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Photography QnA: Problems with Images

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Category: What's Wrong With My Photographic Technique? : Problems with Images

Have questions regarding resizing photos for websites? How about taking pictures without shadows? Check this section out to find some answers.

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Photography Question 
Fax Sinclair
BetterPhoto Member
fax-sinclair.com

member since: 1/3/2004
  41 .  combine layers
How do I combine images in PS, same shot different focal lengths.

9/18/2011 9:36:01 PM

  Use Auto-Align Layers under the Edit tab if you want the subjects to register on top of one another.

9/19/2011 8:41:07 AM

Fax Sinclair
BetterPhoto Member
fax-sinclair.com

member since: 1/3/2004
  Thank you Randy, I could not remember that or where I read it!

9/19/2011 10:34:57 AM

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Photography Question 
Tom R. Fleeman

member since: 4/26/2010
  42 .  Some Photos Still Not Crisp
I have a Nikon lens 80-200mm F/2.8D without VR. When I go to post-processing my photos, the last thing I will do is sharpen a little. On some of my photos they are very crisp/sharp, and on al ot of them they are so far off when you go in to sharpen it looks way out of focus. Do you think my problem is in movement of camera (I use a monopod) or could I still not have shutter speed where it should stop all motion. Not real sure if there is a difference from 80mm and photos I shoot at 200mm. Help, I want my photos to be real sharp as I sell online to football parents. Can send some photos if that would help. Thanks Tom

9/12/2011 7:23:05 AM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  Sharpening really isn't intended to make an out of focus picture look in focus. It can't do that. If it's out of focus, it's out of focus. Sharpening is for the slight edge softness that comes from the filter inside the camera that covers the sensor. Or it can make something with slight motion blur look better.
There's a difference in motion blur and something being blurry because it's out of focus. Put some photos in your gallery or add them to the discussion instead of sending them. Offhand, I think your problem could be you're just not getting things in focus.

9/12/2011 7:38:22 AM

  Tom..what are you shooting? Sounds like football shots. For that you would need two things in order for them to be sharp..a fast shutter speed and an smaller aperture for better/sharper depth of field. However, with that smaller aperture you lose light, so you need that too! Confused yet? I shoot Nikon too..send me any photos so I can see better what you are not happy with....my e-mail is HisSparow@aol.com.

Sandy :-)

9/12/2011 8:49:05 AM

  They are out of focus due to either camera shake, bad focusing, or too slow of a shutter speed to stop motion. Do you have auto focus? Do you have it set to "C" for continuous? Is the lens diopter set for your eye if using manual focus?

9/13/2011 9:07:09 PM

Gretchen Yengst
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/24/2007
  Hi Tom -- I am a Nikon shooter of events -- lots of action. I have D300, D7000 and the 80-200. One of the best focusing tips that I have received was from Paul Gero who teaches the wedding course here at BP. He suggested a helpful tip for better work is designating your AE-L/AF-L button on the back of the camera as your focusing agent, pressing it with your thumb to focus -- especially as you are tracking action, like sports etc. Then you finish the shot off with the shutter release. Go To: Menu>Settings>Controls>Assign AE/AF button>AF ON. This has really worked for me as I can track the subject visually maintaining focus with my thumb then fire the exposures in a non-jerky motion. BIG difference then doing it all half way down with the shutter button which can create a jerk -- especially when we see moment we want to take. This may take a wee bit of practice, but soon it will feel good. Hope this helps and improves your shooting -- AND thank you Paul, forever. Gretchen, Loving Focus Photography, www.gretchenyengst.com

10/4/2011 5:05:34 AM

  Hi Tom. I have shot ballet for several years, and agree with Sandy's comments. I get the best results by shooting in shutter priority, 1/160 if possible, with an f/2.0 prime. I started out shooting wide open, but the depth of field is too narrow, often resulting in the subject being just slightly out of focus. By using shutter priority, the aperture varies according to available light, usually giving you a bit more depth of field. You can also pump up the DOF by increasing the ISO.

10/4/2011 5:47:18 AM

Tammy L. Bevins
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 10/10/2003
  movement and action require a very quick shutter to stop action. You should be shooting at least 1/500 shutter to stop action. Also check the sharpness of your lens choice. Different lenses have varying degrees of sharpness. Also make sure your focus point is correct and I always use a tripod. It will take camera shake out of the equation as you investigate this.

10/4/2011 6:31:28 AM

Tom R. Fleeman

member since: 4/26/2010
  I want to thank all of you this has helped very much and my photos reflect that. Gretchen you said to change button for focusing. I did that and it really made a difference on my football photos. Thanks again.

Tom

11/30/2011 10:41:59 AM

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Photography Question 
Alicen Holmes
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Alicen
Alicen's Gallery

member since: 1/2/2006
  43 .  What am I doing wrong?
I rented a Canon 70-200mm f.2,8 L lens (no IS) to take shots at a night football game (specifically my daughter during the halftime performance). The sole reason for renting the lens was to get much crisper shots using a faster lens. My Canon 7D camera was set on Aperture-Priority, f/2.8, ISO 400, auto white balance, AI Servo and every single photo came out blurry! These are the exact settings I used in years past with my 75-300mm lens and at least many of those shots were good. I have one more game to shoot before I have to return the lens next weekend. Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

9/10/2011 9:53:11 AM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  One thing is you aren't using the exact settings as before because a 75-300 doesn't have f/2.8, even at 75mm. So more than one thing is different than what you did before, I'm sure. You could be zooming in closer this time, since you do have f/2.8, maybe making the blur that was there last time, more noticeable.
You could've had the camera on program the previous time, and zooming out with the 75-300 made the camera choose it's highest iso.(I don't know what the 7D goes up to)
Good light at a high school stadium will give you 125th with iso at 400, f/2.8. And there aren't many that have good light. You need to put the iso all the way up.

9/10/2011 11:43:31 AM

  In addition to what Gregory said, you might consider using a tripod or monopod. It gets shaky at 200 mm without IS.

9/11/2011 2:02:34 PM

  Bump your ISO to at least 800 and shoot on either manual or shutter priority at 1/125 or 1/250, depending on how fast of action you are trying to stop. Use a monopod or some other stable base to reduce shake. If you shoot in RAW, you have added latitude in Photoshop to correct for being under exposed.

9/13/2011 9:13:24 PM

  One option is to go manual, set the shutter to 1/250 sec. or whatever you require to combat camera shake, set the f-stop you want, 2.8 or whatever gives you enough DOF and then set the cameras ISO to AUTO. This technique allows you to control camera shake and DOF. The newer lower noise cameras make this a handy tool. A lot of people ridicule AUTO ISO but they haven't changed their thinking to match their equipments abilities. I started using this a couple of months ago while shooting macro. It has worked out very well for me.

9/14/2011 1:10:27 PM

  Hi Randy,
I have the 5D Mk II and hope it has the "Auto ISO" setting as it would be real handy - Can you tell me how you set this on your 7D ?
Thank you,
Carlton

9/14/2011 2:14:24 PM

  Hi, Carlton. I don't have a 7D. I'm a Nikon shooter. The 5D Mark II and the 7D has it. I'm not sure how you set it on a Canon, but I think it's really worth looking into and is a idea whose time has come in a lot of situations. All my macro shots for the last few months were done this way as well as my sports shots. See my gallery for results and that's with a fairly noisy D200. Check out AUTO ISO and let us know what you think.

9/14/2011 2:35:12 PM

  Thanks Randy, its a matter of selecting the ISO and dialing it to "A" - I didn't even know I had this feature - maybe I should re-read my manual :)
I'll be using this a lot this weekend for another festival, laserlight-show & SeniorPortrait shoot (and possibly as a last minute replacement for a wedding shoot) Friday night as well.
Thats it - I am too busy to read my manual - lol...
Cheers,
Carlton

9/14/2011 2:52:56 PM

  Thanks, everyone, for your help. I boosted the ISO up to 800 and set the shutter speed to 1/250 and every shot was picture perfect! I am thrilled! Thank you again.

9/17/2011 9:18:10 AM

  And a thank you Randy from this humble 50D user. Yup, there it was on page 64, all fifty words and a tiny diagram. But I am not complaining as at least Canon gave a whole half page telling me how to attach the strap.

9/20/2011 9:26:41 AM

  The Auto ISO feature is not for every use, but like I said, I think the time has come to put it into our arsenal. We generally set two of the three parameters for exposure all the time. That is ISO and aperture for most people and we let the camera pick the shutter. With auto ISO we are still picking two of the three parameters, but we are swithing the parameter the camera picks. We had to set the lowest ISO possible in the past because of noise. Now that noise is not as large of an obstacle, I think it just makes sense to control DOF and motion sharpness in some situations. Would love to hear other peoples opinions.

9/20/2011 9:47:16 AM

  Carlton,

To get Auto ISO on the 5DII select ISO move the wheel on the right side toward the lens, CCW from your POV. the setting below ISO 100 is "A". That better stand for "Auto" because to set it for ISO 50 it is necessary to go into Cfn.

I used Auto ISO at the Marine Aquarium in Monterey, CA. It wsas a lot easier to go from indoors shooting into dark tanks to outdoors. It wliminates a lot of hassel. But I would only use it in extreme cases like this.


Lynn


10/9/2011 12:00:49 PM

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Photography Question 
Tom R. Fleeman

member since: 4/26/2010
  44 .  loose lens
Sorry abbout that it is an F/2.8 lens> Thanks Tom.

8/23/2011 8:45:19 AM

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Photography Question 
Tom R. Fleeman

member since: 4/26/2010
  45 .  loose lens
I have a Nikon #1986 80-200mm F/208D lens It seems to be loose now when mounted on my D7000 camera. It moves about 1/8" or more turns. Could these be my problem with focus on some of my shots even using a monopod. Especially on longer shots. Thanks Tom.

8/23/2011 8:44:04 AM

Tom R. Fleeman

member since: 4/26/2010
  Sorry about that, it is an F/2.8 lens. Thanks Tim.

8/23/2011 8:46:25 AM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  If it moves enough so that the electronic contact points between camera and lens don't connect properly, the auto focus could be getting interrupted.
I know you're guessing, but 1/8 an inch sounds like a lot. The flanges can get worn down over time from knocking against each other. But I wouldn't think that much
You should be able to experiment with trying the focus when making sure the lens is aligned at the right spot and try it after you move it.

8/23/2011 2:51:48 PM

Tom R. Fleeman

member since: 4/26/2010
  You are right, after I posted I took it out and it doesn't move a lot but it does move I will test it out soon. I know it probably wouldn't have to move much when I am holding and taking football photos especially out at 200MM right?. Thanks I will let you know as soon as I take some test shots.

8/23/2011 3:24:38 PM

  Tom, I own 4 Nikon bodies and various Nikon lens, they all rotate a slight amount, it's common with the Nikon mount. If they lose contact you will get an error message on the top LCD..It bugged me for a long time but you learn to live with it.

Nick.

8/23/2011 5:16:04 PM

Tom R. Fleeman

member since: 4/26/2010
  Thanks Nick I have had some shots from football scrimmage this weekend that some of the longer shots were not right on focus. I think I must still be moving a little to much with the action and not letting camera do it's job. I get a little pumped when they start moving. I just thought maybe the movement on the lens might be a problem. It doesn't really bother me I just didn't want it to not focus right. Thanks again appreciate the help, you too Gregory.

Tom

8/24/2011 2:47:58 AM

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Photography Question 
Amber Bromby

member since: 8/2/2011
  46 .  how to shoot this moving portrait?
 
  Spinning
Spinning
aperture - 3.5, shutter - 1/160, lens- 18-55mm, location- outside in the shade of the trees late morning
© Amber Bromby
Canon EOS Rebel T3...
 
I thought I'd try this shot and while it was fun to do, it took many attempts, most of which were blurred. Any suggestions on settings or a technique I could try?


I used the action mode on my canon T3i with the settings at f3.5 / 1/160 / focal length 23

8/16/2011 5:29:57 AM

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Photography Question 
Lynnmarie Daley
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Lynnmarie
Lynnmarie's Gallery

member since: 5/2/2006
  47 .  Resizing Images
I've noticed a considerable loss of image quality when resizing large file images to smaller sizes (i.e., 3600 pixels to 750 pixels) using Photoshop Elements. Even though the original is sharp and not grainy when resized, the sharp detail is lost. Does anyone have a solution or this problem? Would appreciate any feedback! Thank you,

8/12/2011 9:14:28 AM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  If you're looking at the re-sized image with Photoshop, then it will look worse if you zoom in on the screen image. You are getting rid of lots of pixels, after all.
It's meant to be viewed through your web browser. Just open the file without Photoshop, and it should look better.

8/13/2011 7:22:41 AM

doug Nelson
DougNelsonPhoto.com

member since: 6/14/2001
  If the reason for resizing is to post to the web or to send as an attachment, you are downsizing the image by using a smaller resolution (print res of 300 down to about 75 pixels per inch, for example) AND reducing the image dimensions (750 pixels across is pretty small). We reduce the file size to make the image manageable. As Greg says, it's only for screen viewing, anyway. Loss of quality is the price we pay for convenience.
Any image you do this to needs sharpening. For a jpg this size, try about 78 as your amount, .6 as your radius and 1 as your threshold. Maybe your PS Elements has a "smart sharpening" feature. Other users can advise you.

8/15/2011 9:45:28 AM

Bruce A. Dart

member since: 1/7/2007
  Lynnmarie,
There IS a considerable loss of image quality when you downsize. For that reason you must rename the file and preserve your original or you will lose that quality. Screen resolution is 72 ppi, as mentioned but that is only for web viewing. Most of us have lost a good image in this process before we discover that we should not do that and then we become paranoid about having back-up files. Save the new file under a new name and you can always go back to the original large file. Also, if you are working on an image, (after renaming) then downsizing is the last step of the process. That also keeps larger files to view as you work on them. If you need to increase size of an image (you can never get back to the original) but if you need to make a larger print and don't have quite enough resolution, you can do a "step" process that helps. Just changing the file size to what you need -- for sake of explanation -- sort of arbitrarily grabs pixels from a large area of the image. When resizing (up), change pixels to percent and add 10%; i.e. make it 110%. It sort of grabs nearby pixels and makes the image better. Do that about four times in those increments and you can increase a file to something you can make a large print with. Years ago, I used a 16 meg file and increased it to where I could have the lab print a 40x60 with that process.

8/23/2011 5:40:24 AM

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Photography Question 
Janet Coffelt

member since: 2/1/2007
  48 .  Can't Save in JPEG Form
I am trying to save some images in Photoshop CS4 as JPEGs to upload. However, when I choose Save As, my only choices are: Photoshop, Cineon, Dicom, FXG, IFF Format, etc., through TIFF. I know I have done it before, but what has changed? Have I done something wrong, or do I need to change my preferences? Please help!! Thanks!

7/21/2011 6:23:53 AM

  Check the bit depth of the image. I don't know about CS4, but earlier versions won't let you save a 16-bit to jpg. Change the images to 8-bit and see if that fixes the problem.

7/21/2011 7:03:05 AM

Janet Coffelt

member since: 2/1/2007
  Yes! That worked, Thank you!

7/21/2011 7:13:14 PM

Pat Lawrence

member since: 5/5/2010
  Glad it solved the problem. Another common cause is that the image hasn't been flattened. No layers allowed in a jpg.

7/26/2011 7:27:10 AM

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Photography Question 
Tom R. Fleeman

member since: 4/26/2010
  49 .  Polarizing Filter
I had a UV filter on my camera and shot 35 images that came out OK. I then added a polarizing filter, and all the rest of about 800 shots of baseball game were soft out out of focus. Should I have only used the polarizer without the UV filter still on camera?? Thanks.

7/2/2011 5:30:01 AM

Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  It might be that you actually should have not used the polarizer at all, if you were trying to use auto focus. There's a linear polarized filter and a circular polarized filter. The circular allows the use of auto focus.
And it could also be that having more than one filter got in the way of your auto focus, if that's what you used. Or the polarizer could be of low quality optically, causing fuzzy images.

7/2/2011 9:35:26 AM

  Hi Tom,
Greg is correct and another point I would like to make is the quality of filters used. I have all L glass and placing a $40 UV filter in front of a $2000 lens that will most likely degrade sharpness and image quality doesn't make sense to me. I use B+W filters which are a bit pricey but they are very good quality and cheaper than the Singh Ray filters. I only use UV filters when it is hazy out and circular polarizers when shooting landscape images of dark scenes and waterfalls. Otherwise, I don't use them at all - not even for protection as I always have either a lens cap on while walking around or lens hood attached when shooting.
Hope this helps.

7/2/2011 8:30:29 PM

Tom R. Fleeman

member since: 4/26/2010
  Thanks for the response. I have an expensive lens also. I was hoping the polarizer would help with the glare from the sun at a baseball game I was shooting. I think the filter was $65. I was hoping it would help. I will try it by itself next time without the other filter. Thanks.

7/3/2011 4:05:00 PM

  Hi Tom,
I didn't actually answer your question but I would not stack filters and I suspected you were using quality lenses which is why I gave you the answer I did. My 77mm B+W Circular Polarizer runs about $175 but it is well worth it and it fits all my lenses. Someday I will belly up the $400+ for a Singh Ray :)
Cheers.

7/3/2011 8:22:06 PM

Tom R. Fleeman

member since: 4/26/2010
  Hi Carlton,
When I get the chance I will try just the Polarizer and see what happens, not that in matters but I shoot with a Nikon D7000. I know you have to spend a little to get the quality, just tried to scrimp a litle. I just took a look at your gallery pretty nice , no Very nice. Well Thanks for the help I am sure we will talk again. Tom

7/4/2011 4:32:37 AM

  Other than checking to see if it's linear or circular, I would check to see if your shutter speed was too slow after adding the polarizer. A polarizer takes up two stops of light and if you weren't paying attention to that you may be seeing camera movement. Remember, your shutter speed needs to be at least 1 over the effective focal length of the lens. (Don't forget the multiplier if you're not shooting a full-frame camera.) I use Tiffen and Hoya and haven't had a problem. I rarely stack filters but I've never had it affect an image as you describe. Check your metadata. I think you will find the answer there.

7/4/2011 11:09:50 AM

Tom R. Fleeman

member since: 4/26/2010
 
 
  messed up
messed up
shutter priority,f/2.8, 1/1250, ISO 400 about 2:15PM.
 
 
Thanks Here is a photo to look at they all turned out just about like this one.

7/4/2011 12:20:55 PM

  Well, plenty of shutter speed so that's not the problem. You still haven't told us if it's a circular polarizer or not. That's all I can see that would do that. The stacking of the filters will not do that. You may see a slight difference in quality but you would have to pixel peep to notice it and it wouldn't come close to your problem. If your polarizer is circular, then make sure you didn't accidently put the camera or lens into manual focus. That has happened to some folks before. Other than those two additional things, I got nothing else off the top of my head.

7/4/2011 1:54:26 PM

Tom R. Fleeman

member since: 4/26/2010
  I'm sorry yes it is a circular filter. When I try it again I will be real sure it is on AF. I will try and get some shots this week to be sure. I haven't used it but that one time. I will when I get to some of the water shots I want to take. Nobody has said, will the polarizer help on sunny days shooting more toward the sun?. I know it is not a good idea to shoot toward the sun but I needed that angle to get some face shots of the right handed batters. Thanks Tom

7/4/2011 3:32:33 PM

  One thing I wondered about is if you were using a tripod, did you remember to turn the the Stabilizer off? Frankly, I'm not sure if that would cause the problem you experienced, but if everything else is correct, maybe it's time to look beyond the CP for answers.

7/5/2011 6:05:29 AM

Ken De Pree
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Ken
Ken's Gallery

member since: 5/15/2008
  Why were you shooting at f2.8? Is this what the camera selected as required to give you enough light.

I think that is why the fellow in the foreground is much sharper than the background. It is what you would expect when shooting with a telephoto lens at f2.8. Like doing a portrait.

If the camera thought it needed f2.8 to get enough light, maybe you need to consider other ways. What about ISO? Did you have it on automatic or 100? If 100, maybe you need to try a higher number or automatic so the camera has options besides f2.8.

7/5/2011 2:45:29 PM

  Just shooting at 2.8 will not cause the problem shown in the sample and it states it was at ISO 400. Shooting at 2.8 will isolate the subject, not make everything blurry. While these settings are not what I would have chosen, that's not the problem here.

7/5/2011 5:36:26 PM

  I don't know about Nikon but Canon recommends that you remove all other filters when using the CPL. The only exception to this is if you are using ND filters also and they go in front of the CPL.

Do check out your focus with the camera on a t-pod without a filter of any kind.

7/5/2011 6:57:32 PM

Tom R. Fleeman

member since: 4/26/2010
  Thanks to all, you guys are really helping me out. I will try to shoot some this week and see how it goes. I am still learning but getting better. I am taking the Sports Photography course from here starting today. I should have a good handle on what I need to set camera on after I finish. Thanks Tom

7/6/2011 4:52:51 AM

  Tom, I want to thank you for posing the question. The answers have also clarified things for me also (new to CPL usage.)

A special thanks to Carlton, who answers more questions from us members who are still learning. He isn't an official instructor but I'm betting that collectively, he's improved the photography skills of more people than anyone else at BP (not to diminish the value of taking the courses!)

7/6/2011 6:39:39 AM

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Photography Question 
Chuck Bruton
BetterPhoto Member
Contact Chuck
Chuck's Gallery

member since: 9/2/2007
  50 .  Key word tagging,or BP selection
I was browsing and found a category of transportation, cars, showing images of cars.

I have a large gallery of cars, but never saw one of my images listed in the pages.

What do I need to do to get them to show up.

Just wondering

6/23/2011 12:14:39 PM

Thomas W. Schoeller
BetterPhoto Member
SchoellerPhotos.com

member since: 12/4/2006
  Chuck, It sounds like you may have been viewing one of the BP "clubs" or groups. You would need to join that specific group to see your work displayed there.

Most of the members groups on BP are really pretty quiet. Not many uploads or activity, I've seen groups I uploaded to a year ago and I'm still on the first page.

6/26/2011 2:52:17 PM

  I know where you saw that as a category and what you found is a selection of photos that were entered into a monthly contest or possibly also from photo assignments from the varied courses given by BP. All the photos that fit the description are not placed here.

You cannot designate that you want it posted in this section. Your photos of cars or other transportation MUST be entered into a contest or be part of an assignment. Even the monthly winner may not be selected to be placed in this grouping. What goes in here is strictly up to Kerry Drapper(sp?) or his designate. How often do they add photos to these subsections? I don't know but most of them are from the first four years of the start of BP. Unless they find something that really stands out, and it may still be overlooked, your outstanding photo may not be selected to appear there for a year or never.

It appears to me that these sub sections are for inspiration and to inspire the new entrants creative juices to start flowing. And if it is selected I doubt that BP will notify you. However if you enter the monthly contest and receive a "Finalist" or "Photo of the day" or better you will be notified.


Lynn

PS: Remember that BP promised an update to the forum two years ago to allow us to edit these messages after they have been submitted in order to make corrections in spelling or leaving out words, etc. It hasn't happened yet.

7/4/2011 7:33:24 PM

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