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Author Topic: Losing interest in Photography due to "Sucky" setup  (Read 8189 times)

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Offline Beachbum888

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Losing interest in Photography due to "Sucky" setup
« on: July 12, 2014, 03:29:58 PM »
I'm now at the crossroads... anyone have any suggestions? In general, my problem is lack of sharpness and richness in color. As a result, I just end up using my GoPro instead (since they practically have the same quality and color)

Current setup is a Canon 40D, 50mm 1.8, 55-250IS kit zoom lens?, 18-55IS kit lens, Sigma 24-55 2.8, Canon 70-200 2.8

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Losing interest in Photography due to "Sucky" setup
« on: July 12, 2014, 03:29:58 PM »

Offline nowell

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Re: Losing interest in Photography due to "Sucky" setup
« Reply #1 on: July 12, 2014, 04:45:26 PM »
I'm also a canon user.. 60d + 50mm 1.8.. that's also my experiences for the first 3months using a dslr.. i know a member here who only uses just like my setup and his photos are amazing.. May i ask if you're a newbie like me.. i think your not a beginner with the lenses you have.. This morning i read an article in petapixel.. It's not always about the gear but more importantly it's you..your skills as a photographer.. http://petapixel.com/2014/07/11/simple-chart-every-photographer-keep-back-pocket-reminder/

In your case there are many factors why your'e getting lack of sharpness and contrast photos.. Please do check your gear first..make some experiments..compare.. Second check your skills..your photos can be enhanced in post processing with the powerful software programs use by pro photographers like photoshop,lr,aperture etc.. please do post your photos here.. so that others can see the reason behind your experienced.. include your camera settings.. it will also be helpful if you provide a downloadable link of your photos..raw format..

this is just a beginners advice..


Offline retina

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Re: Losing interest in Photography due to "Sucky" setup
« Reply #2 on: July 12, 2014, 08:39:55 PM »
I'm now at the crossroads... anyone have any suggestions? In general, my problem is lack of sharpness and richness in color. As a result, I just end up using my GoPro instead (since they practically have the same quality and color)

Current setup is a Canon 40D, 50mm 1.8, 55-250IS kit zoom lens?, 18-55IS kit lens, Sigma 24-55 2.8, Canon 70-200 2.8
How long have you been using your gear. What is your experience in photography? You have a very nice setup.

Offline big blue cheese

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Re: Losing interest in Photography due to "Sucky" setup
« Reply #3 on: July 12, 2014, 09:38:24 PM »
your "sucky" setup may not be the reason why you seem to lose interest in photography. you claim that there is a lack in clarity and vibrance in color but perhaps it isn't the "fault" of your gear but more on learning how to maximize your gear.

i know so little of gopro's capabilities but you may be comparing apples to oranges if i am not mistaken.

i have read stories of great photographers accused of having great photos because of their gear. so they were given a simple point and shoot camera and the output was still amazing.

also, what if you change the type of photogaphy you are currently into. for example, if you are into landscape photography right now, why not try portraits, street photography, still art, and see where it would take you.

better yet, why not enroll in a basic photography seminar like the one being offered by Jo Avila?

when i started in photography, out of 200 shots, only 5 were good ones. the rest lack sharpness, composition, drama, and just about anything. after a couple of years, my landscape shots are still below average. i found the colors so boring and monotonous.

that is how i got interested in infrared photography, most especially monochrome infrared images.

so my advice to you...don't give up yet. don't be so hard on yourself. for all we know, you may just be criticizing your work at such high standards while your work may be really amazing to others who see them.

it isn't our setup or our gear that we sometimes need to change....it might also be our lack of knowledge from what we are doing  ;)
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Re: Losing interest in Photography due to "Sucky" setup
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2014, 02:14:12 AM »
@Beachbum888,

I don't think you're lacking interest. I think you're simply frustrated. Those are different feelings. :)

Here's my advice. Out of all the photos you have shot, pick the worst... yung pinaka-pangit mong shot. Then the next time you go out shooting, compare your new shots with that ugliest shot. See if thing improve. Don't under-estimate the value of practice.

Your list of gear sounds good. If you're a newbie, it takes a while for one's skill to match up the capabilities of your tools. Just don't lose patience. Good luck.  :)

Offline Beachbum888

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Re: Losing interest in Photography due to "Sucky" setup
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2014, 02:58:47 AM »
First of all, thank you very much for your honest replies and great advice.  Yeah, maybe I'm more frustrated than losing interest since I always love to zoom in my photos (ala CSI) to see the itsy bitsy details.  Been shooting ever since I got my first digital camera in '98 I think.  It was an Epson PhotoPC 700.  Always was amazed how I could just upload a picture to a website I was making without using a scanner anymore.  Also the richness and crispness of the photos it produced back then were awesome! Later migrated to Fuji Finepix and Olympus (lcd Tiltable).  Loved the Fuji most out of the point and shoot cameras.  The colors and sharpness of my photographs were out of this era :) But wanting more, I finally decided to shift to DLSR, this was when the Canon 40D first came out.  Actually, I trusted the name too much that I just went with the 40D without even doing my homework as to checking the specs, sample shots etc.  It came with the kit lens plus i got the zoom lens so i could also shoot far away objects.  Since day 3, my complaint has always been the lack of richness in color and sharpness or crispness of the photos I take.  Mostly take family pictures by the way, and sometimes landscapes... So as a result, I would always enhance my pictures in Photoshop.  This was getting tiring and my library was building... til I just got sawa and just decided to buy a goPro since my gear was getting to be too bulky (especially with the 70-200 zoom lens).  That thing alone already filled up half of the camera compartment of my slingshot bag.  So basically, I love to take shots but I dont like to tinker so much with settings.  Always keep it in Program mode unless i want to overexpose or under expose a shot.  Hope you get what I mean. :)

Here are examples of my pictures: the one of Cory's burial is untouched while the one of Pinatubo Crater I may have tweaked a bit in Photoshop :)

PRES CORY AQUINO's CONVOY SLEX
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=126649033736&set=a.125706183736.99768.696603736&type=3&src=https%3A%2F%2Ffbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net%2Fhphotos-ak-xpa1%2Ft1.0-9%2F1916944_126649033736_5458967_n.jpg&size=604%2C408

INSIDE PINATUBO CRATER
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150245849928737&set=a.321504443736.147952.696603736&type=3&src=https%3A%2F%2Ffbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net%2Fhphotos-ak-xpf1%2Ft31.0-8%2F279862_10150245849928737_941998_o.jpg&smallsrc=https%3A%2F%2Ffbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net%2Fhphotos-ak-frc3%2Ft1.0-9%2F264617_10150245849928737_941998_n.jpg&size=806%2C539

Offline ajfudge

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Re: Losing interest in Photography due to "Sucky" setup
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2014, 03:56:47 AM »
@beachbum888

You have been shooting far longer than I. :)
I haven't used the 450D nor the GoPro so I really can't comment on those.  :P
Anyway, Facebook says "content currently unavailable", so I can't see your photos.

Offline Beachbum888

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Re: Losing interest in Photography due to "Sucky" setup
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2014, 05:11:41 AM »
is there a way to attach photos here? :)

Offline retina

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Re: Losing interest in Photography due to "Sucky" setup
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2014, 11:00:40 AM »
is there a way to attach photos here? :)
At least you should have a flickr account or similar application to embed photos here.

Offline romzL

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Re: Losing interest in Photography due to "Sucky" setup
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2014, 02:40:33 PM »
Based on what you say, I think one of the reason could also be the size of your gears. Bringing bulky DSLR with their big and heavy lenses is indeed frustrating and tiring most of the time so you will just end up leaving them at home and be contended with just your mobile phone or the Go Pro as you have said since its very light, handy and can give you "almost" the same output.
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Offline Beachbum888

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Re: Losing interest in Photography due to "Sucky" setup
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2014, 03:08:40 PM »
Bro, I cant see anything wrong with your pics..practice lang and a little improvement in composition..the Pinatubo pic is great  :)

Offline retina

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Offline Beachbum888

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Re: Losing interest in Photography due to "Sucky" setup
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2014, 03:34:01 PM »
Sorry but what is a BB code? Thanks Oggy, but my problem is lack of color and sharpness. the pinatubo is ok kse namanipulate ko na sya sa ps. :)
« Last Edit: July 13, 2014, 04:00:26 PM by Beachbum888 »

Offline leekumkee

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Re: Losing interest in Photography due to "Sucky" setup
« Reply #14 on: July 13, 2014, 04:20:32 PM »
Sorry but what is a BB code? Thanks Oggy, but my problem is lack of color and sharpness. the pinatubo is ok kse namanipulate ko na sya sa ps. :)


May option sa Flickr to share your photos, ung picture na parang arrow, click mo un tapos makikita mo BBC code, copy and paste mo sa forum ung ma generate na link.

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Offline arkiroms

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Re: Losing interest in Photography due to "Sucky" setup
« Reply #15 on: July 13, 2014, 04:28:20 PM »
Actually you can post a photo using your FB, just click on the photo then right click > copy image url, after that type these without spaces in between > [i m g] *paste url here* [/i m g]

URL should end with ".jpg"

Btw, ano ba ang paborito mo i-shoot? Do you have a preferred genre or kahit ano lang? Different fields require different sets of gear, skills, time, etc. Baka din kulang ka lang ng inspiration kaya ka nafu-frustrate sa shots mo...
« Last Edit: July 13, 2014, 04:32:20 PM by arkiroms »

Offline retina

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Re: Losing interest in Photography due to "Sucky" setup
« Reply #16 on: July 13, 2014, 07:32:04 PM »
Tingnan mo yong mga shots ng partner ko  ;D :D ...super ganda naman ng mga insecto ah!!Kung pang National Geographic ang expectation mo ibang usapan na yan. Try viewing your pics in a big computer screen o kaya print mo para mainspire ka.Kong OOC na jpegs ang gusto mo ,di ba kailangan i-tweak yong camera settings sa shooting menu.Daming Canon user dito pwede ka nilang mainspire.

Offline ajfudge

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Re: Losing interest in Photography due to "Sucky" setup
« Reply #17 on: July 13, 2014, 07:54:18 PM »
Beachbum888,

Di ko alam kung ano ang tawag ng Canon sa Picture Control (Saturation ba?). You could try adjusting that and see if it meets your needs. Play with your camera's settings.

Baka kasi yung type of look that you're aiming for is an HDR image. Iba talaga ng look ng HDR pagdating sa colors. That's something that needs to be done in HDR software. If yun nga ang aim mo, mag-Exposure bracket ka and stack your image in PS or HDR-dedicated software.

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Re: Losing interest in Photography due to "Sucky" setup
« Reply #18 on: July 13, 2014, 08:47:31 PM »
Checkout the link below Bro, it could be of help..

http://digital-photography-school.com/using-canons-picture-styles/

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Re: Losing interest in Photography due to "Sucky" setup
« Reply #19 on: July 13, 2014, 09:07:53 PM »
Thank you for all your helpful tips... Honestly I consider myself the least bit of a perfectionist. All I'm after for is nice quality shots that I can zoom in and yet not be so pixelized. When it comes to colors, I want my shots to be vibrant without any manipulation whatsoever. Since day 7 with my 40D, I've had this feeling that I bought the wrong brand :p in fact sometimes I even tell myself that I may have even gotten a lemon unit. So happens that I was even getting clearer pictures with my non DLSR Fuji Finepix s2000. Now I am contemplating whether I would sell everything and start from scratch or just stick with a decent point and shoot nalang since there are so many nowadays. :(

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Re: Losing interest in Photography due to "Sucky" setup
« Reply #20 on: July 14, 2014, 12:16:53 AM »
You'll have to understand that DSLR's are a completely different animal from P&S.

There are so many things you can tinker with on a DSLR that if you really don't know what you're doing it will really leave you disappointed. First things first, learn how to use your camera.

Quote
So basically, I love to take shots but I dont like to tinker so much with settings.  Always keep it in Program mode unless i want to overexpose or under expose a shot.  Hope you get what I mean.

Not exploring what your camera can do will indeed always leave you lacking and wanting. Laziness and instant gratification is one of the biggest hindrances any photographer will come across that will get in the way from being a good photog to a great photog.

Quote
All I'm after for is nice quality shots that I can zoom in and yet not be so pixelized. When it comes to colors, I want my shots to be vibrant without any manipulation whatsoever

These are 2 very simple problems you are encountering. You may have just not set your camera to the largest available file size it can deliver. As for colors, I know Canon DSLR's have several presets that you can switch from, or if that still doesn't work for you, there's white balance.

I cannot re-iterate this enough to any of my friends who ask about something they do not understand about their newly bought gadget:Refer to the manual.
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Offline Beachbum888

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Re: Losing interest in Photography due to "Sucky" setup
« Reply #21 on: July 14, 2014, 12:49:53 AM »
Thank you CoffeeBugg/Wich for your very informative reply :)  Believe me, I've already done so many experimental shots on this 40D of mine ever since purchasing it back in 2007.  One majot issue I have with my setup is when i take group shots or even solo shots of ppl during daytime.  For instance, my son plays baseball so I often take shots of him in the field.  Most in not all the time, I find my shots either perfectly exposed in everything but the facial area.  If i tinker with settings I will end up overexposing the sky to get the right exposure of my sons face...
Let me attach samples so u know what I mean:

258, facial area too dark
280, facial area too dark
004, overexposed in everyway possible (background/foreground)

When I use my flash and medyo closeup shots naman, I am more satisfied... Pero kung pwede sana sharper yun image when I zoom in, then GREAT! :)
like with this:
, on Flickr
, on Flickr
, on Flickr
, But notice that you can't see the lower part that clearly since it appears too dark.  But with the visual eye, it is visibly better. :(
« Last Edit: July 14, 2014, 01:16:13 AM by Beachbum888 »

Offline arkiroms

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Re: Losing interest in Photography due to "Sucky" setup
« Reply #22 on: July 14, 2014, 01:57:52 AM »
Outdoor shots are really tricky especially when taken under the harsh afternoon sun, it's either you use flash (a really strong one for long shots) or reflector.

I think your situation is not about gear but proper technique, knowledge and experience on using your gear. Don't get stuck on P Mode, experiment with Manual, Aperture or Shutter Priorities to get your desired exposure.


In an attempt to provide a little inspiration, if any, here is a sample outdoor shot of mine under a harsh afternoon sun using Canon 40D and 18-55 kit lens, same as yours. No flash used, just a reflector to light up her beautiful face. This is SOOC (straight out of camera) by the way.

Joyce by RomyrMariano, on Flickr

This one I used 40D and 24-70L @70mm so you can say she's a bit far away from me, flash is fired here. Again this is SOOC.

Mica by RomyrMariano, on Flickr

Pansinin mo parang mas matingkad pa kulay nung kuha sa kit lens kumpara sa kuha sa L. ;D

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Re: Losing interest in Photography due to "Sucky" setup
« Reply #23 on: July 14, 2014, 02:17:01 AM »
That's just my point.  I guess I'll classify myself as the Lazy photographer nga... Pano kse like when I'm traveling at wala ako dalang reflector.  What I probably need is a camera that doesn't need the extra accessories to get the desired output.  Nakakainis kse like when I use other brands for instance, and I get better results pa... i guess important rin talaga yun STRRROOOOOOOONG flash.  All I'm using is a 430EX kse, parang bitin na bitin :(
« Last Edit: July 14, 2014, 02:23:06 AM by Beachbum888 »

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Re: Losing interest in Photography due to "Sucky" setup
« Reply #24 on: July 14, 2014, 08:42:34 AM »
You need to work a little more harder in your camera before you can nail the desired shots that you are wishing for.Even before taking the shot at least you have an idea what your shots will appear before pushing the button. It is a man-machine combo. It is should be that way IMHO. You should know what your camera could and could not do.There are plenty of compensation dial or menu driven option when you want to push the camera's limit. Shortcomings will be done in PP. If you are OC, even the seems so perfect exposure still needs a little tweaking. However it depends on the individual's taste and preference. It is frustrating indeed if you can't get a bit of a success. Success breeds Success. That feeling is a reminiscent of people during their early stage in Photography. They work harder by reading ,studying, going to classes. The most important is practice,practice, practice. I will still go to school someday when I will have my time. Maybe when I will retire. I know I can do more with photography but the lack of schooling and time to practice limits my ability. I never blamed my gear, they are just inanimate object that can't decide on their own.

Now( this is a BI and don't take this seriously...he he he bahala ka but this is just to make you smile) if you don't really want Canon's system then go and look for something that fits your style. Oly has a good jpeg output in IMHO or you can come to MAMA Fuji (beautiful colors, ha ha ha ha). I am using my x100s as an expensive P@S( minsan lang naman) and I still get the results that I wanted. I shoot with it in Jpeg, most of the time partner ArKI ( I don't have the gift like you...high 5 for you on nice portrait. I am so inspired on what the aging 40D can do in the right hands)....OT na at BI pa ..back to the topic guys. Peace and Cheers.

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Re: Losing interest in Photography due to "Sucky" setup
« Reply #25 on: July 14, 2014, 09:48:17 AM »
sir dun sa shots kasi maraming naka-white and yung isa ang bright ng background kaya akala ng camera maliwanag na yung exposure,,ang hindi alam ng camera yung face ng person ang gusto natin maliwanag kaya ang result madilim yung face and correct yung exposure ng white shirt..

flash will do the trick pag outdoors gaya ng sample ni Romyr..even the pop up flash can do it basta hindi masyado malayo..

yung toy na tank maganda ang exposure..galing sa camera left yung bounce ng flash..


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Re: Losing interest in Photography due to &quot;Sucky&quot; setup
« Reply #26 on: July 27, 2014, 08:32:59 PM »
Try to learn how to play with picture control it helps in jpeg:) dont let it pull you down. Getting sharp shots takes practice. Alamin mo lang yun kiliti ng focus ng cam mo.
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    • images from two dimensions
  • Camera: Canon Lumix
  • Field: Landscape
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Re: Losing interest in Photography due to "Sucky" setup
« Reply #27 on: July 28, 2014, 10:02:31 AM »
That's just my point.  I guess I'll classify myself as the Lazy photographer nga... Pano kse like when I'm traveling at wala ako dalang reflector.  What I probably need is a camera that doesn't need the extra accessories to get the desired output.  Nakakainis kse like when I use other brands for instance, and I get better results pa... i guess important rin talaga yun STRRROOOOOOOONG flash.  All I'm using is a 430EX kse, parang bitin na bitin :(

I see a word 'lazy' in your post. Laziness won't get you anywhere in your chosen craft, but rather an armchair shooter. Noted photographers work hard to get the shot they wanted be it for web posting and printing. Try reading articles and books on photography. Then work hard to improve you images by exploiting your gear. Learn to walk the extra mile to make a difference. Keep on shooting the free world. cheers!

Offline vorzavage

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Re: Losing interest in Photography due to "Sucky" setup
« Reply #28 on: October 05, 2014, 09:38:30 PM »
Sa portrait eto ang pinakasharp na combination kaso Micro 4/3 lang. Olympus EM1 at 75 mm na lens. Wala ka nang hahanapin pa  ;)

Offline FredThomasPhoto

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Re: Losing interest in Photography due to "Sucky" setup
« Reply #29 on: November 16, 2014, 12:21:05 PM »
Pinatubo: https://www.flickr.com/photos/23396893@N06/14641166295/
Cory Burial: https://www.flickr.com/photos/23396893@N06/14454560798/

Looking at your images they are under exposed.  That causes any number of problems from noise in the shadows to flat looking images with no punch.  I shot with 5D Mk II's before switching over to Fujifilm X Series.

The 40D has a 12 bit sensor that can differentiate 4,094 (= 212) tonal values that it must pack into some 9 exposure values.

The first 1/2 or 2,047 tonal values are on the highlight side.  Divide that in half and the next 1/4 only gets 1,023.  Divide that in half as we head towards the shadow side of the histogram and the next
1/4 only gets 512 (+/-) and the shadow 1/4 only has 260 bits of data!

So you simply need to "Expose To The Right" pushing it up against the right side of the histogram, BUT NOT OVER AND CLIPPING your highlights.  The first two quarters from the right hold all that great color and image data to make your images will jump off the screen!  Promise!

You will know you are getting the desired exposures when you have to make Minus Exposure Adjustments in PhotoShop or Lightroom (or whatever you use).   You will be shocked at how much image data can be recovered doing this.

Learn how the 40D metering system does its job.  It is reflected metering.  If you used a light meter and measured the light falling on the subject (Ambient Light Meter) and used that Aperture / Shutter Speed the problem would solve itself and you might not understand why.  But now you do know why.

The shadow area only has 256 bits of data out of the 4,094!

Let me know how it goes please!  I know you are going to fall in love with your gear all over again when you start getting the results you want.  You asked a great question!  You described what you did not like.  Now you know how to fix it.

Cheers
Fred

Sorry for such a long answer, but I wanted you to know what the problem is, why the problem exists but more importantly you now know how to fix it.

« Last Edit: November 16, 2014, 12:24:08 PM by FredThomasPhoto »
"The visible world is no longer a reality and the unseen world is no longer a dream."  W.B. Yeats

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