Photography Tips – FAQ 2


Following the success of photography FAQ 1 we thought it’d be a good idea to come out and address some more of your frequently asked questions, and seeing as Lorna has got some haribo tangfastic in her pocket and promised to give me some provided we get home early tonight, let’s go for a walk on the beach and get on with it. “Why do you point the camera away and back again just before taking a picture?” I’m focusing. I use single auto focus most of the time because that means pone part of the view finder which is the dot, i can put it onto my subject, focus the camera till the focus where to lock onto and then i know which part of the
picture is sharp. Let’s suppose the single point auto focus dot is in the middle of the viewfinder right now, if you focus the camera what’s going to be in focus? the horizon, the shoreline over there but if i’m the point of the picture, then it’s me that you need to have in focus, so you move that single point onto my face, press the shutter button half way, there will be a beep, cameras locked the focus, now you can recompose the picture, and providing you keep first pressure on that button, it will hold that focus. Now there are times when i might move that dot around the view finder because it’s very useful, if you’re photographing a flower or something that’s moving around in the breeze, i want the focus to happen almost the instant the shot is taken in case the flower moves a little bit and knocks itself out of focus. I’m also very forgetful, so let’s say I’ve forgotten to move that auto focus point to a certain place and it’s what, up over here somewhere, when you go to take the picture what have you got to do? you’ve got to put that focus point on the place you want it to focus. So, you move the camera across, you stick that auto focus point right onto my face, you do the beepy thing with the focus button, hold it, recompose the picture and take it. “Should i use center point AF and recompose or switch AF points?” They’re just two different ways of working, i prefer to focus on my subject and then recompose the shot whereas other people prefer to move the auto focus point around, a very good friend of mine a German photographer Verena-neuhaus she works all the time by composing the shot and then moving the auto focus point to the place she wants the focus to be. I don’t move that fast, because i’m a bit fumbily, it’s your call, there is no right or wrong there isn’t one better than the other, it’s what works for you. “Which AF mode should i use?” Well that’s a call for you, because it depends what you’re taking a
picture of. whatever you’re taking a picture of will govern which auto focus mode you need to use. There are three films about auto focus modes, because it’s too big a question to answer in an FAQ. Click the links below, go and have a look. “Are you allowed a tanfastic yet?” No. “why do you pause before pressing the shutter?” I’m checking the composition, i’m running my eye all round the view finder, all along the top here, down this side and down this side to make sure all the gaps line up, if I’ve got a person in the shot is the gap between the top of their head and the side of the picture what i want it to be, is the horizon level, is the gap between the sky and the horizon on this side like this, the sames as it is on this side over here between the top
of the frame and the bottom, it’s just lining everything up and then the very last thing i do if there’s a person in it is look at them before i press the shutter to make sure they’re okay, i don’t like wonky pictures, so i do spend a moment looking around and also checking for seagulls and stray birds, stuff like that. “Why do you like tripods so much?” basically, i’m lazy. The great thing about using a tripod
when you have time to do it is that you can set up your composition, you can look all around the viewfinder, you can line everything up, make sure the horizon line is nice and straight and then lock the tripod head into place, and then once that’s locked you know that that piece of work is dealt with,
then you’ve got time to look at things like depth of field which will tell your
aperture, when you know your aperture you can start to work with your shutter speed. so i love tripods because i’m lazy. “what type of tripod do you use?” I use two, my light weight tripod is a bembo, this old boy here and loads and loads of you have asked me which model of bembo tripod it is, and i’d love to tell you, but as you can see it’s very old, it’s very battered it’s had a long life and there’s no label left on it, it’s been warn completely away i have no idea which model this is. But it was a great investment, i bought this twenty years ago and it’s still going strong. The head is a man frost, i’m not quite sure which model of head it is but i did go online to the frotto website to look at all the pictures so i could find out so i could tell you but i can’t find it anywhere so i can only assume that they no longer make it. But it’s a very good quick release ball and socket head, tripod was probably a hundred and fifty quid when i bought it twenty years ago and i would say probably a hundred and twenty quid for the head. But what a great investment, twenty years of life I’ve got out of that. The other tripod is this baby, it’s big and it’s heavy, this is a man frotto i think it’s er, yeah it’s an o five eight man frotto tripod, it weighs a tonne, it’s very very sturdy but what i really like about it is these little quick release buttons here, if i wanna drop the legs down i just press and shake and there you go. How quick is that? and you can adjust it really easily just by pressing a button and letting it go. The other great thing with this tripod is because it weighs a tonne i might be a bit lazy about my
composition but it’s a great upper body workout, moving this around all day long you can get a superb definite into pecks, lat’s upper shoulder muscles you should see what i look like underneath my shirt, go on then get your shirt off. No. “Do you shoot P S A or M mode?” i use aperture priority almost all of the time because by controlling what aperture i’m controlling something creative i’m controlling my depth of field, and i’m letting the camera go away and find a shutter speed to work for me. Aperture priority or A V, aperture value is my preferred option, i don’t like shutter priority because if i set a fast shutter speed then there’s a good chance that my camera won’t be able to find a big enough aperture to work with it if we’re in quite low light, but if i use aperture priority i can set the widest aperture that i can use, i can set a higher iso and know that the camera will always give me the fastest shutter speed that it can, i use manual exposure quite a bit for commercial work and almost always if i’m using flash, but you don’t have to do it all the time but it’s very very useful to understand what the camera does and times when it will get it wrong so that you can step in and use manual
exposure to fix things, programs do we use program? hm i don’t really use program at all, but i do occasionally if i’m outdoors and i’m doing a high speed movement and getting action shots, stuff like that, and i’m using a fill in flash at the same time because the camera will speak to each other. so which mode do i use, aperture priority most of the time, manual occasionally and that’s really about it. “Which metering mode is best?” I threw like a girl then, it depends what your doing and what your
preferences is, which metering mode is best, is much to big an answer to answer in a few single sentences of an FAQ, go and watch the meeting films and they will explain all about it for
you. “Do crop factors effect image quality as well as field of view?” Possibly, but only the tiniest little bit because if your using and fx lens on a dx center camera, your light is projecting past either side of the sensor so therefore in theory your sensor is picking up all the light from the sweet spot of the lens, so in theory your image quality will be better, are you going to notice it? i doubt it, to be honest this is stuff i don’t give any brain space to it at all because is it that important? i mean really? using an fx lens on a dx sensor does affect your field of view because it narrows it it has the effect of making the lens longer because it’s projecting onto a smaller space, let me show you quickly, let’s have a drawing in the sand. Let’s assume this is your lens, lights is going into it in this direction, it is projecting out of the back into
your camera body onto the sensor, this bit here, so the light is coming through and projecting onto the sensor. That’s a really crap arrow, there we go. That is projecting onto the sensor and it’s recording an image, so this is an fx sensor let’s say on a fx lens. A dx sensor is smaller, so if this represents a dx sensor like this then the light that’s coming out to the sides which comes from the edges of the lens here and here that light is projecting here and it’s missing the sensor so so in theory you are getting the best
quality from your lens by using an fx lens on a dx sensor, but really it doesn’t matter that much the only possible thing to think about is if you’re going to use it the other way around, if you put a dx lens on an fx sensor you may get cropping because the dx lens isn’t pushing the light out so far, it’s only pushing light into here and here, because it’s meant to hit a sensor this size and not that size, and so if you can’t tell your camera that you’re using an fx lens on a dx camera you might get black netting on the end on the edges. But honestly that’s about all there is to it, it makes my brain hurt so don’t worry about it too much. “How do i know i’m ready to upgrade from a compact to a DSLR?” whenever you feel that you want to, to be honest with you, but also ask yourself is changing from a compact and actually to upgrade to a Dslr, a Dslr gives you certain flexibility’s to do things that a compact camera can’t such as change lenses etc, but the image quality of a compact camera made in the last twelve
months is probably going to be way way much better than a Dslr made five years ago, i would say the more complimentary than
an upgrade. Nom Nom Nom.

100 Comments

  1. TheShropshirestar June 21, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    Tangfastic Tutorial as usual lol 🙂

  2. Dennis Siebert June 21, 2013 at 9:53 pm

    Nom nom nom 😀

  3. MomsOpinion June 22, 2013 at 5:39 am

    Being somewhat a beginner at photography, I find this very helpful. Thank you.

  4. shadow100101 June 22, 2013 at 6:49 am

    Thank you!

  5. GabrielKnightz June 22, 2013 at 7:16 am

    You are awesome 🙂
    I learned anything and everything about photography from you, and am proud and happier for it.
    If i ever see you anywhere i'm giving you a hug 🙂

  6. JB June 22, 2013 at 9:30 am

    I'd still take a 5 year old DSLR than a recent compact.

  7. harut82 June 22, 2013 at 9:32 am

    You're by far the most knowledgeable photography teacher on youtube! Thank you for all of your videos 🙂

  8. Kameron Ahmad June 22, 2013 at 11:50 am

    mike, thanks so much for all your informative, well executed channel. Since starting to watch your catalogue a few weeks ago I've picked up a camera, and a tripod with the intention of 'giving it a lash' as you'd say! if you're ever in Australia or intend on running a course down here please let us all know! Thanks again to You, Jane and Lorna! keep it coming!

  9. Kameron Ahmad June 22, 2013 at 11:52 am

    *sorry about grammar and typos, i'm on a mobile and the layout only lets me see one line at a time!

  10. Mike Browne June 23, 2013 at 11:09 am

    Thanks Kameron Ahmad. I do visit Aus now and then and am starting to set up workshops in other countries with the help of people like you. If you're interested please email me through our website and i'll get back to you.

  11. Mike Browne June 23, 2013 at 11:10 am

    Thank you harut82. Please help us spread the word about our films by 'liking' 'G+ing', sharing them and linking to us on photo forums, Facebook etc

  12. Mike Browne June 23, 2013 at 11:10 am

    Thank you

  13. Mike Browne June 23, 2013 at 11:10 am

    Thank you GabrielKnightz – I'll hold you to that 🙂

  14. Mike Browne June 23, 2013 at 11:11 am

    Pleasure

  15. Mike Browne June 23, 2013 at 11:11 am

    🙂

  16. Mike Browne June 23, 2013 at 11:11 am

    🙂

  17. Mike Browne June 23, 2013 at 11:12 am

    Thank you

  18. Mike Browne June 23, 2013 at 11:12 am

    Thank you Kevin. Please help us spread the word by 'liking' 'G+ing', sharing on Facebook etc

  19. Mike Browne June 23, 2013 at 11:13 am

    Already have Morciki – /watch?v=Xr6jlb0rkp4

  20. Mike Browne June 23, 2013 at 11:14 am

    Thank you

  21. Mike Browne June 23, 2013 at 11:14 am

    Thank you

  22. Mike Browne June 23, 2013 at 11:14 am

    🙂

  23. Mike Browne June 23, 2013 at 11:16 am

    Thank you Jan. It was great meeting you – and I love the photo of the poppies and beach hut you posted on our Facebook page a couple days ago. Look forward to seeing you again..

  24. Mike Browne June 23, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Thank you Ron. Yes you're right though it depends on the length of the lens. A shorter lend will mean more turning of the camera when compared to the the same thing with a longer lens so like everything in photography it's variable. I didn't go into it here because it's a bit advanced and unlikely to cause a problem unless shooting very close with a wide aperture. I'll say something about it in another video…

  25. Mike Browne June 23, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Thank you

  26. Mike Browne June 23, 2013 at 11:20 am

    Thank you

  27. Mike Browne June 23, 2013 at 11:21 am

    Thank you. This was filmed at Avon Beach near Christchurch. The boats are near Maiden Dock along the sea wall near Lymington

  28. Mike Browne June 23, 2013 at 11:21 am

    Pleasure

  29. Mike Browne June 23, 2013 at 11:21 am

    Thank you

  30. Mike Browne June 23, 2013 at 11:22 am

    Thank you Claire – so am I. There's not many sweets I like but Tangfastic .. Please help us spread the word about our films by 'liking' 'G+ing', sharing them and linking to us on photo forums, Facebook etc

  31. Mike Browne June 23, 2013 at 11:23 am

    Thank you

  32. Mike Browne June 23, 2013 at 11:23 am

    Thank you

  33. Mike Browne June 23, 2013 at 11:26 am

    Thank you Paul. I'm setting up some workshops in other countries with the help of lovely people like you. I have people in LA, Florida and Canada who will be working with me to get some set up hopefully for next year. If you'd like to find out more or help me set up another please email me from my site.

  34. Mike Browne June 23, 2013 at 11:28 am

    Pleasure BrookLaa. If you mean wide aperture / shallow DOF then it can happen if you're close to the subject but it's fairly rare. The biggest issue is moving yourself and forgetting to re-focus. i'll address both issues in another video sometime.

  35. Mike Browne June 23, 2013 at 11:32 am

    Thank you YOYO30STM. This channel has been a round a while but it's only this year I've been working to built it and the community. Please help us spread the word about our films by 'liking' 'G+ing', sharing them and linking to us on photo forums, Facebook etc

  36. Mike Browne June 23, 2013 at 11:32 am

    🙂

  37. Mike Browne June 23, 2013 at 11:33 am

    Thank you

  38. Mike Browne June 23, 2013 at 11:33 am

    No worries..

  39. Ron C June 23, 2013 at 2:20 pm

    Thanks for responding! I really enjoy all of your videos. You are a professional is all aspects of the word. You are like a good friend explaining all things photography, talking to us and not at us.

  40. Box Lest June 24, 2013 at 2:33 am

    tks another great show…you mrs helpme a lot… big hug from Brazil

  41. peacef77 June 24, 2013 at 5:24 am

    Dear Mike,
    I have a question for you and I hope you'll answer my question. I have a big, dark, and curly hair; i love it. When i take my picture, my hair looks different in photos. It looses the curls and just looks smashed and not puffy as I have it in real life; i don't like that. How can i solve this problem? Thanks again for taking time to read this. xo

  42. Mike Browne June 24, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    Hmm. I'm only guessing but if you have dark hair then it's probably more about light than anything else. have a go at Backlighting – /watch?v=O6GXRdAR1GM

  43. Mike Browne June 24, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    Thank you

  44. Mike Browne June 24, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    Thank you

  45. MC Hagianu June 24, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    Get your shirt off! :)))

  46. peacef77 June 24, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    thank you so much for your help, i'll try it 🙂

  47. lionofgod9 June 26, 2013 at 12:21 am

    make a lingerie photoshoot video

  48. Mike Browne June 26, 2013 at 10:36 am

    Now there's a thought 😉

  49. Mike Browne June 29, 2013 at 9:14 am

    Thanks Alexander. It's a possibility though I've never shot video with a DSLR so i'd need a bit of learning up myself first. The edit is the same whatever camera is used…

  50. Mike Browne June 29, 2013 at 9:21 am

    I can't say because it varies according to distance to subject, if you're bouncing flash or diffusing it, size of the room etc. The flash output has to vary according to all these things as you work or the images will be over or under exposed. I suggest you put the flash on TTL and use a program mode so the camera and flash will speak to each other and work it out for you. Here's a couple of vids which should help you /watch?v=ossUnYKs7ME and /watch?v=0giGj3nbCxU

  51. fred c June 30, 2013 at 6:47 am

    hey mike have taken photo in a light box?

  52. Jack Hammer June 30, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    As always, another fantastic tutorial!
    Thanks Mike

  53. Mike Browne July 4, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    You're ever so welcome, my pleasure:-)

  54. PIXELFLUX July 4, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    HAH, the ending was hilarious!

  55. Mike Browne July 4, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    Thank you haha

  56. PIXELFLUX July 4, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    I was just wondering, Mike, which city are you from? Those landscapes and the beach are awesome, I'd love to visit it and go shutter-happy some day 🙂

  57. Mike Browne July 5, 2013 at 10:21 am

    Mudeford, why not join us on one of our workshops?

  58. PIXELFLUX July 5, 2013 at 10:28 am

    Because Birmingham is not so close 🙂

  59. TheNo85307 July 5, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    Hello, Mike. I love your videos. Helped me a lot. Can I have a question, please? Are you planning any analog series? I think it could be great 🙂 Thank you so much for your answer. Jakub

  60. darthwisner47 July 6, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    Hi Mike,
    I have a Panasonic Lumix GF5. I was wondering what you thought of the micro 4/3 cameras?
    Thanks.

  61. Antonio Elizalde July 8, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    the ending!! hahahahaha.
    i love your videos!!

  62. Mike Browne July 10, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    Thank you 🙂

  63. Mike Browne July 10, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    I'm sure they're OK provided you don't want to make big prints – sorry I'm not an expert on all the different cameras and types of camera because I haven't used many of them. have a look on some forums and see what people who own these cameras are saying about them.

  64. José Agustín Alegría July 10, 2013 at 11:09 pm

    Mike, your explanations are so interesting and illustrative. Thank you once again for your work.

  65. Gemi' Mack July 13, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    I have loved learning from your video's, Please please do one on shooting video's with Nikon s , I have the D3100 . Thanks !!!!

  66. Md Shahadat Hossen July 16, 2013 at 7:39 am

    all i wanna know is who is that stupid who put dislike on this video ? i cant find any reason really …

  67. Ahmed Muztaba August 13, 2013 at 4:38 am

    Mike please make a video on Panorama. I am sure i can't get the hang of it if you don't make a video about it. Please

  68. Mike Kuna August 13, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    Hello Mike.
    I just discovered your channel and I'm really enjoying it. In this FAQ episode you mentioned that a new compact will best a DSLR from 5 years ago. Can you be a bit more specific? Has sensor technology gotten so good that a newer compact (like a G15 with a 1/1.7 sized sensor) will perform better than my ancient 2003 Canon 300D which has an APS-C sized sensor? Low light performance better, etc? Just interested in an expert's opinion.

  69. Mike Browne August 14, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    Thank you Mike. I can't be specific because I don't know the cameras you mention. Technology has moved on massively and I can't help notice how my phone can cope with strong contrast backlight better than my DSLR (in jpeg mode). BUT as i said in the video you don't have as much the creative depth of field and perspective control on a bridge / compact.

  70. Mike Browne August 14, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    Keep you eyes peeled – there's one coming soon 🙂

  71. LordTerenas August 23, 2013 at 5:47 am

    Actually Mike, your focusing technique is better than moving the focus dot. Most cameras have only the center dot as a cross-type, and others are a lot slower and less accurate, so your recomposing technique wins the day. 🙂

  72. Uztakfuer August 25, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    20 years tripod !!! fortunately every consumers aren't like you 😉

  73. Mike Browne August 26, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    🙂

  74. Mike Browne August 26, 2013 at 8:05 pm

    🙂

  75. Debra Marvin October 13, 2013 at 2:43 am

    Tangfastic videos, love your style of teaching and use of analogies! Write a book!!!

  76. Mike Browne October 13, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Thank you Debra. I've written two eBooks / eCourses, one about starting photography and the other is an in depth about wedding photography. both are available on the website..

  77. RaViNgJoNeS October 15, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    Where do you live ( country )

  78. Mike Browne October 17, 2013 at 10:00 am

    UK South coast 🙂

  79. Gareth Brooks October 26, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    Also the centre focus point is the most accurate. Fab videos. If you're ever in North Wales, give me a shout 🙂

  80. Mike Browne November 4, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    Thank you. I had a great joint workshop with an artist almost set up in Snowdonia but they pulled out at the last minute. If you're interested in helping me set up another please take a look at this video and maybe get in touch through the website. There's a link in the video. /watch?v=5vv-C_Ej8VU

  81. berto1999 December 26, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    Recompose the picture, with some objectives, it is almost useless, example: with macro lenses or long focal length lenses like 300mm or 400mm. If you move a macro lens, if you go forward a millimeter or two, it's like if you go forward one meter(the subject will be easily out of focus). Who buys a camera, must take this into account. Fortunately Nikon cameras have a lot of points AF system, like the Nikon D610, D5200 and D5300(39-point AF system), Nikon D800, Nikon D3X, Nikon D4 and Nikon D7100(51-point AF system).

  82. Linda T January 20, 2014 at 3:09 am

    Mike any chance you could do a video on two or more people in a photo with a soft background?  

  83. alcylon February 16, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    I have learned and understood more about photography than anywhere by watching your videos. It's the best I've seen on Youtube This is probably the way you teach. It is understandable to non-technical geeks like me. 🙂

  84. rajib gomes September 10, 2014 at 6:19 am

    Thanks Mike all your videos r very helpful for beginners like me u r like a mentor of mine

  85. joe nick January 26, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    This guy is great! Informative, easy to understand and enthusiastic.
    I have my sights set on a MFT camera to get a way from my basic P&S. However, I need an iMac or something to store and process digital images. I don't think my 16GB ipad will suffice! More expense!
    Keep up the good work Mike. When funds permit, I will be getting your photography course for beginners.

  86. Natasha Bajaj February 14, 2015 at 12:15 pm

    Superb recap for a learner like me. Thanks Mike!

  87. pei broker March 4, 2015 at 1:28 am

    informative, thanks…

  88. Rick Saint John September 19, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    Hey Mike, GREAT VIDEO!! You said something here that interest me. You spoke about AV mode and P mode, saying that program mode you may use for a wedding. I have agreed to photography a friends wedding for free in November, should I be using P-mode or AV mode? Since watching your videos in the past couple of weeks, I started using AV mode, and really love it, it really does allow me to focus more in being creative, rather than messing with so many controls.

    Mike, I realize this is a lot to ask, however could you do a short video on shooting a real wedding? So that you can demonstrate all the different lighting and techniques that may be used and needed. Thank you!!

  89. Denise Savage June 16, 2016 at 3:40 am

    Love the entertainment bits Mike!

  90. Louise B August 31, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    Thank you Mike! I learn much from your videos and you are my go to guy! You are a gifted teacher!

  91. Helen Huston October 17, 2017 at 5:39 am

    Thank-you Thank-you Thank-you, finally somebody explaining auto focus points easily, and I stumbled upon this Video.
    Love your work Mike Browne

  92. Vic Stokes Photographer December 11, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    Shutter priority i do not like on my digital camera it keeps picking a wide aperture no matter what iso or shutter speed i pick but i am shooting with a 28mm to 2000 mm lens at the moment.
    Aperture priority and manual mode are always the best in all situations

  93. Handyjack January 17, 2018 at 9:26 pm

    Short and to the point – love them.

  94. IV Doc April 1, 2018 at 2:58 pm

    I like your videos because they are just like a bikini… they are not too big yet they cover the strategic points. And with great views!

  95. Anthony Hazlewood August 1, 2018 at 7:22 pm

    Well explained Mike, you make it easy to understand these things – I love the FAQ's…

  96. Iain Geoghan December 16, 2018 at 12:58 pm

    shooting street photography you better know how to use that toggle switch really well, so that focus dot is able to MOVE FAST!!

  97. Iain Geoghan December 16, 2018 at 1:07 pm

    Look out Numpty, i have shot D90, D750 (he died after Europe) and now D810. I shoot in the dark so much mate. I am almost always shooting manually, with no flash. there are loads of times where even the EC will muck up the shutter speed in extremely, odd, lowlight. ugh, i hate talking talking about his s***. fun video. dull rainy day. trying to figure what to do. shoot like Gary Winogrand and Peter Lindbergh and pump out the flash gun and shoot like Bruce Gilden:)

  98. They Call Me Jesse The OCD and HOCD Channel February 10, 2019 at 12:23 pm

    Mike is like da Buddha of photography!

  99. Juan Carlos Lopez February 25, 2019 at 9:59 am

    I am lazy too. Yes, and your tripod has been to war !! VINTAGE! Once, I used an arca swiss head. Very expensive, EXCELLENT, but not necessary, unless you have extra money to spare! Leave the tripod as an inheritance for your sons!

  100. John Lopez August 10, 2019 at 5:12 pm

    Mike, you make the most sensible and practical photography videos on YouTube. Fantastic content without useless content on technology that can only give marginal end results. I can't thank you enough!

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