LGW
Topic Author
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Joined: Thu Jun 01, 2000 6:07 pm

Aviation Photography, What's Changed?

Sat Sep 02, 2006 8:01 pm

Hi all,

Before I start I want to state this isn't a rant about 'the good old days' etc!

I am 22 and have been into aviation photography since I was about 14 and it may only be 4 years but I have a huge amount of prints taken between 1998-2002 (prior to going digital). When I go through them to sort them or just to look down memory lane so to speak I have great memories and really enjoy the prints, even poor quality shots, bad weather/angles etc all good stuff, and it's a feeling I just don't get with my digital work either on-screen or from digital prints.

I love digital, what it offers and it has opened up my photography to a new dimension but I wonder whether others here have similar experiences of their old prints or slides? What is it, is it that the shots are older and so the content is rarer and more interesting, perhaps that they were my formative years and so it was all new to me, I didn't have the photography knowledge I have now, or that in those years I would go to the airport and shoot regardless of traffic or weather, something I can't and don't do anymore, maybe because the traffic was much more interesting during those years, all the generic brandings and common fleets now perhaps have an impact, maybe because I see so many thousands of shots online now that before I did my shots were more special to me?

I'm not sure what it is and I find it hard to explain or reason, it just seems to me that my prints are of much more value to me and I treasure them more then my digital work, even though the work and quality is less.

Wonder if anyone else shares this experience with their photography or not and if so whether you have any ideas as to why it may be the case

Cheers

Ben
 
lasham
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RE: Aviation Photography, What's Changed?

Sat Sep 02, 2006 8:47 pm

Quoting LGW (Thread starter):
I'm not sure what it is and I find it hard to explain or reason, it just seems to me that my prints are of much more value to me and I treasure them more then my digital work, even though the work and quality is less.

Hi Ben

Must be raining in Sussex!

Old shots are always going to be of more value to you as good chance the Airline or aircraft is now history. You tend to get a buzz when taking the first shot of something but after seeing it ten times it becomes part of the scene and no longer holds any importnace. Give it time and your early digi shots will start to be of more interest to you and you will value them.

I call this the Trident factor, as when I started in 1979 LHR the most common aircaft at LHR were BA Tridents, so at the time I took very few shots of them and did not put them in the albums as too common. But now the few I did take are of extra value to me.

Give it time!

Tony
No sun no fun
 
G-CIVP
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RE: Aviation Photography, What's Changed?

Sat Sep 02, 2006 8:55 pm

Part of the problem is that the aviation scene is increasingly dominated by the larger carriers rather than smaller airlines. The operators at LHR are an obvious example, so you don't get the variety one would aspire to. Also, once you've seen what you wanted to see, it does lose its fizz!
 
Lumix
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Joined: Wed Sep 29, 2004 8:55 pm

RE: Aviation Photography, What's Changed?

Sat Sep 02, 2006 9:32 pm

Quoting Lasham (Reply 1):
Must be raining in Sussex!

It is! Otherwise I wouldn't be reading this!  Smile

Despite the gloom, I managed to see 3-Spitfires this morning heading home to Duxford from Goodwood!
 
Granite
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RE: Aviation Photography, What's Changed?

Sat Sep 02, 2006 9:35 pm

Ben

You are beginning to show your age old man!

I know what you mean. I have tons of old prints up in the loft, many with bad quality but would not part with them at all.

Like Tony I remember seeing lots of Tridents at ABZ but never photographed them all because they were there all the time. Wish I did now.

Over time those digital images on CD's and DVD's will be the same as prints so photograph as much as you can even though it looks boring.

Regards

Gary
 
Airplanepics
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RE: Aviation Photography, What's Changed?

Sat Sep 02, 2006 10:03 pm

So basically, start shooting those BA A319/320's!  Wink

Simon.
Simon - London-Aviation.com
 
Granite
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RE: Aviation Photography, What's Changed?

Sat Sep 02, 2006 10:09 pm

Simon

Quoting Airplanepics (Reply 5):
So basically, start shooting those BA A319/320's!

 checkmark 

Regards

Gary
 
sulman
Posts: 1963
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RE: Aviation Photography, What's Changed?

Sat Sep 02, 2006 10:20 pm

Mick Bajcar advocates the 'shoot everything' approach. It doesn't seem to make much sense when you're dreadfully bored of whatever frequents your airport frequently.

But one day, they're gone.


James
It takes a big man to admit they are wrong, and I am not a big man.
 
Haskey
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RE: Aviation Photography, What's Changed?

Sat Sep 02, 2006 10:26 pm

I started my aviation interest in 1975 and didn't even have a camera when I first started. I work in Air Trafic Control and I started at Southampton airport in ATC in 1979 and there were no hassles with security and I had perfect ramp access for pictures. I didn't bother taking hardly any pictures of BA Viscounts, BIA Heralds, Argosys, Invicta Britannias, Vanguards but concentrated on biz jets, light aircraft and visitors more than the 'common' Viscounts and Heralds that were flying in and out every day. What a wonderful thing hindsight is.

Security problems and lack of viewing facilities at UK airports except Manchester has made the hobby less accessible than it was years ago. The variety of aircraft has changed as well with it now either being Boeing or Airbus. Remember the days of Tridents, VC10, 1-11, Caravelle, DC8/9/10, B707 and more. At the time watching at Heathrow how boring it became watching Trident after Trident but what would you give today to see a Trident flying. Even BA A319's might be rare one day but because of the digital camera the pictures probably wont be rare.

The advent of the digital camera has made taking pictures easier. Give it time and look back at some of your early digital shots and I expect even now there will be airlines/aircraft that are no longer around. Without the cost of film allows you to be more experimental and creative which perhaps you might not have wasted film on before.

Interesting topic Ben. Thanks for the discussion.
 
Lumix
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RE: Aviation Photography, What's Changed?

Sun Sep 03, 2006 3:27 am

It's not just the BA Tridents etc. that one misses but also the even more mundane things like local Flying club Cherokees!

I had an e-mail via one of my old photos of some of the Glasgow Flying Club residents back in the 70's when this chap was learning to fly. We had a great discussion about all the different A/C used by the club at that time.

Sadly only a few of them are on the database to rekindle the memories!

So keep shooting all those local boring Cessnas and Cherokees. One day someone will be glad you did! Digital or Analogue!
 
iRISH251
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RE: Aviation Photography, What's Changed?

Sun Sep 03, 2006 5:41 am

The trick is to recognise and photograph now the types that are still reasonably common but which are already moving down the pecking order, or will soon do, from being operated by major carriers to being in service only with second-tier carriers or charter operators, to eventually being found largely only in the developing world.

Into this category I would put such current types as the 737-200 (few left in Europe), 737-300/400/500 (where there is now a lot of turnover between operators), the MD-80/90 series (ditto), any pre-400 series 747 and the A300/A310. This is not an exhaustive list but you get the idea. Sights such as the Pakistan 747-200s still in pax service would figure high in my list of "photograph now" subjects, as they must be up for replacement in the next couple of years.

As far as I am concerned, much of the equipment more recently off the production line can generally wait a bit longer before falling into the "must shoot" category!
 
LGW
Topic Author
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RE: Aviation Photography, What's Changed?

Sun Sep 03, 2006 6:12 am

Quoting Lasham (Reply 1):
Must be raining in Sussex!

...and Surrey for you to be reading the thread

Quoting Granite (Reply 4):
You are beginning to show your age old man!

I'm becoming a grumpy old man already Gary!

You all raise the point of how when airlines/aircraft/colour schemes are gone or are in short supply how you treasure the images more, and I agree with that point, I guess also life always seems better when you look back on it than the here and now, I will probably start a new thread in 2010 when im in my mid-twenties (that's really old Gary!) saying how much I love looking back on my 2005/2006 shots!

Ben
 
jorge1812
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RE: Aviation Photography, What's Changed?

Sun Sep 03, 2006 6:36 am

Quoting Sulman (Reply 7):
Mick Bajcar advocates the 'shoot everything' approach. It doesn't seem to make much sense when you're dreadfully bored of whatever frequents your airport frequently.

But one day, they're gone.

It's not just shooting interesting planes for me, I'm pleased with every good pic I have taken not making a difference in the 100th Lufthansa 737 or a very rare Tupolev. Aviation-Photography is my passion and I like it.

But the very point Ben pointed out in his post is the same over here, but I think it's because we started with slides. Back we hadn't the opportunity to take 30 pics in a row and looking at the screen what turned out before the plane touched the ground....we made a few selected pics and had to wait a few days for the final results....there's too much information overkill on the internet too, when did we all read as many aviation books as in the past - me not.

Georg
 
f4wso
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RE: Aviation Photography, What's Changed?

Sun Sep 03, 2006 7:00 am

Quoting Sulman (Reply 7):
Mick Bajcar advocates the 'shoot everything' approach. It doesn't seem to make much sense when you're dreadfully bored of whatever frequents your airport frequently.

I will photograph most anything coming down the glidepath. There have been a lot of planes that have interested me later that I am glad I did take a picture of while waiting for something more interesting to appear. Granted, repeats of the same registration from the same vantage point makes for a lot of editing. The Mesaba Avros are almost gone and will soon be flying in Europe.

Going back through my slides and prints is like looking at my pilot logbook.

Gary
Cottage Grove, MN, USA
Seeking an honest week's pay for an honest day's work
 
CalgaryBill
Posts: 618
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RE: Aviation Photography, What's Changed?

Sun Sep 03, 2006 8:27 am

I love the old stuff and regret soooooo many opportunities I had to shoot something up close, but didn't bring a camera. Now that I actively chase planes, opportunities seem much more limited - or up-close opp's require a lot more pre-planning.

One thing that isn't evident above though is longevity of digital images. Many of you mention pulling out old slides, looking at old prints. Stored in a cool, dark place, negs, slides and prints will likely last our lifetimes. But how often do people pull up old digital files? Do you folks have "favourites" folders or archives of some sort that will allow you to find THE shot in ten years? How many folks do full backups of their images (DVD's don't count unless you re-copy them before they're corrupted!  crackup  ).

I know I'm guilty of both poor storage technique, and incomplete backups...

B
 
Dehowie
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RE: Aviation Photography, What's Changed?

Sun Sep 03, 2006 12:13 pm

I like the shoot everything style as what was said above that one day they will be gone will come true.
At AMS recently even i got bored of KLM 737's and Fokkers but still took a lot of shots of them nevertheless.
Looking at my prints fropm the early 80's at Melbourne with BA742's and Alitalia and KLM birds its amazing to think we will almosr certainly never see those airlines here in Melbourne again.
When you shoot them you never know that so blaze away and ask questions later i say.
Here today and gone tomorrow just look at what has happened to so many airlines around the world.
Dazz
2EOS1DX,EF14.2.8LII,17TS,85/1.2,16-35L,24-70LII,24L,70-200F2.8LII,100-400,300/400/500/800L
 
dendrobatid
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RE: Aviation Photography, What's Changed?

Sun Sep 03, 2006 2:46 pm

Only just opened up this thread and found myself being referred to. I had not realised that people had actually been LISTENING when I commented about shooting everything.

It was more difficult to do that when we all used film, every shot cost money. I took a lot but nothing like enough, I used black and white because I processed my own and it was much cheaper. I wish I had taken more colour but used my money to travel instead. Though I did process them too that was expensive and I would undoubtedly have been more frugal. Many of the photographs that you have seen here were never printed and that makes an excellent analogy, one I could never of dreamt of, of taking the image, saving it yet not processsing it. There is a difference of course, there is no effort in saving that 'boring' image and it is essentially free. I still had to develop the negatives even if I did not print them.

There is one other aspect though, popularity. This site and other similar ones have made the hobby considerably more popular. The digital revolution has lead to inexperienced photo-takers taking photographs that we could only dream of so there should be more out there one day. Yet I went to LHR for the first time in an age with a friend the other week. Only two people lifted their cameras to the BA aircraft yet some are not at all well represented on the db (except for the Jumbos)

Lasham calls it the Trident factor, an excellent name and I suffer that one too. I saw every one of them, loved them yet have far too few of them photographed. Try not to suffer with your own 'X' factor (fill in your own boring, common type in place of the X)

Quoting G-CIVP (Reply 2):
Part of the problem is that the aviation scene is increasingly dominated by the larger carriers rather than smaller airlines

And far fewer types these days. However the large airlines can still fail with collapses that are then spectacular, Pan Am, TWA, British Caledonian, Eastern, Sabena, Swissair, BUA etc etc.

Photograph them all !

Mick Bajcar
 
maiznblu_757
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RE: Aviation Photography, What's Changed?

Sun Sep 03, 2006 3:13 pm

Quoting Dendrobatid (Reply 16):
Lasham calls it the Trident factor, an excellent name and I suffer that one too. I saw every one of them, loved them yet have far too few of them photographed. Try not to suffer with your own 'X' factor (fill in your own boring, common type in place of the X)

I would call it the Tomcat factor. Had every opportunity to shoot them from the late 80's to early 90's and I blew it. This is probably the main reason I am passing on Oceana. If I only shoot a few Tomcats Ill be more upset then if I didnt go and shoot any at all.

Rest assured I wont make the same mistake with the bugs.

[Edited 2006-09-03 08:14:23]
 
maiznblu_757
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RE: Aviation Photography, What's Changed?

Sun Sep 03, 2006 4:17 pm

Quoting Maiznblu_757 (Reply 17):
Had every opportunity to shoot them from the late 80's to early 90's

Supposed to have read "late 80's through the 90's".
 
spencer
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RE: Aviation Photography, What's Changed?

Sun Sep 03, 2006 8:12 pm

I suppose prints hold a place in our hearts as they weren't that common with other people back then, and with that I mean the actual sharing of images. Nothing like today where just about anyone can come on here and see whatever aircraft they please. Prior to the internet prints were very special as it was, apart from picking up a magazine, the only way to really see pictures of aircraft. Just that anticipation waiting for the postman to drop that envelope off from the developers!! Man, tense times! Seeing if you had centred it right, levelled it, exposed it correctly. The whole process was costly, so mistakes back then were more serious than making those same errors now, which can be fixed easy in PS. And yeah, the rare stuff is obviously more attractive than the common stuff, but what's common now will be become obsolete later on. I remember the Tridents and then the fresh BA 757s, the Iraqi SPs, Luftwaffe VFW-614s, Viscounts, Heralds, Vanguards, 707s, DC-8s, etc. .... And back then it never really came into my mind that they would all meet their fate with the scrapman one day. In the '70s 2006 wasn't even imaginable! I still take out my albums, folders and loose prints and take a little trip down memory lane. But what makes it so sweet is looking at the pictures I've got of the friends I went with and how they looked then, the clothes!!! Haha, the clothes!! I thought flares would never die!!!
Spencer.
EOS1D4, 7D, 30D, 100-400/4.5-5.6 L IS USM, 70-200/2.8 L IS2 USM, 17-40 f4 L USM, 24-105 f4 L IS USM, 85 f1.8 USM
 
ryangooner
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RE: Aviation Photography, What's Changed?

Sun Sep 03, 2006 8:15 pm

Hi Ben

A mixture of a couple of reasons for me why photography without digital was more enjoyable.
But as for me looking back at old prints, sadly i cant do that as every one of my prints were damaged beyond recognition in a flood which is another story!
For me to reminisce i have to look at Spence Wilmot's collection!

1. There was no manipulation of any shots, the crop you took was the crop you got!, this made it more challenging thus more rewarding.

2. No viewing display on rear of camera and certainly no delete button!

3. Anticipation of your developed film, normally down on a bench in town directly outside supasnaps!

4. That perfect print in every way, just one of them from a batch of 2-3 rolls was worth the wait.

These are the reasons that for me digital is more boring, oh and also the traffic was alot varied back in the 80's...

Ryan
ooh to ooh to be ooh to be a gooner!
 
lasham
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RE: Aviation Photography, What's Changed?

Sun Sep 03, 2006 9:18 pm

Quoting Ryangooner (Reply 20):
There was no manipulation of any shots, the crop you took was the crop you got!, this made it more challenging thus more rewarding.

Hi

And it was this that made us oldies better photograhpers!

Tony
No sun no fun
 
skidmarks
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RE: Aviation Photography, What's Changed?

Sun Sep 03, 2006 9:56 pm

Ah, nostalgia. And hindsight, what a wonderful thing. I started work at LGW in 1970, working in the BUA Engineering Time Office as a tea-boy come trainee. Unparralled access to BUA VC-10's and 1-11's, busy LGW literally on my doorstep and what have I got to show for it? A few instamatic shots, blurred and totally crap - but oh so precious!!

I fondly remember, as a schoolboy, wandering aroound Mortons hangar and climbing in anything that was around - DC-3's, Herons etc. Now, you can't even get near the bloody hangars let alone take pictures!!

I realised around the same time as Tony that the Trident factor was creeping in. I have no pictures of anything prior to around 1982 that are worth anything. Well, a few maybe, but when I think of the time's I could have grabbed a shot while working in the field with Harriers, in the Engine bay at BZN or at any one of the many locations I have found myself in. Even when I did picture things, it was always the rare, the unusual, never the normal.

Now, I take endless shots of Euromanx Dash 8's, BA 146's and Dash's, Flybe and even British North West PA-31's. I thank heaven I took so many shots of Emeralds ATP' and 748's cos they're gone near as dammit. I take puddle jumpers, biz-jets and helicopters, anything in fact that turns up and I can get a shot of.

One day they won't be here. Mind you, neither will I but at least one of my son's appreciates my pictures and I'm sure he won't let them die.

Damn interesting discussion thread Ben, good on you. Look forward to seeing you again Tuesday when you too can picture "boring" Euromanx, BA Con and the like!

Andy  old 
Growing old is compulsory, growing up is optional
 
spencer
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RE: Aviation Photography, What's Changed?

Mon Sep 04, 2006 1:30 am

Quoting Ryangooner (Reply 20):
sadly i cant do that as every one of my prints were damaged beyond recognition in a flood which is another story!

Oh come on Ry, share it with the others mate!!! (And what a story it is)!
BTW Ry, got some wicked shots of you in very fashionable shell suits and gel backed hair freezing your a$$ off at the huts!
Spencer.
EOS1D4, 7D, 30D, 100-400/4.5-5.6 L IS USM, 70-200/2.8 L IS2 USM, 17-40 f4 L USM, 24-105 f4 L IS USM, 85 f1.8 USM
 
Airplanepics
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RE: Aviation Photography, What's Changed?

Mon Sep 04, 2006 1:58 am

Quoting Spencer (Reply 23):
Oh come on Ry, share it with the others mate!!! (And what a story it is)!
BTW Ry, got some wicked shots of you in very fashionable shell suits and gel backed hair freezing your a$$ off at the huts!

Oh go on Spence, share it with the others mate!  Wink
Simon - London-Aviation.com
 
f4wso
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RE: Aviation Photography, What's Changed?

Mon Sep 04, 2006 7:32 am

I have a small group of friends that I would pass on a set of slides from and outing and they would do likewise for me. We looked on this as an early form of backing up a collection which had more foresight than I am usually credited with since this was almost twenty years before I ever owned a computer. We now pass around CDs and DVDs but not to the extent we did with slides.

Gary
Cottage Grove, MN, USA
Seeking an honest week's pay for an honest day's work
 
aagold
Posts: 542
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RE: Aviation Photography, What's Changed?

Mon Sep 04, 2006 8:53 pm

Back in the early 1970s I did some limited shooting at both JFK and LGA with access to the tarmac. It was quite different then than it is today. The jets of the generation were louder and left a nice long trail of dark exhaust gases. I remember one evening spent adjacent to 31L at JFK taking night light shots as the heavies departed for Europe. I was positioned on the far side of runway 31L between it and Jamaica Bay. The 74s were lined up and departing one after another. I remember the whine of the engines get louder and louder as the pilots increased the throttle and she began her takeoff roll down 31L, but the most memorable thing was feeling the power of the engines as they approached. As they got closer the wind being pulled toward the engines got stronger and stronger. By the time the plane was roaring past me my hair was being pulled toward the aircraft. As soon as she passed the wind stopped, and my hair fell back in place.

Shortly after those few times I was on the runways at JFK and LGA I took a job which involved travel and for the next 30 years I was flying all over the country constantly. The enjoyable part is that I was flying all the time, but work and carrying cameras didn't go hand-in-hand, so my cameras stayed at home. During those thirty years lots happened. Airlines I grew up with died (Eastern, Pan Am, Ozark, Republic, National, Northeast, Piedmont, Braniff, the list goes on and on), aircraft that I'd watched for years disappeared (707, DC-8, Convair 880s, L-1011s, etc.), and access to the airport tarmac got more difficult. It wasn't until 2002 when I started taking photographs again that I really began to acknowledge what had happened and began kicking myself for all those wonderful things I had missed over the years. And, I guess, one of the things that really made me miss it was the first time I was back on the side of the runway at JFK with a departing 74 heading toward me. Today's high bypass engines just don't pull the air the same way the engines in 1971 did so you don't get to feel that rush of air being pulled from behind you toward them, not to mention they are quieter and definitely don't have the exhaust smoke of the early 74s. I'm not complaining about today's environmental standards, they're much better for our environment, but it's a reminder of a time gone by that we will never see again.

Art
 
dstc47
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RE: Aviation Photography, What's Changed?

Mon Sep 04, 2006 9:10 pm

Ah yes, the Trident factor - well put.

As a very young spotter I well recall now the disdain we had for the locally based DC3's / F27's and Viscounts.
How we would not even lift our eyes to look at them, - as if their movements somehow crowded out the rare and exciting visitors that were out there in the wild blue, just dying to visit. It was uncool to show interet. And how we moved with speed when something unusual, even a mundane visiting G reg Cessna, showed up and cameras were drawn by those rich enough, as kids, to have them.

Irony is many of the latter aircraft are still around today.
 
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ThierryD
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RE: Aviation Photography, What's Changed?

Mon Sep 04, 2006 9:54 pm

Quoting Maiznblu_757 (Reply 17):
I would call it the Tomcat factor. Had every opportunity to shoot them from the late 80's to early 90's and I blew it

Shame on you!!!  ashamed 

Thierry
"Go ahead...make my day"

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