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Author Topic: Thailand Locations??  (Read 30014 times)
Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #40 on: December 18, 2006, 08:40:03 AM »
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I certainly draw some deductions and inferences, but I won't show them here on this family-oriented website.    

Joking aside, I like your photo very much, Ray. And I think the soft lighting shows the dancer and the temple to very good effect. Thanks for sharing it.
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-Eric Myrvaagnes

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Ray
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« Reply #41 on: December 18, 2006, 08:48:28 AM »
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Thanks for the kind comment, Eric.  

I'm now going to ask anyone reading this to offer a critique, to blast it if they like, to rubbish it if they like, to tell me what they don't like about the image.

Any offers?  
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #42 on: December 18, 2006, 08:50:18 AM »
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Ray, that photograph is technically very well implemented and it draws the viewer - it has a bit of mystery - is it an exotic fashion shot, a poster for a Khmer dance performance, or simply a lady in traditional dress posing in dance mode at the Angkor complex? Could be any or all of the above. I liked it and would draw no other inferences about it - good for family viewing and commentary.

As for the tourists - let's face it - they have their rights too. I get just as frustrated as anyone else - having recently returned from Barcelona where the scenario is identical at the key attractions. I also experienced the same things in Paris 50 years ago (yes, five-zero). Like the flu, this is just a fact of life we photogs just have to "grin and bear it and work around it". Their motivation: simple: - "I've been there - here's the evidence - and look at who I hung-out with! We all want our moment in the limelight or in the something special, don't we?
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
Ray
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« Reply #43 on: December 18, 2006, 09:14:31 AM »
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Thanks, Mark, but I get a sense of political correctness here. There must be some serious flaws in the image. What about the orientation of her pose in relation to the background, the conflict between the detail in her surroundings and the detail in her person, the lack of a suitably plain background for those marvelously intricate hand movements. These are the sorts of things that worry me.

The fact is, in the words of the Rolling Stones pop group, I can't get no satisfaction.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #44 on: December 18, 2006, 10:32:50 AM »
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Thanks, Mark, but I get a sense of political correctness here. There must be some serious flaws in the image. What about the orientation of her pose in relation to the background, the conflict between the detail in her surroundings and the detail in her person, the lack of a suitably plain background for those marvelously intricate hand movements. These are the sorts of things that worry me.

The fact is, in the words of the Rolling Stones pop group, I can't get no satisfaction.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=91178\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
If there are flaws, I don't see them. I went back to look at it again (because I like the image    ), and this time I observe that both hands are located in front of darkish background areas, which shows the fingers off very well. And the reverse curvature of the fingers shows clearly that she is a trained dancer, and not simply a "lady in traditional dress posing in dance mode." (Just try it yourself!)

And now I see that some of the curves in the stone archway echo the curves of the dancer's arms and fingers.

So, Ray, we're just going to have to agree to disagree: I say it's a very nice photo.
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-Eric Myrvaagnes

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Ray
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« Reply #45 on: December 18, 2006, 10:58:25 AM »
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So, Ray, we're just going to have to agree to disagree: I say it's a very nice photo.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=91197\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
 

Eric,
You are too kind! I can't believe this is a good photo. It's contrived and lacklustre. Artificial and staged. The lady is beautiful but the context is ridiculous.

C'mon you critics! Let's have some real criticism. Where's your voice? Am I on the wrong forum?
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Bobtrips
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« Reply #46 on: December 18, 2006, 11:12:17 AM »
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Actually, the reaction of other tourists is rather amusing when they came across me photographing a contemporary Apsara(s). Most of them wanted to be photographed standing next to the dancer. They weren't at all interested in photographing the dancer in front of a spectacular piece of ancient architecture.

It seems to me, that for the most part, the average tourist is most intereasted in placing himself/herself in front of, or beside, any thing (or person) interesting and exotic.

Can we draw some deductions and inferences with regard to, perhaps, the mundane, suburban existence of the average tourist who perhaps craves for any association at all with the unusual and exotic? Or am I being too analytical?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=91202\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I suspect it's not being too analytical, but misunderstanding purpose.

You're approaching the situation as a photographer.  Your interest is in taking a good picture.

The "tourists" are not interested in making a work of art image, they're after a personal record.  They are using their cameras to capture an "I was there!" moment that they can show to the folks back home and use to sharpen their memories decades from now.
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Bobtrips
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« Reply #47 on: December 18, 2006, 11:31:30 AM »
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Eric,
You are too kind! I can't believe this is a good photo. It's contrived and lacklustre. Artificial and staged. The lady is beautiful but the context is ridiculous.

C'mon you critics! Let's have some real criticism. Where's your voice? Am I on the wrong forum?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=91202\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Contrived, lacklustre, and staged pretty much sums up my thoughts when I saw it.  

That and poorly posed.  

That direct enough for you?  ;o)

The pose - shot too much from the front.  Her raised foot is obscured.  And she is looking directly at the camera which eliminates any "caught in the moment" feeling.

I think you might have pulled off something interesting had you looked for an intact as possible part of a temple.  And had her actually dance so that you could rip off a bunch of shots in hopes of capturing a feeling of movement as opposed to a static pose.

Against this background, the partially tumbled temple and dominating tree trunks, she doesn't belong.  She's too intact, too fresh.  

Perhaps dancing in the foreground with a fog shrouded Angkor in the background.

Perhaps darting past an open doorway.

Somehow more of a fleeting spirit caught out of time.
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Ray
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« Reply #48 on: December 18, 2006, 12:00:39 PM »
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Contrived, lacklustre, and staged pretty much sums up my thoughts when I saw it. 
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=91210\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Well, there you are! An honest critique at last. It almost echos my thoughts. It's nice. The lady is beautiful. The background is exotic. I like the moss on the rocks. etc, but the staging is not quite right, and I'm the director, after all.

I want you to know, Bob, that I'm not going to assasinate you for that opinion   .
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #49 on: December 18, 2006, 01:20:12 PM »
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So do I get credit for goading Bobtrips into giving you a good, honest critique?    
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-Eric Myrvaagnes

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Bobtrips
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« Reply #50 on: December 18, 2006, 01:28:56 PM »
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Well, there you are! An honest critique at last. It almost echos my thoughts. It's nice. The lady is beautiful. The background is exotic. I like the moss on the rocks. etc, but the staging is not quite right, and I'm the director, after all.

I want you to know, Bob, that I'm not going to assasinate you for that opinion   .
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=91214\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

In case you change your mind, how about we go with a "first come, first served" policy?

That, of course, would mean taking yourself out first.  I did copy your post to a great extent.

But, that aside, what are your thoughts now that you've left the scene of the crime?  

How would you redo your apsara shoot?  (Looks to me as if you're another guy with a SEA monkey on his back, like me.  I suspect you'll return to the scene.  ;o)



I shoot a lot of people candids when I travel.  And because of that I value long lenses - superzooms.  Having a lot of zoom allows me to reach in and grab things that I could never arrange, such as this....
 


I've never attempted to pose a subject.  I suspect that is a skill that would not come easy.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #51 on: December 18, 2006, 03:07:32 PM »
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Critique depends on context and purpose as much as on technical nitty gritty. To critique this photograph in itw own right, one needs to start from the premise that it was a deliberately posed photograph that can serve any of a number of purposes I mentioned above. As a deliberately posed photograph intended to show a cultural aspect of a performer in an evocative historical context, it does that. I like the way she is poised on the stone step and framed by the tree root. Yes, the pose is contrived, but purposely so. It's important to the context to see what is in the background, so blurring it would not have been a good idea. If this were intended to be anything else than what it is, there are other things one could say about it, as Bobtrips mentioned before. But I'm taking it for what it is. Could you have made a different kind of photograph for a different purpose? Yes. Could it have been better? Always a possibility. But I think it important to distinguish between a critique of the intent and a critique of the work.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
Ray
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« Reply #52 on: December 18, 2006, 11:20:59 PM »
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Contrived, lacklustre, and staged pretty much sums up my thoughts when I saw it. 

That and poorly posed. 

That direct enough for you?  ;o)

The pose - shot too much from the front.  Her raised foot is obscured.  And she is looking directly at the camera which eliminates any "caught in the moment" feeling.

I think you might have pulled off something interesting had you looked for an intact as possible part of a temple.  And had her actually dance so that you could rip off a bunch of shots in hopes of capturing a feeling of movement as opposed to a static pose.

Against this background, the partially tumbled temple and dominating tree trunks, she doesn't belong.  She's too intact, too fresh. 

Perhaps dancing in the foreground with a fog shrouded Angkor in the background.

Perhaps darting past an open doorway.

Somehow more of a fleeting spirit caught out of time.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=91210\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Bob,
I think I should critique the critique here. You make some good points in general but which might not apply to this specific situation.

The contrast of the new and old was deliberate. That was the intention, so your suggestion that she's too fresh seems way off mark. These temples are full of bas reliefs depicting fresh, young ladies, statically posing and staring directly at the viewers as though inviting them in. The apsara style of dancing generally lacks dynamic movement. Movements are meticulously slow and deliberate, seeming to consist of just a series of poses with different gestures of hand and feet. In fact I was surprised to learn there are about 4000 different gestures of hand and feet which all mean something, like 'flower', 'leaves', 'fruit' etc, but it's difficult to find out what exactly most of them do mean. The internet is not throwing up much, apart from a few basic examples and unfortunately, this young lady I hired as a model spoke very little English. Most of the time, I just allowed her to get into whatever pose she thought appropriate.

What would I do different? It's difficult to say at this point. I have literally hundreds of shots of this lady in different poses against different backgrounds. It's going to take time to sort through them and find what works and what doesn't.

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I think you might have pulled off something interesting had you.....

What!! You didn't even find it interesting?  
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Ray
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« Reply #53 on: December 20, 2006, 11:07:43 PM »
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I've never attempted to pose a subject. I suspect that is a skill that would not come easy.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=91227\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Bob,
I think perhaps I should return the favour and offer a comment on your candid shot of the tattooed ..errh.. lady.

First I should mention that I have my own prejudices and a slight prejudice against tattooed people is one of them. I simply don't understand the desire of anyone who wants to be tattooed, if it's permanent. I suspect the tattoos in this shot are not permanent, but one can't be sure. One can't even be sure if the subject's a lady or a bloke.

It's a candid documentary style shot of a very colorful freak show. Because I don't understand the motivation for this sort of thing, I would have preferred to see the whole person, which might have given me more insight.

It's interesting for sure, but I can't say I actually like the image. It sort of reminds me of a potentially nice shot of a bunch of flowers with dying petals that have not been removed. Perhaps a little bit grubby. Lacking in the exquisite and the esthetic, but worth photographing.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2006, 12:02:48 AM by Ray » Logged
Bobtrips
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« Reply #54 on: December 20, 2006, 11:56:32 PM »
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Bob,
I think perhaps I should return the favour and offer a comment on your candid shot of the tattooed ..errh.. lady.

First I should mention that I have my own prejudices and a slight prejudice against tattooed people is one of them. I simply don't understand the desire of anyone who wants to be tattooed, if it's permanent. I suspect the tattoos in this shot are not permanent, but one can't be sure. One can't even be sure if the subject's a lady or a bloke.

It's a candid shot of a documentary nature and also a bit of a freak show. Because I don't understand the motivation for this sort of thing, I would have preferred to see the whole person.

It's interesting for sure, but I can't say I actually like the image. It sort of reminds me of a potentially nice shot of a bunch of flowers with dying petals that have not been removed.
[{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Actually it's not tattoos, it's henna.

The woman was a quite beautiful Indian bride who was visiting the Rama Sita temple in Orchha.  Her (probably) sisters and friends had spent hours decorating her hands and feet with elaborate patterns using henna paste which temporarily dyes the skin.

And notice that she has adopted the red and white bangles which indicate her status as a married woman.  No longer will she be free to pick among the multitude of interesting colors.

As for the dying petals, yes, they are dying.  Old fashioned roses that don't hold up well after cutting.  The petals were cascading from her adornment and I failed to capture the movement, but froze them in time.

--

That said, I share your dislike for tattoos, or at least a lack of understanding why people would do that to their bodies.  I'm of an age that when I became old enough to do something like that to myself I frequently saw the military guys who had come back from WWII with their dancing girls, hearts, etc.  And those most likely once nicely done decorations had degraded to something that looked more like an angry bruise.

I suppose that in the next decade or so we'll have a not-so-expensive and less-painful-than-what-we-have-now way of removing tattoos.

But more than that I wonder what the next generation will have to do to establish it's rebel-ness?

As a school kid of the '50s we tweaked the establishment with our flattops and then went on to offend by wearing sneakers rather than proper shoes.  

In our second childhood of the sixties we grew our hair and quit shaving.  We wore the strangest clothing that we could scrounge.

Later generations have moved on to electrically colored hair, piercing, tattoos, and even a bit of branding (yes, the cattle type).

The next generation, what's left for them?  

Amputations?

---

Now all that OT stuff aside - how about some help here....

Why does the same shot look different on two different sites?  The one that displays here is darker than where I originally posted it here on [a href=\"http://www.trekearth.com/gallery/Asia/India/Central/photo3203.htm]Trek Earth[/url].
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Ray
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« Reply #55 on: December 21, 2006, 12:17:51 AM »
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The woman was a quite beautiful Indian bride who was visiting the Rama Sita temple in Orchha.  Her (probably) sisters and friends had spent hours decorating her hands and feet with elaborate patterns using henna paste which temporarily dyes the skin.


Bob, just goes to show how images can be misinterpreted. I could have sworn it was a hippie trying be different.

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Why does the same shot look different on two different sites?  The one that displays here is darker than where I originally posted it here on Trek Earth.


Both images look about equally dark to me, however, on my calibrated monitor the LL image shows a warmer skin tone on the hands, perhaps too warm, ie. a slight orange cast. The trekearth image I would describe as being slightly more neutral, but if I'd seen the original scene I might change my mind.
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Coyotelad
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« Reply #56 on: December 22, 2006, 05:54:52 AM »
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Just returned from Thailand and Cambodia.  Like some of the other guys, I cannot recommend highly enough a side trip to Siem Reap in Cambodia.  I'd say you need three/four days there to really make the most of it and the advice to hire a driver ($15 a day) is well worth it - they can get you away from some of the crowds.  Some of the smaller temples are the most atmospheric and worth getting to see.  It's also worth an afteronon at the floating villages on Tonle Sap lake nearby.

Whilst in Chiang Mai, try a day at a Thai cooking school - unusual but great fun

Enjoy

Paul
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Chris_T
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« Reply #57 on: December 22, 2006, 09:11:30 AM »
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Contrived, lacklustre, and staged pretty much sums up my thoughts when I saw it. 

That and poorly posed. 

That direct enough for you?  ;o)

The pose - shot too much from the front.  Her raised foot is obscured.  And she is looking directly at the camera which eliminates any "caught in the moment" feeling.

I think you might have pulled off something interesting had you looked for an intact as possible part of a temple.  And had her actually dance so that you could rip off a bunch of shots in hopes of capturing a feeling of movement as opposed to a static pose.

Against this background, the partially tumbled temple and dominating tree trunks, she doesn't belong.  She's too intact, too fresh. 

Perhaps dancing in the foreground with a fog shrouded Angkor in the background.

Perhaps darting past an open doorway.

Somehow more of a fleeting spirit caught out of time.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=91210\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Not only are your comments overly harsh, but you missed the point of the photo completely.

It is obviously a documentary or enviromental portrait shot. Her right hand is trying to remove something from her left foot. Leading the viewers to wonder what she just stepped on (that white thing next to her right foot?). Her pleasant facial expression says, "It's no big deal, that's how life is in the third world."

I suggest that you pay close attention to an image before criticizing it. <g>
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Bobtrips
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« Reply #58 on: December 22, 2006, 10:44:33 AM »
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Not only are your comments overly harsh, but you missed the point of the photo completely.

It is obviously a documentary or enviromental portrait shot. Her right hand is trying to remove something from her left foot. Leading the viewers to wonder what she just stepped on (that white thing next to her right foot?). Her pleasant facial expression says, "It's no big deal, that's how life is in the third world."

I suggest that you pay close attention to an image before criticizing it. <g>
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=91925\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Correct you are!  The photographer was quite harsh in his critique of his work.  Read post #46.  

Had I not been paraphrasing the photographer I would have been at least a bit more diplomatic in my dumping on the image.

--

Attempted humor aside, I didn't get what I wanted from the discussion.  I applaud Ray for the effort he made in dragging a dancing girl out to the temples and trying to use her to get an interesting atmospheric shot.  I agree with Ray.  He didn't pull it off, at least in the presented shot.

I'm looking for ideas for how to make something like this work.  How does one shoot someone in period clothes and a discordant background and make something more appealing than a tourist postcard?
« Last Edit: December 22, 2006, 10:49:29 AM by Bobtrips » Logged
Ray
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« Reply #59 on: December 23, 2006, 03:04:57 AM »
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I'm looking for ideas for how to make something like this work. How does one shoot someone in period clothes and a discordant background and make something more appealing than a tourist postcard?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=91944\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I don't know, Bob. Is the background in the following shot less discordant for you. This is the other side of the wall in the previous shot, just a bit further along.

[attachment=1415:attachment]

Interesting that the first shot uses the 5D auto WB in ACR (as shot), but in the conversion of this second image I've used ACR's 'daylight' WB. I feel there shouldn't be this much difference between the two.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2006, 03:22:47 AM by Ray » Logged
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