to make my camera do even a quarter of what it is probably capable of. Seriously.

  13. #1093

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eddie View Post
    I can't even begin to describe how much i would love to follow you around some day and have you show me how to make my camera do even a quarter of what it is probably capable of. Seriously.
    Art posted this way back in this thread:

    http://camerasim.com/apps/original-camerasim/web//

    Playing with that simulator can teach someone just about everything they need to know. It has background versus foreground, motion, distance, focal length, lighting, etc. Cameras can be complicated, but ignoring zoom/focusing (which are really the lens anyway, even though with autofocus the camera tells the lens what adjustments to make) for now, almost all other camera features control only 3 settings. Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO. Getting familiar with what changing those 3 things does is where to start.

    It's an interesting change in the market of photography in the last decade or two, it used to be photographers could make decent money selling images, that is no longer true except in the cases of portrait and event photography--but even that is affected by the "mommy photographers". Why spend hundreds on a photo-shoot when you can spend that much and buy a camera perfectly capable of delivering high quality shots? As with many other markets, many photographers make money selling services now, training, online tutorials, photo tours, etc. Teaching others how to use the ridiculously good equipment that is available for very reasonable prices.

    I've never taken a class or course in photography, everything is readily available on the internet. Tons and tons of free content where you can virtually follow a professional photographer and learn from them. Some people of course learn better/quicker by having someone walk through things. You can probably find a "rent-a-trainer" photographer just about anywhere.

    If you want to take seven free lessons from Art Morris, try this:

    http://www.learn.usa.canon.com/galle...t_morris.shtml

    That being said, anyone ever in the Portland, OR general area is free to contact me. I'm a hobbiest, I don't do this professionally, I have a ton still to learn, so it's fun to just go out play.

  14. #1094

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    Quote Originally Posted by Copelius View Post
    I meant to do this before--and not in anyway trying disparage the original. It just reminded me how much of modern digital photography is learning editing techniques. Many times when people question why they can't take photos like that, they can, it's the wrong question. The right question is how do I edit my photos to look like that?

    EagleEdited2.jpg
    Attached Images Attached Images

  15. #1095

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    Quote Originally Posted by swampfrog View Post
    I meant to do this before--and not in anyway trying disparage the original. It just reminded me how much of modern digital photography is learning editing techniques. Many times when people question why they can't take photos like that, they can, it's the wrong question. The right question is how do I edit my photos to look like that?

    EagleEdited2.jpg
    I actually had edited it, but I am still learning as one can tell.
    ďEvery player dreams of being a Yankee, and if they donít itís because they never got the chance.Ē Aroldis Chapman

  16. #1096

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    Quote Originally Posted by Copelius View Post
    I actually had edited it, but I am still learning as one can tell.
    If you don't mind me asking, what did you use to take the original? What editing changes did you make and why?

    I really only applied two types of adjustments. Both learned from participating in a forum dedicated to image critiquing. Where everyone comments on alternative editing and still remain constructive.

    Lesson one that I learned is that most people will have a preference for an image (especially nature) with high contrast. There are various tools for adding contrast to an image, some simple, some more complex. One aspect is global, the image usually works best when some part has nearly full white, and another part has near full black. Another is to target a specific range of tonalities. In this case I thought there was too little contrast in the lighter tones, so I increased it.

    The only other change I made is the sky. Aqua tones work for water, but usually too much green looks unnatural for a sky. Most people have a strong expectation for blue skies, it can easily distract the viewer when it does not meet that expectation. I took some green out of the sky.

    Apologies if I offended.

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  17. #1097

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    Quote Originally Posted by swampfrog View Post
    If you don't mind me asking, what did you use to take the original? What editing changes did you make and why?

    I really only applied two types of adjustments. Both learned from participating in a forum dedicated to image critiquing. Where everyone comments on alternative editing and still remain constructive.

    Lesson one that I learned is that most people will have a preference for an image (especially nature) with high contrast. There are various tools for adding contrast to an image, some simple, some more complex. One aspect is global, the image usually works best when some part has nearly full white, and another part has near full black. Another is to target a specific range of tonalities. In this case I thought there was too little contrast in the lighter tones, so I increased it.

    The only other change I made is the sky. Aqua tones work for water, but usually too much green looks unnatural for a sky. Most people have a strong expectation for blue skies, it can easily distract the viewer when it does not meet that expectation. I took some green out of the sky.

    Apologies if I offended.

    Sent from my P00I using Tapatalk
    No offense at all. I use a Nikon D7200 with a 70-300mm extended to 300mm, f7.1, 1/3200, ISO 800. I cannot remember the edits I made but they were pretty simple dealing with contrast and brightness, likely with the editor on the Flickr website.

    I would have to be a lot more confident in my shooting and editing abilities to take offense at any criticism, especially from someone who has a lot more experience than I do and whose work I admire. Now if you were to criticize my singing . . .
    ďEvery player dreams of being a Yankee, and if they donít itís because they never got the chance.Ē Aroldis Chapman

  18. #1098

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    Quote Originally Posted by Copelius View Post
    No offense at all. I use a Nikon D7200 with a 70-300mm extended to 300mm, f7.1, 1/3200, ISO 800. I cannot remember the edits I made but they were pretty simple dealing with contrast and brightness, likely with the editor on the Flickr website.

    I would have to be a lot more confident in my shooting and editing abilities to take offense at any criticism, especially from someone who has a lot more experience than I do and whose work I admire. Now if you were to criticize my singing . . .
    Did you shoot jpeg, post to flickr and adjust there? I wouldn't mind taking a look at the original. Did you crop? The link you posted to this forum links to a lower resolution (800 x 534) rendition of the original (unless this was a very significant crop). A quick check shows the 7200 contains a 24 Mp (6000 x 4000) sensor. At the settings you posted, if you were able to get close, there should be a lot to work with.

    Took a look at the editor available on flickr, it has more that I thought it would, but still only a very basic set of functionality. Investing in post-processing (in both tools and time) can really benefit the overall look and feel of images.

  19. #1099

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    Quote Originally Posted by swampfrog View Post
    Did you shoot jpeg, post to flickr and adjust there? I wouldn't mind taking a look at the original. Did you crop? The link you posted to this forum links to a lower resolution (800 x 534) rendition of the original (unless this was a very significant crop). A quick check shows the 7200 contains a 24 Mp (6000 x 4000) sensor. At the settings you posted, if you were able to get close, there should be a lot to work with.

    Took a look at the editor available on flickr, it has more that I thought it would, but still only a very basic set of functionality. Investing in post-processing (in both tools and time) can really benefit the overall look and feel of images.
    Looking back at the original, I guess I didn't get around to the editing on that one. I had played with it but ultimately posted the unedited version. The size was based on the share option in flickr. Here is the original size run through photoshop elements. Thanks for your continued pointers.
    ďEvery player dreams of being a Yankee, and if they donít itís because they never got the chance.Ē Aroldis Chapman

  20. #1100

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    Quote Originally Posted by Copelius View Post
    Looking back at the original, I guess I didn't get around to the editing on that one. I had played with it but ultimately posted the unedited version. The size was based on the share option in flickr. Here is the original size run through photoshop elements. Thanks for your continued pointers.
    That's nice given the conditions. The light areas around the head are completely blown, but that is the best choice to maintain detail elsewhere. Does elements have an option to remove chromatic aberrations? That's the slight purple fringes that you see around the branches. A lot of software will remove that automatically. Almost all lenses have a bit, especially when pointed towards a light source. Purple or green usually.

    Sent from my P00I using Tapatalk

  21. #1101

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    Went out again with the goal of showing what the 2x extender can do on the 70-200. Looking for a perched bird.

    1/1250 f/5.6 ISO 1600
    I uploaded this at 2048 pixels (I think that is the Facebook max) tall to preserve detail when downloaded. Wanted to show how much detail/sharpness is there in a higher resolution image. To really see that best quality, download the image and make sure you are using a viewer capable of viewing at actual size. If the properties of the .jpg don't show 1638 x 2048 (8 x 10) you retrieved a scaled down version.


    1/400 f/5.6 ISO 400
    Last edited by swampfrog; 02-19-2017 at 10:38 AM. Reason: add other image

  22. #1102
    Local Character clackamascoug's Avatar
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    Swampy - I'm always pleased to view your work. That last one might be worth some money.

    When poet puts pen to paper imagination breathes life, finding hearth and home.
    -Mid Summer's Night Dream


  23. #1103

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    Quote Originally Posted by clackamascoug View Post
    Swampy - I'm always pleased to view your work. That last one might be worth some money.
    Hardly anyone buys images anymore, at least not for any significant amount of money. This particular bird seems to hang out on the same post quite often about 20 feet from the road. Probably a good 20 people got nearly that same image. There is some money in event shooting, but nature, landscape, and wildlife are dead ends unless you're selling teaching, training, or tours. I print some from time to time to hang in the house (mostly landscape), but other than that it's a hobby, which is rewarding enough in the sharing of images with friends, acquaintances, and complete strangers. I appreciate the opportunity to post here.

  24. #1104

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    Went out to Antelope Island the other day. Didn't need any kind of zoom.



    Also played with some filters to make the picture look old. Still need some work but having more fun.

    ďEvery player dreams of being a Yankee, and if they donít itís because they never got the chance.Ē Aroldis Chapman

  25. #1105

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    Quote Originally Posted by Copelius View Post
    Went out to Antelope Island the other day. Didn't need any kind of zoom.
    This is nice. The horizon doesn't cut through the animal, which is good. The colors tones are nice. If you could just get him to pull his head up and look at you next time!

  26. #1106

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    Quote Originally Posted by swampfrog View Post
    This is nice. The horizon doesn't cut through the animal, which is good. The colors tones are nice. If you could just get him to pull his head up and look at you next time!
    As close as we were, I didn't want him getting any ideas
    ďEvery player dreams of being a Yankee, and if they donít itís because they never got the chance.Ē Aroldis Chapman

  27. #1107

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    Quote Originally Posted by Copelius View Post
    As close as we were, I didn't want him getting any ideas
    I remember watching a presentation from Randy Hanna who does African Safari tours. Quick pointers for shooting compelling images for 4-legged animals include the following:

    1. Two eyes
    2. At least 3 legs
    3. The tail

    For the eyes, he said you don't have to get the full 2nd eye, just some characteristic of it, lashes, contour of the socket, etc.

    He told a story how he had got this image:



    Laying down on the ground, he said he had done this enough to learn that elephants will usually feint charge 2-3 times before fully committing, but he also has another safari driver waiting to the side to put a vehicle between the elephant and him if he guesses wrong.

    Safari participants don't get to attempt this shot.

  28. #1108

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    Clouds and mountains played nicely together coming home from Wyoming today.
    ďEvery player dreams of being a Yankee, and if they donít itís because they never got the chance.Ē Aroldis Chapman

  29. #1109

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    Sometimes, it's just about the clouds



    Around the refuge without the long lens attached



    Still not happy with my processing with fog in the frame, I always lose the sense of depth that is there, but this one isn't bad


  30. #1110
    it's all a blur mtnbiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swampfrog View Post
    Sometimes, it's just about the clouds
    Would you like to try your hand at this one? It was a really strange, boiling cloud formation, more dramatic than my cell phone could capture.


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