My 2013 Photographic Review

December 25, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

Well, it's December 2013, which means it is time for my 2013 photographic review.   I started writing these reviews 3 years ago after being inspired by Alex Wise who shared a review of his photography....and I thought what a great idea!  If you haven't seen Alex's photography make sure you check out his blog.  Although I've never met the guy, his photography has been an inspiration to me and continues to be.

My 2011 review can be viewed here and 2012 here.



2013 started out photographically at 00:01 on 1/1/13.  We watched the 2013 New Year fireworks at the top of a mates street on Brisbane's southside.  It allowed for a great view of Brisbane City and the fireworks.  Unfortunately, I needed a 400mm or larger lens to capture it better.  Capturing fireworks is one area of photography which I haven't done much of or done all that well at so maybe I'll work on that in 2014.


In the second week of January my wife and I spent a week up at Noosa on Queensland's Sunshine Coast.  It was a really enjoyable time away.  We had stayed at Noosa previously but had never explored the Noosa National Park.  This gave us the opportunity to. 

This time away also taught me a lesson.....when going to photograph a sunrise always do some scouting first; otherwise you will not know what to photograph.  This particular morning I ventured to the aptly named Sunshine Beach.....the next beach over was Sunrise Beach.  Anyway...I got there super early!  Like 45 minutes earlier than I should have.  After waiting for the sun to rise a bit and having enough light to find a composition I found some grass to use as foreground interested.  I could have easily ruined this shot by putting footprints in the sand while wandering aimlessly trying to find what to photography....thankfully I didn't.

You never know what the morning will bring...You never know what the morning will bring...The particular morning I photographed this photo I had no idea what would greet me when I arrived at my destination. I had decided to go to a beach which I had never seen before and hope that I could find something of interest. After arriving at the beach and walking a little way down it to see what there was, I was a bit disappointed. It was basically a pretty boring beach. I found this neat square-like area of grass with a few waves of sand that I used as foreground interest to make sure the morning wasn't totally wasted. Rule number 1 in sunrise landscape photography is 'scout your location first' as you never know what the morning will bring....

Canon 5D Mark II
17-40 @ 21mm
ISO100 f/9 30sec


As I was heading back to our accommodation I saw this awesome light coming from behind the clouds so I quickly drove around and captured this sunrise over the sea.

Sunshine over Sunshine BeachSunshine over Sunshine BeachI had finished up photographing sunrise at Sunshine Beach in January this year and was heading back to the hotel when I saw this awesome light from out of the clouds. I must admit I did probably leave the location earlier than I should have but that was partly due to arriving there probably 30 minutes too early and a lack of inspiration. Anyway, I quickly turned down a few back streets to try to capture the sunrise. I pulled up next to some guy sleeping in his car and ran to a set of stairs to capture this.

Canon 5D Mark II
70-200 @ 200mm
ISO100 f5.6 1/250sec

Cropped panorama 1:5

Being up at Noosa allowed me plenty of other opportunities to photograph.  It also gave me the opportunity to explore Noosa National Park.  One afternoon after exploring the southern end of the national park we were heading back to the car and came across this little stream which led to the ocean.  It was great how the wavy nature of the darkened blackened sand mimicked the wavy nature of the clouds above.

Did the sky mimic the sand or the sand mimic the sky?Did the sky mimic the sand or the sand mimic the sky?This photo was taken at sunset at Sunshine Beach on Queensland's Sunshine Coast. My wife and I had been walking through Noosa National Park and we had turned around to head home. I had kept an eye on the sky all day (as most photographers do) and I saw there was potential for an interesting pattern in the sky at sunset. When I saw getting better I immediately thought of this little stream which flowed through to the sea which we had passed on Sunshine Beach. I started walking faster and then ran down the large amount of stairs onto Sunshine Beach to make sure I didn't miss the shot. As it turned out this pattern stayed around for a while.

In answer to the question in the title....I think the sky mimic'd the sand.

Canon 5D Mark II
17-40 @ 17mm
ISO100 f/16 1/4sec

As I have mentioned on previous occasions before, I am a big fan of panoramic photography.  I had a space above my piano in my lounge room at home which would be ideal for a large panoramic image.  Hence, again I took quite a lot of stitched pano's or I cropped down standard images to a panoramic format in January.  Below are a couple:

Little Cove PanoramaLittle Cove PanoramaI took this photo while on holiday in Noosa in early January. It was taken at Little Cove which is the first cove after Noosa Main beach as you walk east from Noosa Main beach. I really enjoy panoramic images. I went through a stage where I couldn't get them the way I wanted but I learned a few tips from Chi when we were in Tasmania. I don't have a pano head but might consider looking at one....either that or a panoramic film camera.

9 images stitched
Canon 5D Mark II
17-40 @ 17mm
ISO100 f/16 0.4sec
Noosa Main BeachNoosa Main BeachThis photo was taken while my wife and I were up at Noosa on holiday. We were swimming at the beach and I thought that the light was quite good for a beach panorama so I left the water, grabbed my camera from the hotel room, snapped a few shots, put the camera back and then went back to the beach!

Canon 5D Mark II
17-40 @ 17mm
ISO100 f/16 1/50sec
Hoya HD circular polariser

The rest of January didn't afford me any other opportunities to photograph.  However, I was extremely happy with the images I came away with from our time much in fact that I decided to have one of the images I took printed and framed and it is hung above the piano at home.

Terrific Tea TreeTerrific Tea TreeI photographed this during a recent holiday at Noosa. This was taken quite close to sunset at Tea Tree Bay which is the first Bay you come across in Noosa National Park. I had never been to Noosa National Park before, but it is a fantastic place. For photographers there is plenty of diversity including area's for seascapes and other landscapes such as this one. I saw the light hitting these tree's and had to hang around to photograph them. The fires around Bribie Island had blown smoke over the sunshine coast which gave the sunset more of an orange colour.

This is a 6 image panorama stitched and then cropped.

Canon 5D Mark II
17-40 @ 17mm
ISO200 f/5.6 1/125sec

February was a quiet photography month for me also....In hindsight I don't actually know why.  I met up with Chi and we headed to Deception Bay for a sunset shoot.  It was an enjoyable afternoon looking for reflections and inspiration in the ripples on the sand.  I was surprised to get a few keepers from this particular afternoon. 

Leave nothing behind...Leave nothing behind...Leave nothing behind....I think that's a good life motto. Give everything you can in everything you do...and leave nothing behind....unlike this fisherman. I suppose the titled could have been 'Take every opportunity...' as when this fisherman left this trap here it was probably high tide and plenty of opportunity to catch something. Now that the tide is down it doesn't look like such a brilliant idea, but they took the opportunity given. Sometimes it doesn't go well....but sometimes it does!

Photo taken at Deception Bay, Brisbane.

Canon 5D Mark II
17-40 @ 17mm
ISO100 f/16 1/10sec
Lee 0.6 Hard Grad

It took a while....It took a while....I shot this while out with Chi at Deception bay yesterday afternoon. We'd been trying for ages to make a time to catch up and go photographing but either I was busy or he was busy or it was pouring rain...hence the title. The sunset looked like it would be good right from the time I left my place. There were high wispy clouds and not too many clouds on the horizon. We headed to Deception bay knowing that the tide was out with the intention of getting some nice ripples in the foreground. It was a little windy so the reflections weren't brilliant but I managed to find this stiller piece of water.

Canon 5D Mark II
17-40 @ 17mm
ISO100 f/16 1/5sec
Lee 0.6 Hard Grad

I was asked by a colleague who I went to Uni with to photograph their engagement party.  A few years ago I decided to focus just on landscape photography as that is what I enjoy most and what I feel I am best at.  I had decided that I would try to do minimal formal photography of people but when Candice & Trent asked me to photograph their engagement party I just wanted to. 



In March my wife had a baby shower.  I was actually on call for work the day it was on so I stayed at home and took some photos for her of the occasion.  (I also made the coffee :P)


The church that Cecily and I attend had their renovations completed in March also, so I took my camera along and took some photos. 


With my wife being on maternity leave, and me having a rostered day off, Cecily and I headed down to the Gold Coast for an outing.  Initially we went to Currumbin rock pools for a swim but then stumbled across some great waterfalls.  With Cecily being 38 weeks pregnant she stayed on the walking track as I leaped and bound from rock to rock, up and down cliff faces to try to capture the waterfalls.  This is the best I got:

Look what we stumbled upon...Look what we stumbled upon...I had a 4 day weekend prior to the Easter long weekend so on the Monday My wife and I went for a drive down to Currumbin Rock pools to see what we could see and have a swim. In the end we didn't have a swim there. We saw a sign that pointed to a Natural park only 6 km from the rocks pools so we decided to drive and see what was there. We stumbled upon 3 or 4 different waterfalls. I took the opportunity to take a few photos. The difficulty was that you had to scaled the side of each fall to get down to the bottom to get a shot like this. I chose this fall as it appeared the easiest to get to the bottom of. Enjoy!

Canon 5D Mark II
17-40mm @ 40mm
ISO100 f/16 8sec
Hoya HD cicular polariser

On the 29th March 2013 there were some cool clouds I took the camera out and took some photos from the backyard.


April & May

From a landscape photography point of view, April had very limited highlights.  From a life point of view, it was fantastic!  My wife gave birth to our son Harry John Robert Canning at 12:09pm on 20/4/13. 


As a landscape photographer you would expect that I would be used to the early morning wake ups.....but let me tell you I wasn't!  I didn't get much chance to head out until one Wednesday afternoon (while I was still on paternity leave) the clouds looked good so I headed out to Samford for a quick sunset.

So beautiful...So beautiful...I took this photo during my first landscape photography outing after my son was born. Harry John Robert Canning was born on April 20 at 12:09pm weighing 6lb 12oz and 51cm long. Obviously I have been quite busy since he was born.

This afternoon I nipped out to Samford as it looked like the clouds would light up. I was going to head into the city but I wanted to be fairly close by in case I needed to get home to help my wife with Harry.

I have titled this image 'So beautiful...' as the sunset was, but so is Harry!

Canon 5D Mark II
17-40 @ 22mm
ISO100 f/16 0.3sec
Lee 0.6 Hard Grad
Manfrotto tripod

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May also allowed the opportunity for me to do a photography shoot for a mate who is starting up a proof reading business.  It was fortunate as I was borrowing a 100mm f2.8L macro from a mates cousins brother and so I could use that for this particular photoshoot.


In late May my parents-in-law were staying up at Cotton Tree on the Sunshine Coast.  As Harry had been having quite a good day on one particular Sunday, we decided to head up there for the afternoon.  Much to our surprise he slept most of the way there and most of the way back.  As I always do, I took my camera equipment with me.  I wasn't expecting to take any photos nor was I keeping and eye on the clouds and weather (like I normally do).  Anyway, while we were on a walk in the afternoon, the sky just lit up!  I quickly set up my tripod and fired off some shots.  I wasn't in the best location but still got a photo worth sharing.

Cotton Tree on fireCotton Tree on fireThis is a photo from Cotton Tree, Maroochydore. My wife and I, along with our son visited here last weekend. We were fortunate to see a fantastic sunset on this particular day!

Canon 5D Mark II
17-40 @ 27mm
ISO100 f/11 0.4sec
Lee 0.45 Soft Grad


As you can tell from my photography (and what I have written here so far) I really like panoramic photography.  I'm not sure what it is that appeals to me, but I just find it easy to compose in that ratio and I think it looks great.  Some of the great Australian landscape photographers such as Ken Duncan and Mark Gray both shoot  (or used to shoot) this format using film cameras.  Currently there is no affordable panoramic digital camera so you either have to crop a digital image or stitch multiple digital images.  I find that there are limitations to both these approaches, hence in 2013 I started looking around to see what 617 film cameras were available. 

In June I met up with Kane Gledhill from Kane Gledhill Photography.  I have followed Kane's photography for quite a while and it was good to meet him.  We met up to play with his Fotoman 617 film camera and to take some shots with it.  I had never seen a medium format camera before, let alone a 617 format.  The weather wasn't great but it was enjoyable.


A few weeks after this outing I found a Fuji G617 on eBay which I bid on and won.  I stocked up on film and started panoramic film photography.


June also brought an opportunity to head to Stanthorpe.  I had two days off either side of a weekend so we decided to venture down there with our 7 week old.  Initially we were going to just go overnight but in the end we decided to stay for two nights.  This gave a great opportunity to try out my new film camera.

The image below was my first ever 617 shot.  The one after that was my third image.  (It was really my second as I shot a blank frame for my second ever...!)

Awesome Orange!Awesome Orange!This was my first ever film frame taken on my Fuji G617. It was taken in Stanthorpe in Queensland.

Vertical pano's are elusive to me as I find them hard to visualise when photographing digitally. This was the perfect subject to try. I'll have to work on my vertical framing for future shots!

Fuji G617
105mm, f22 , 1/4sec
Velvia 50
Epson V700 scanner

Storm King Dam Sunrise IStorm King Dam Sunrise IThis was my second successful frame using my Fuji G617.

When I arrived at this location I found a nice area with some long grass and a fence leading into the water; perfect for a panoramic image. I set up my tripod and camera. It was fortunate that there was a picnic table close by that I could use to put my gear on.... I didn't have the all fumbled up feeling I had the day prior. I then sat around and waited some colour to come to the sky. I tried to meter the scene, but even with my digital camera under exposing by 2 stops the shutter speed was more than the maximum of 30 seconds on my digital camera. (I could have upped the ISO and calculated back but it was tricky enough!). I waited a bit longer until I metered the brightest part of the sky at a 30 second exposure 2 stops under exposed. I then had to compensate for the 2 stops under, the 1.5 stop center filter I had on and also velvia's reciprosity failure. I guessed that a 6 minute exposure would suffice.

Fuji G617
105mm, f/22, 6 minutes
Velvia 50
Epson V700

I had another outing to the city for sunrise to shoot film with Kane and to Eagle Street Pier for sunset for myself.

Brisbane City DawnBrisbane City DawnTaken near Wilson's Outlook in Brisbane at dawn.

Fuji G617
105mm, f/22, 5 minutes
Velvia 50
Lee 0.45 soft grad
Epson V700
Vertical CityVertical CityHere is my second ever vertical pano from my Fuji G617 taken at Eagle Street Pier at twilight. As you can see I need a bit more work on composing the vertical pano's.

Fuji G617
Velvia 100F f/45 2.5mins


In July we met up with my mate Chi (from CKPhotographics) who had a baby girl recently.  This was a good opportunity for me to take a few photos of them and for Chi to take some family portaits of Cecily, Harry and I. 

One Saturday in July Harry woke me up early....I looked outside and saw heaps of fog so I raced up to Mount Coot-tha and got the following two images (one film, one digital).

Fog ClearingFog ClearingI remember this one particular Saturday morning i woke up just before fact Harry woke me up (he was quite young). I looked outside and saw a lot of fog! I asked my wife if I could head up to Mount Coot-tha to photograph. She said yes so I quickly got all my gear in the car and drove there. I wish I had got there about 10 minutes earlier than I did but it was fine. I had 1 frame left on a roll of Velvia100F in my film camera so finished off the roll with this shot.

Fuji G617
Velvia 100F f/32 1/4sec
Good Morning BrisbaneGood Morning BrisbaneThis photo was taken from Mount Coot-tha scenic lookout on a foggy/misty winter morning.

2 images merged
Canon 5D Mark II
70-200 @ 115mm
ISO 100 f/16 1/25 sec
Lee 0.45 soft grad filter

Chi and I headed out to Mowbray Park for a sunrise the next day.  We had planned to go to Mout Coot-tha but because I had been there the day prior I suggested we head elsewhere.

Mowbray ParkMowbray ParkThis shot was taken just after sunrise on a cold winters morning at Mowbray Park. I met up with Chi on this particular morning. We had planned to go elsewhere, but the conditions were not what I was expecting so we headed here for a view of Brisbane City which you don't often see.

Canon 5D Mark II
17-40 @ 29mm
ISO100 f/22 1/10sec
Lee 0.45 soft grad


Early in August my wife, Harry and I headed out to Redcliffe.  We got there just before sunset and I had my camera with me (as I usually do) but Harry really was grumpy.  He screamed most of the way up there and wasn't happy in his pram (which was unusual).  After trying to take a few photos of him I gave up.  We headed to a fish & chip shop, had dinner and then went home.

Two weeks later we decided to head to Bribie Island.  Here Harry was much happier!  Bribie Island is a pretty nice place, but i always struggle to get decent photos there.  I always find for whatever reason there is a lack of foreground interest.  Anyway, on that day I decided to photograph across the Pumicestone Passage looking across to the Glasshouse Mountains and the sunset.  I decided it wasn't worth getting my film camera out this particular evening.

Bribie BrillianceBribie BrillianceMy wife, son and I decided to make the most of the marvellous weather we have had in South East Queensland for the last few weeks so we headed to Bribie Island.

It was a great sunset to watch this particular evening.

Canon 5D Mark II
70-200 @ 70mm
ISO100 f/22 86sec
Lee Big Stopper

In late August my wife and I decided it was time for Harry to have his first lot of pumpkin.  As most photography lovers would do, I decided to photograph the the occasion!

Caption: "I'm not sure about this Mum"


Caption: "Actually Mum....I really like this!"


September brought about my first Fathers day.  We decided to have Harry dedicated at Church on this day too. 

September is the month where Brisbane Festival is held.  For the last few years I have photographed the Santos City of Lights.  Last year I photographed them with Chi.  So, this year we decided to meet up to shoot them again.  We were aiming for a different angle so headed up to above the Busway near QPAC.  I decided to shoot digital this particular evening.  In the end I did some image blending to get the photo below.  You can read more about this on my blog.

Santos GLNG City of Lights 2013Santos GLNG City of Lights 2013

September also brought the Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia's National Conference in Cairns.  I was presenting a poster there so Cecily, Harry and I decided to stay an extra week after the conference.  I got the opportunity to use a fair few rolls of film during our trip up there.  Places we visited and photographed included Cairns Lagoon, Palm Cove, Fitzroy Island and Millaa Millaa Falls.

Fish out of waterFish out of waterThe description of this image describes a little the way I felt while taking this image. I was photographing my 4th ever roll of film on my FujiG617 and it was my first time using a light meter I had purchased. The truth is I didn't really know what I was doing with the light meter. This was complicated by the fact that I had my whole backpack on my back and I was knee deep in water.....all at 5:30am. Despite the difficulties I have come away with the image I wanted!

Fuji G617
Velvia 50 f/32 330secs

Morning GloryMorning GloryThis image was taken at Palm Cove just north of Cairns. This particular morning I had an image in mind that I wanted to I had my camera set up for it.....just waiting for the light. I then saw a person walking along the beach and that the sun was just poking out from behind the clouds. I quickly turned the camera, metered the scene and waited until the person was in the right spot. This is probably my favourite image from that particular morning.

Fuji G617
Velvia 50 f/32 0.5secs
Tide retreatingTide retreatingThis photo was taken at Fitzroy Island off the coast of Cairns.

Fuji G617
Velvia 50 f/32 0.5sec
Hoya HD circular polariser
Millaa Millaa Falls on filmMillaa Millaa Falls on filmMillaa Millaa falls was a 'must see' location on our recent visit to Cairns. It was actually quite a drive from Cairn city centre. My wife and I both felt a bit car sick while heading up the range to get there. On the way we stopped at Nerada Tea factory at Malanda. On the way home we ate a nice burger at a local cafe in Millaa Millaa.

I was fortunate that when we arrived there was 2 mini buses full of people at the falls. Everybody left apart from a family and another couple. This allowed me to take two photos of the falls without any people in! I then decided to put my polariser on and take a few more shots. By the time I had changed film and put the polariser on two more bus loads of people came! I still took two shots but under exposed them due to the polariser. It wasn't ideal weather for photographing a waterfall (harsh midday sun) but it was the only opportunity I had...and I enjoyed it!

Fuji G617
Velvia 50 f/32 0.5sec


When I got back from Cairns to Brisbane in late September I realised that the jacaranda trees were starting to blossom!  I had spoken earlier in the year with Kane that I wanted to photograph the jacaranda' on the Monday public holiday in October we ventured out to The University of Queensland and to Milton.  It was a great morning of talking photography and taking images.

Jacaranda HuntingJacaranda HuntingI headed out with Kane Gledhill ( a few weeks ago to photograph the iconic Jacaranda tree colours seen around Brisbane this time of year. As we both have film 617 camera's we opted to shoot mainly film for the day. We headed out to The University of Queensland. This is the first frame of 4 that I took on this particular day.

Fuji G617
Velvia 50 f/32 0.5 secs
Hoya HD circular polariser

Kane and I ended up at Wilson's Outlook after the visit to UQ.  He didn't take a frame but I decided to so I could finish off my roll of film.

Brisbane JacarandaBrisbane JacarandaI ventured out photographing with a mate in early October to capture the Jacaranda's that are so abundant this time of year in Brisbane. Our final location was Wilson's Outlook. Here is a shot!

This was shot on my film camera!

Fuji G617
Velvia 50, f32, 0.5sec
Hoya HD circular polariser
Epson V700 scanner

The 20th of October marked Harry turning 6 months old so I got the camera out to take some photos of him. 



In November there was a round robin soccer competition on between the hospital I work at and three others from South East Queensland.  Unfortunately I injured my ankle (pretty badly) on the Wednesday prior to the tournament so I was stuck on the sideline.  I decided to take my camera down and take a few photos.  I learned this particular morning that sports photography is very hard with a 5DII and 70-200.  I think a 1 series body and at least a 400mm lens is a must!  I don't think this is a path I will be heading down though!


I was invited to a work colleagues 30th birthday party in November so again (as I usually do) decided to take my camera with me and capture the occasion for her.



That was about it photography wise for November!


That brings us to this month!  I had the first two weeks of December off work on annual leave.  Cecily, Harry and I decided to head to Noosa again.  We really enjoyed it in January and we found a place which looked reasonable to stay at.  It was really funny because even though I know that holidays are a great time for me to head out photographing I really wanted to make sure that I didn't just focus on that while we were away.  I wanted to spend time with H and Cec doing whatever....visiting markets....going to the beach....looking at the shops.  I did head out a few times but I vowed that I would not do a sunrise on this particular holiday.  Although I enjoy them they really do ruin you!  It usually takes me a day or two to recover and catch up on sleep (particularly this time of summer!).  Therefore, I didn't photograph a sunrise.  I did manage a few day time shots, a sunset and some light trails at twilight. 

Hastings Street HustleHastings Street HustleI took this shot last week while staying in Noosa on holidays. My wife and I inadvertently stumbled across these awesome Christmas lights on Hastings street when we were returning from our nieces school Christmas presentation. I decided to head down at twilight the next evening to take a few photos.

Canon 5D Mark II
17-40 @ 37mm
ISO100 f/16 15sec
Pink sky at night sailors delight!Pink sky at night sailors delight!This photo was taken while visiting Noosa on holidays in December 2013. My wife, son and I had some fish and chips near the river at Noosaville and the sky looked like it would light up. There wasn't too much of interest there so we headed over to the foreshore around Noosa Wood and this boat formed the perfect foreground interest. We just sat around and waited for the light show....and it didn't disappoint!

Canon 5D Mark II
17-40 @ 17mm
ISO100 f/11 1.6sec
Lee 0.6 soft grad


Well that's a wrap on my photography in 2013.  Looking back on it I don't think I have managed to capture as much as I would have hoped.  Having said that I think it is fairly reasonable given the responsibility of looking after a little boy.  I can't wait until he is old enough to come out with me!  I think it still might be a while off! 

I have a few photography trips planned for 2014 already including hopefully a sunrise on New Years Day, a sunflower field outing in January, a trip to northern NSW to capture autumnal colours in April, a day or two in Melbourne in May as well as a few weeks off in August/September.  Hopefully I'll be able to capture some great images.

Last year I didn't set any goals for my photography, nor do I plan to for 2014.  However, there are a few things I'd like to achieve.  I have only photographed a rainbow once with my digital SLR (and that was right back when i first started!) so I would love to do this.  I'd like to try and get some more fireworks photography and obviously get some more shots on film.  Another project I would like to do is make some custom frames for some of my panoramic work and also design and have a portfolio/coffee table book printed.

I feel that I can do a bit more with my photography that just take photos and share on social media.  I'm not in the game to make myself day job does that...I would just like to bring joy to people who can see the beauty of creation through my images.  I'm not totally sure how to achieve this yet but I have read of stories of people who have read photography books and it has changed their life....from despair to hope...and I think that if can try to take that attitude to each sunrise, each sunset, each time I press that shutter then I am using the gifts and talents I have been given for good.  I suppose I will just have to wait and see what opportunities 2014 brings!

Thanks to everyone for your support on social media, internet forums and in person.  I hope you have had a Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year!


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