2018 Photographic Review | 35:Chronicle

28mm, 35mm, 50mm, black & white, boats, close-up, colour, faux-colour, Indoor, infrared, landscape, macro, nature, personal, photography, review, skies, spring, structures, trees, waterscape

One Hundred, into One.


Seeing as how this post happens to be my one hundredth, it’s actually ninety-nine into one . Since I began this blog back in March, I have also enjoyed the works and posts of so many of you and, if there could be more hours in a day, there would be many more besides, too, providing me with no less enjoyable learning, entertainment or, food for thought. I have also, over the last ten months, hoped to provide some interest in the field of photography, my own takes from various genres of our art-form which I feel so passionate about. Without the love for it, the desire to (hopefully) create something a little different on occasion or, the discipline to stay true, it’s all for nothing. Insosaying, I hope with all the passion that I have for various genres of photography, that my sincerity is not only intact but also, perhaps more importantly, unmistakably evident.

As this year now tick-tocks on to draw its last, making way for the next, I would like not only to thank you most sincerely for your input, your comments, clicks, follows and conversations, but to wish every one of you a very happy New Year for 2019. Your presence here is just as important as my own works, because without a reader, a word or a picture – would be pointless. Therefore, if you will forgive my indulgence, I would like to share with you all just some of my favourite frames from this inaugural year on 35:Chronicle.  I truly hope that you will enjoy them.

Wishing you all wonderful celebrations and, much happiness from the coming year.

Warmest regards,

Rob. 

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Snowdrops | 35mm.

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Telford Woz ‘Ere! | 720nm Faux-Colour Infrared | 35mm.

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Double-Masted | 720nm Infrared | 35mm.

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Bluebell | 35mm.

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Broom | 35mm.

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Milkbank House Ruins | 760nm Infrared | 28mm.

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Talla Reservoir | 760nm Infrared | 28mm.

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Talla’s Monitoring Station | 720nm Infrared | 50mm.

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How the Other Half Live | 720nm Infrared | 35mm.

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Sir Duncan Rice Library | University of Aberdeen | 28mm.

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Moonrise | 720nm Infrared | 85mm.

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Grandeur | 35mm.

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Happy New Year 2019, to You All!

R.


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Closer Still(s) | PT.XVII | Orchid [Colour PT.II] | 35:Chronicle

close-up, colour, macro, nature, photography

Splash & Dash.


Before I head out to work, I want to quickly send up a final post of my images from this beautiful flower, still basking in low, early winter-sun from behind my living-room window. Any of you who read my pages even semi-regularly will know that my joy lays moreso with black and white photography, but it cannot be argued that sometimes, a combination of colours and shades that so beautifully complement form – can be the sole reason that a frame should be captured in the first place. I still can’t make up my mind, when it comes to this orchid, as to which output I prefer. But then, do I have to decide? Perhaps, not. There’s room for both, I think. 

I do hope that you will enjoy these captures, and, that you have a great weekend ahead of you. 

R.

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I | 33mm f8.0

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II | 33mm f8.0

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III | 33mm f4.0

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[To view other posts in this series, please click the ‘orchid’ tag].

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Closer Still(s) | PT.XVI | Orchid [B&W PT.II] | 35:Chronicle

black & white, close-up, macro, nature, photography

Light, Shadow & Form.


This is the penultimate post in this latest series of images from the humble orchid, which resides and, seems to be thriving, happily in my living room. I cannot say that I prefer the colour frames previously posted in PT.XV – for the light, shadow and form which I feel when I see these frames in black and white, grabs my attention without any distraction. The qualities which for me, make this subject so beautiful, are not enhanced one iota by their colour. I wonder how many might feel or see the same. If I have done any justice to this little flower in these few captures, then, maybe you will?

R.

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I. [33mm f8.0]

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II. [33mm f14]

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III. [33mm f8.0]

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[To view other posts in this series, please click the ‘orchid’ tag].

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Closer Still(s) | PT.XV | Orchid | 35:Chronicle

35mm, close-up, macro, nature, photography

On Expiration (or, Breathing Out).


V.

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Before I write about the content of this post, I would first of all like to extend something to all of you who read and, follow my pages. I am never quite certain as to just why the the number ‘100’ is quite so significant, however, for some reason, it seems to be the case – for, yesterday, 35:Chronicle received its 100th follower. It’s not a number that I was waiting for, and, whilst I love statistics (though I don’t view them as often as I used to) – I do this for the love of it, the passion for photography and writing, if you like. Not only this, but to read so much wonderful work by so many of you, it’s a perfect way to relax, learn and engage the grey-matter simultaneously!) Nonetheless, whilst the number is just that, I wear a smile – one of gratitude to every single one of you who read my pages, enjoy any of my images, click, comment and, get involved even in the smallest of ways.  When I started 35:C back in March, I had no idea that I would be read by so many, or, from so many countries around the world. Today, I am so grateful to everyone who has contributed to these pages and, to you all, I would like to extent my most grateful thanks and, I hope you will return for a long time to come. I also wish to thank my friends who read my pages, offering encouragement and critique, and, whilst they are not WP members (they’ll come around, one day!) your input is utterly appreciated. To Amar, the thinker and the doer, I extend my deepest personal gratitude for the support, technical wizardry, patience and constructive criticism that you tirelessly provide. You’re the best ideas-man out there, barring none; and a good friend.

Without you all, these pages would be little more than an online diary. So, from me – a huge and warm thank you. You’re all completely (bloody) fabulous! This post is dedicated to each and every one of you.

R.

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VI.

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If you happen to love the colour yellow, this post is also for you. In truth, my frames would have been processed only in black and white were it not for their sunny disposition. The orchid’s form was in fact the reason that I wanted to capture them at all; their almost skin-like texture, their alien, possibly even deep-sea-like centres and, smooth curves. The black and whites speak to me – but how I exhaled in relief when, after only the smallest amount of processing (admittedly, I don’t do much) I looked at these frames. They are not perfect, they’re taken with old equipment but, they work for me.

I had spent the main part of the day preparing and constructing a macro-table in the corner of my spare room, a task which, if you saw it, looks like it should have only taken a few hours – instead, it took the entire day. With matte black covering (I used rolls of framing-card) on the table itself, and using a deconstructed, white plastic soft box, I created a high-ish walled corner which I also covered with the same card, clipped into place. Using a fisherman’s angled fly-tying clamp, a couple of small free-standing mirrors, clamped side lights, an overhead lamp, and an assortment of tripods of varying sizes and purposes, I was good to go. Rather than wait for the following day to shoot them, I waited for dark, doused all the lights I didn’t want, save for those on the table and, set to work. 

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VII.

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One thing that I do believe in when shooting anything to which you’re probably not going to return any time soon, or, ever – is – to shoot the hell out of it and from every angle you want. Use different depths of field, change lens-to-subject distance, exploit your subject to the maximum. Cut off from it’s host stem, this flower would last maybe two days in a shot glass full of water, at most. Therefore, I spent almost two hours with it. Just shooting. Recomposing. Re-shooting – and, loop! It’s a process that I become totally absorbed in; the rest of life disappears for a while, during which time my respect for the subject becomes all that is important to me. Casual has it’s time and place – but it’s not here. Some things are just too beautiful for that.  I hope that these elements come across in these frames.

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VIII.

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Thank you, always, for taking the time to view my pages. I am more grateful than I can write. 

[Frames V, VI, VIII – Ricoh GXR w/A12 33mm 2.5 Macro. Frame VII – Sigma SDQ w/18-35mm 1.8 Art, at 35mm]

[To view other posts in this series, please click the ‘orchid’ tag].

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Closer Still(s) | PT.XIV | Orchid | 35:Chronicle

35mm, black & white, close-up, macro, nature, photography

On Inspiration (or, Breathing In).


It has been a long fortnight since my last proper post and, a lot has been going on during this time. At the back of my mind has sat, constantly, thoughts of how I will move my photography forwards over the coming months and, whilst I have been pottering away trying my hand at making some kind of studio in my larger spare-room, I have been repeatedly inspired by much of the work I see here on WP, in the shape of writers, photographers and, artists whose work I follow and read regularly. It is short-sighted to think or believe that our works are, or could be, enough – or more ridiculously, the pinnacle of our achievements when there exists so much inspiration that can only ever serve, if we truly care about our art, to spur us on to more wonderful or beautiful things.

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I.

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This first post in my Orchid series, is, inasmuch as it could be, a doffed cap to a post I read and often return to, entitled Still Life with Tulips by Alena Shminke and, though my composition, focal distance and subject are all different as well as the tools of our trades, “Tulips” inspires me with its own tone and composition and in these elements  my attention was directed more greatly than with my previous shoots within the engaging genre of close-up photography.  (This is why my first post in this series is of solely black and white compositions, as opposed to colour which, will follow soon). Whether I have achieved more by such considerations would not be for me to say, but the process is all the more engaging when keeping elements of the works of others in mind. Inspiration is a gift to any of us who open our eyes and our minds to invite it.

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II.

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III.

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The Orchid itself was another gift, of a nine-year old girl called Maddison – who, upon returning home one afternoon during the autumn, proudly, smiling as she did so – wandered over to her gentleman neighbour who was sitting in the sunshine, to  give it to me.  Kindness, altruism and generosity are also inspirations but never moreso than the smile of a happy child.  So, for Maddie – thank you! I hope that this first series (and subsequent offerings) preserve what still is, a beautiful gift. (Tell your mum I use a little tomato-feed! Works a treat!)

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IV.

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Lastly, (and I should do this more often, I know) if I may mention another blogger, here on WP. Donald Reese has recently grabbed my attention with his utterly stunning low-light, light-painting street and environmental photography and, makes amazing use of rain, flashes and torches – as well as his cameras. If you’re interested, please take a look


[Frames I, II, IV – Ricoh GXR w/A12 33mm 2.5 Macro. Frame III – Sigma SDQ w/18-35mm 1.8 Art, at 35mm]

[To view other posts in this series, please click the ‘orchid’ tag].

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Local Pheasant Leaves Photo-Present | 35:Chronicle

35mm, black & white, close-up, macro, nature, photography

A Ringneck’s Three.


Tip, Shaft & Quill.

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Closer Still(s) | PT.XII | 35:Chronicle

35mm, close-up, macro, nature, photography

Purple Poppy-Pods.


I. | 35mm – 1/3″ | f10 | ISO:100

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II. | 35mm – 1/2″ | f10 | ISO:100

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‘Between Moments | PT.II | 35:Chronicle

50mm, black & white, close-up, colour, macro, nature, personal, photography

(A Little More) Backyard Buffoonery.


Okay, nothing serious here – just a few frames I managed to snick from a mess-around this afternoon in the garden, with various Ricoh set-ups. 

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Waiting for the Bumble (that Never Showed) | GXR & 50mm (EFoV).

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An Unfolding Gladiolus | GXR & 50mm (EFoV).

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(For a Four-Legged Friend) Sweet William | GXR A16 & Hoya +10.

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Gladiolus | GXR A16 & Hoya +10.

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Closer Still(s) | PT.XI | 35:Chronicle

50mm, black & white, colour, macro, nature, personal, photography

Taking a Chill-Pill.


Heck, I can’t always take photography too seriously; without doubt it is and has been one of my biggest passions throughout the past twenty (plus) years of my life and, I dare say, by those who know me personally, I am known for it. But there’s another side to the seriousness of getting the image and that is, to simply get the camera out and just have a little fun with it – and to not worry or be so seriously preoccupied with perfect composition or, focus or, whatever else we look for. The truth told, I love to shoot freestyle, freehand, free-lensed and, I don’t do it anywhere nearly as often as I would like, and, I have been photographically rather lazy lately. I could make excuses about the weather or some-such, but I’d be spouting bollocks so, I’m not going to place a blame. I guess sometimes, we just need a little break from the – constant thinking? I don’t know if I am making any sense here but I promise, I’m not writing for the sake of it. 

For me, the real enjoyments of photography come from many aspects. It’s so engaging when you would want it to be, so technical in thought and deliverance at other times and yet, so passive and relaxing on occasion, too. Depending on any given genre, expectations, deadlines, or presenting difficulties, all are true. If you are yourself an enthusiast, you will know this already. But at the heart of every image is me, you, and how we see. I love to look; and see; and interpret; and steal a frame. What I don’t love – is to always feel like I’m overthinking because then, at some uncertain, invisible point of effort, a line gets crossed and, I don’t always enjoy it so much – especially when that line is completely bulldozed. Indeed, on such occasions, I can take a whole load of shit and know that I have before I have even depressed the shutter. Yet I do it anyway – like shutter-finger Tourette’s  Syndrome (hereafter referred to as SFTS). Damn, I hate it when I do that because not least, I know I’m just going to spend more time at home, after upload, deleting the crud. 

Most often, I find that when I’m making shots for the fun of it, with no actual goal in mind, when I don’t care so much about focus, or content – I tend to make images that I like, nevertheless. In opposition, as we all have – I have put so much effort and thought into a particular shoot or subject and come away with so much utter crap, it could make me cringe at the knowledge that my own brain decided that that capture was a good idea. Really? 

With all of this preamble out of the way, I decided, with plenty of time to kill today and, though the weather was not playing ball (I was hoping to get a little more of a tan on my chrome-dome – uh… no!) – to faff around with my favourite body & prime combo and, make a few frames; just to see what I might come away with. No, given the images I have posted here, you’d be forgiven and absolved for thinking that I have actually been yapping on for the sake of it, because technically these images are not fabulous, or varied. They are indeed unimaginative, poorly composed, a tad soft, but do you know what? Today, I don’t care. Today, I made some photographs; and I like ’em! Moreover, I hope you will too. Yes, I shot close without a tripod – I was chilling

By the way, the first image in this post is great in colour, because it really looks to me like a camouflage-act and, it may have been, in the mind of the Hoverfly. I wasn’t going to post it in colour because I really do prefer the mono-shot (moreover because I have genuine dislike for the colour orange for some barmy reason that I can’t explain) – but I caved in, and have included it at the end of this post. You’ll see what I mean when you get there, if, that is, you haven’t nodded-off already. Okay – time to wake up. It’s picture time!) Thanks so much for reading and I hope you have a great week ahead. 

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Montbretia & Hoverfly | 50mm – Handheld.

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Montbretia | 50mm – Handheld.

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Camouflage? | 50mm – Handheld.

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[There’s a photographer in India called Rajeev Virmani – he makes some beautiful environmental flora photographs and I have to say, he has nowhere near enough followers for the work he puts in and puts out here on WP. Please, if you like the genre, do take a look at his images. He has an intimate and opportunistic approach that may well appeal to many. I don’t know him but I do love so many of his images. If you have a little time, you may enjoy a peek!]


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Karma? | 715nm Infrared | 35:Chronicle

50mm, close-up, faux-colour, infrared, macro, nature, photography

Sometimes, We All Need a Helping-Hand.


This little guy was crawling very lethargically around my garden a few days ago. While I know little to nothing about bees, I figured he(?) could use a lift. I picked him up and placed him on one of my flowering shrubs and instantly, he began to gather. For a few minutes I just watched it – half grateful, the other half of me just happy to see it perk up. Then, it occurred to me that I might be able to grab a few frames and, the one close-up capable camera I had almost instantly to hand was my 715nm IR converted GXR 50/Macro. For around five minutes more he frequented the flowers on my shrub before he had gathered enough strength to buzz-off again. Still, though my discipline was far from perfect and I was shooting handheld, I was rewarded with a few shots that, whilst a little tricky to process in faux-colour, were worth it. Karma at work? I’m not sure. But, it’s possible. 

With more time and a less urgent / opportunistic approach, I’d have set-up for this kind of work properly, but as is – these are just a few excited (excitable) grab-shots. (The high-key is intentional and, a result of my habit of spot-metering when I macro.) I hope you’ll enjoy them.

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I. | 50mm | 715nm IR.

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II. | 50mm | 715nm IR.

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III. | 50mm | 715nm IR.

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Closer Still(s) | PT.X | Infrared 715nm | 35:Chronicle

50mm, close-up, faux-colour, infrared, macro, photography

One Red Poppy.


There is such a pleasure in photographing in infrared, (in fact, I can say the same of making images utilising any alternative-wavelengths) though I can’t even begin to describe it. Something about the added uncertainty of the quality of the light we can’t see – and wondering how to control it and, capture it. It definitely keeps me thinking; sometimes head-scratching. Yet so often, surprise and delight are revealed in such density that one cannot help going back for more, and more

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I | Poppy | 50mm 1/125th @f8 | ISO:271 | 715nm IR

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Since having received my IR converted A12 50mm for my GXR it occurred to me that I’ve not really given it a fair outing, yet. It’s not like it will care, or anything like that; it has no feelings and minds not if it’s being used or, if it spends its time just rattling around in compartment three, in my bag. But – though I love what I’ve managed to capture with my 28mm IR unit, the 50 is a rather different kettle o’ fish. For landscapes and closer, wide-angle stuff, the 28 is supreme and, at 760nm,  has a perfect base-wavelength for those tasks, but the 50 has a whole other genre as its niche. Whilst I haven’t taken it out for more natural FoV shooting as yet, I did, this morning, mooch around the garden trying out some close-up and macro subjects while the sun was out. Being as this is the UK – that latter consideration should remind you that unless the forecast states temperatures of 25 Celsius or higher for the entire day, the sun largely makes its own mind up as to whether it’s going to shine or hide behind the nearest cloud, and, there’s usually at least one large bugger waiting  for that job. That said, I had around a half-hour for a play before the inevitable happened.

It was enough.

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II | Poppy | 50mm 1/220th @f5.6 | ISO:200 | 715nm IR

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I’ve broken with a couple of traditions for these frames. The first is more of a sacred rule than a tradition, I suppose: I shot these handheld because I was just too lazy to set up on my tripod.  (There. I said it.) Secondly, I so seldom process infrared in false-colour because, well – it just never looks natural to me (even after setting the correct WB). If I can’t believe what I’m looking at, then I’m certainly not going to expect anyone else to believe it either and, if that should be the case then, what is the point? Still something about these frames made me want to have a go at FC-IR again. Therefore, after processing the entire batch in black and white (my ‘safety-net’ batch), I went back to the beginning and re-processed the whole lot for the second batch in faux-colour; and, you know what? I actually prefer them. I enjoy the subtlety that 715nm has afforded to the colours – and, I have done extremely little to these files  in order to complete them. Still, complete, they are and I am very happy to share a few of them. One single bright-red poppy, dishevelled by short bursts of heavy rain and a fortnight of regular stiff breezes, yet, still every bit as photogenic as when it first came to flower. 

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III | Poppy | 50mm 1/180th @f8 | ISO:200 | 715nm IR

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IV | Working Lunch | 50mm 1/125th @f8 | ISO:238 | 715nm IR

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Closer Still(s) | PT.IX | 35:Chronicle

50mm, close-up, colour, macro, nature, photography

Cherry Blossom.


I.

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II.

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