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Posted 06/03/2021
Every now and again there are conversations that flow and sparkle; they seem laden with professional insights and creative gems. Our chat with photographer Mona Kuhn is one, and perhaps it’s Kuhn’s self-awareness, her quiet confidence, and an ability to articulate her motivations that make it so. There are few who will disagree that her visual stories, her portraits, nudes, landscapes, and photo essays are among the most assured in contemporary photography, and on this episode of the B&H Photography Podcast we just revel in her good humor and willingness to share process. We speak a good deal about Kuhn’s new book Mona Kuhn: Works, and how it distills twenty years of an evolving career without ever seeming like a “retrospective.” We discuss editing strategies for this and previous books, how she created her intimate series, and why the sustained connections and relationships with her subjects are, to Kuhn, the most successful results of her extremely well-regarded work. As mentioned, she is very generous with her thoughts on photography, on how she used photo techniques to avoid the “gratuitous presence of the nude” and that the human figures she photographs are used to communicate “beyond just what you see.” She also references the work of Mike Disfarmer, how the square Hasselblad format forced her to be creative when photographing the “rectangular” human body. In the second half of the program, we cover aspects of her commissioned work and the satisfaction of being spontaneous in editorial work and of exercising the “problem-solving side of your brain” in the commercial sphere. We also discuss the differences between stories told in a book compared to a gallery, how she is comfortable on a monitor using Lightroom, but her book edits need to be printed and arranged physically to cull and order into “visual sentences.” Finally, Kuhn offers a very nuanced thought on the meaning of her personal images, encouraging “a dialogue of meanings” and noting that sometimes "quiet images last longer.” Join us for this delightful chat and have a look at Kuhn’s other new book, Study, from TBW Books. Guest: Mona Kuhn Photograph © Mona Kuhn Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Shawn C Steiner
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Posted 03/11/2021
This is the second episode of the B&H Photography Podcast produced with the collaboration of Leica Camera, and we are pleased to welcome photographer Stella Johnson to the show. It is the “in-between moments of life” that Johnson describes as the subject of her work, work that includes books and documentary series made in Cameroon, Greece, Nicaragua, and Mexico. In this easygoing conversation, we discuss the nature of her long-term projects, and the motivations that return her to the same places year after year. We also talk about composing with rangefinder cameras, being at the eye level of your subject, and the weeks that go by without making pictures and the verbal and nonverbal communication necessary when you are invited as a photographer into a community or home, as Johnson has been. For her personal documentary work, Johnson has relied on Leica M cameras and a 35mm focal length lens. We discuss this focal distance in terms of a personal comfort zone and one that even felt safer during pandemic time. Johnson keeps her settings simple and concentrates on composition and the moment; she tends to find light and locations that she likes and waits for the images. Because Johnson’s compositions are so strong in black-and-white and her color work is minimal and adroit, we ask for her thoughts on how to work with both formats and if a fluidity between them is easy. Finally, in searching for a definition of documentary photography, we mulled over the effect of time, of returning to locations and subjects, of its distinction from photojournalism, as seeing “what life is like” and the stories of “just daily life.” Guest: Stella Johnson Photograph © Stella Johnson From “Al Sol” © Stella Johnson From “Al Sol” © Stella Johnson From “Al Sol” © Stella Johnson From “Al Sol” © Stella Johnson From “ZOI” © Stella Johnson From “ZOI” © Stella Johnson From “ZOI” © Stella Johnson From “ZOI” © Stella Johnson From “ZOI” © Stella Johnson From “RE-CREATIONS” © Stella Johnson Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Shawn C. Steiner
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Posted 09/23/2020
For the headline of this week’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we lifted a line from our guest’s own Instagram bio. It would have been too easy to call a show with Walter Iooss Jr. “Sports Photography Legend” or some such, but that pigeonholes Iooss too easily, and does not recognize the scope of his engagement with photography and with the creative process. Yes, Walter Iooss Jr. is sports photography. He has more than 300 Sports Illustrated covers to his name, his first professional gig was at age 17, and for six decades he has photographed several Hall of Fames’s worth of athletes, including names like Arnold, Mary Lou, Muhammad, and Tiger, and his work with Michael Jordan is unparalleled. Also—every Super Bowl. But he has also photographed rock stars, models, fashion and commercial assignments, portraits, and documentary series. And he tells us of his love for music and that if not for a twist of fate, he might have been a musician. The man is a creator for life, a photographer for life. With Iooss, our conversation takes a leisurely approach, touching on a few of his more memorable photos and some of the interesting lesser knowns; the breadth of his work alone could keep us talking for hours. Along the way, we learn a little about his upbringing, the love for music, his mentors, and the time he shot for Atlantic Records. We discuss how he builds a composition, whether it be an action shot during a game or a complicated portrait setup. We also talk about using a giant Polaroid camera, the coming of autofocus, and Canon DSLRs. Join us for this pleasant conversation that is sure to interest not only fans of sports, but fans of photography. Guest: Walter Iooss Jr. Photograph © Walter Iooss Jr. Andy Samberg, 2011 © Walter Iooss Jr. Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier, 2003 © Walter Iooss Jr. Emmet Ashford, 1968 © Walter Iooss Jr. Tony Scott and Gary Templeton, 1979 © Walter Iooss Jr. Greg Louganis, 1984 © Walter Iooss Jr. Dave Parker and Grant Jackson, 1980 © Walter Iooss Jr. Jack Nicklaus, 1967 © Walter Iooss Jr. The Blue Dunk, Michael Jordan, 1987 © Walter Iooss Jr. The Corner, Havana, Cuba, 1999 © Walter Iooss Jr. Leipzig, East Germany, 1976 © Walter Iooss Jr. Lee Trevino, 1991 © Walter Iooss Jr. Willis Reed, 1973 © Walter Iooss Jr. Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 11/06/2019
On today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome photojournalist and sports photographer Nick Didlick to our show. Didlick has been a freelance shooter, a staff photographer, an agency photographer for Reuters and UPI and, while covering the world news, was nominated for two Pulitzer Prizes. He also is an accomplished videographer, editor, and producer, and has served as Photo Chief for the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and as Director of Photography at the Vancouver Sun, where he oversaw the staff change from film to digital photography. As a photographer, Didlick has always been ahead of the technological curve, willing to try new cameras and transmission systems and push existing technology to its limits. He joins us to discuss his technical evolution as a sports photographer and the features that he considers important to balance technological advances with age-old experience of craft. We ask Didlick to look back on his career and discuss important steps in the evolution of his kit, including autofocus features, compact lenses, telephoto extenders, remote control, wireless transmission and, of course, the development of digital photography. We also look ahead to improvements in metadata and artificial intelligence and his overarching philosophy that all advances should be embraced if they are needed to improve your workflow. Throughout the episode, Didlick pokes fun at my “old” DSLR technology in favor of his Sony Alpha a9 II Mirrorless camera but, in doing so, he underscores his point, that as photographers, the hardest part of advancing your skill set is “un-learning” what you considered fundamental and embrace the changes that can improve your photography. Join us for this rollicking and enjoyable episode. Guest: Nick Didlick Above Photograph © Nick Didlick Wayne Gretzky © Nick Didlick Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev © Nick Didlick Remnants of Pan Am Flight 103, Lockerbie, Scotland © Nick Didlick Tiger Woods © Nick Didlick 2019 NCAA Final Four © Nick Didlick Lindsey Vonn © Nick Didlick Rodeo © Nick Didlick Usain Bolt stumbles and falls during race © Nick Didlick IAAF World Athletics Championship, 2019 © Nick Didlick Venus Williams © Nick Didlick Sloane Stephens with U.S. Open trophy, 2018 ©Nick Didlick Aibo dogs from Sony © Nick Didlick Nick Didlick and Allan Weitz © John Harris Previous Pause Next Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 06/05/2019
Do you have undeveloped rolls of film that have been sitting around forever? Maybe you don't even realize that you have unprocessed rolls from the "good ol' days of analog" in an old camera bag or a dresser drawer. Now is the time to look into this matter and have the chance to explore and share your memories, perhaps even rediscover events and people that memory has left behind. On this week's episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we welcome the directors of Lost Rolls America, Ron Haviv and Lauren Walsh. Inspired by Haviv's own The Lost Rolls book, they have initiated this project to create a national archive of lost, yet now found, images "to form a collective memory that prioritizes the role of photos in constructing our personal and shared pasts. In revisiting the past, this project also encourages contemplation of how the present and future will be remembered." The idea is simple, but one look at the growing archive and the memories shared, and it becomes clear how powerful this project can be. With Haviv and Walsh, we recount the genesis of the project, how PhotoShelter, PhotoWings, and FUJIFILM came onboard as partners, and they offer insight on the future plans for the project. They also discuss a few of the more interesting images and recollections submitted, how the submission process works and, of course, they encourage our listeners to submit lost rolls. Above Photograph © Mette Lampcov/Lost Rolls America Lost Rolls America: What kind of memories does this photo bring back? Valentina Zavarin: I was leaving alone to America. Time for adventure away from my mother and siblings. I remember how excited I was for this new life ahead after World War II. Everyone is smiling but I remember they were in a shock that they were left behind. Valentina Zavarin/Lost Rolls America, 1950 Lost Rolls America: Does this photo bring back any memories? Debra Miller: Yes. Sadness, horror, shock. Debra Miller/ Lost Rolls America, 2001 Lost Rolls America: Is this what you expected to see? Elizabeth Kamir: No. The old roll of Tri-X that had taken up residence in my drawer for nearly 30 years always dared me to imagine. I never planned to develop it. I assumed if there was anything on the roll, it would either be something innocuous, like pictures of my grandmother or something embarrassing, like theatrical, nude self-portraits. I might have taken pictures like that back then. Elizabeth Kamir/Lost Rolls America, 1990 Lost Rolls America: What kind of memories does this photo bring back? Mette Lampcov: It makes me think of how much I used to laugh my head off with her (Tracy). It makes me miss London and old friends, especially people who have a wicked sense of humor- and seeing her head float in the back garden is a perfect reminder of her beautiful funny madness. Mette Lampcov/Lost Rolls America, 2002 Lost Rolls America: How does this old photo make you feel? Michael Starensic: I feel a sense of accomplishment that I was able to capture the times and emotions as the country swayed from crisis to crisis. This was the last interlude- "coming up for air" I called it- between the major tumult of the Kosovo War two months earlier and the start of renewed opposition that month. We soon headed back to the capital and events were intense for the next 14 months. Nevena and I married 2 months later in Belgrade in the midst of mounting protest and turmoil. Michael Starensic/Lost Rolls America, 1999 Lost Rolls America: How does this old photo make you feel? Bruce Lampcov: Very nostalgic. I miss the days when my children were young and together we discovered new places, new cultures. Bruce Lampcov/Lost Rolls America, 2004 Lost Rolls America: What kind of memories does this photo bring back? Tamika Jancewicz: Just how huge I was when I was pregnant! I think I felt that way when I took the picture as well. Tamika Jancewicz/Lost Rolls America, 2007 Lost Rolls America: What are we looking at here? Russell Gontar: This is my friend, Linda. We spent an afternoon taking pictures at the beach and old amusement park. I asked her to close her eyes in an attempt to be "arty". Russell Gontar/Lost Rolls America, 1977 Lost Rolls America: How does this old photo make you feel? Jennifer Mitchell: As all the kiddos in the picture are my nieces and nephew, it makes me feel amazingly proud. One is in the Air Force Academy, one is a wedding planner in a Colorado Rocky Mountain resort, and one just got accepted into a PhD program for Astrophysics. I bet my sister (who is reading to them) thinks that she might have had a little something to do with it.:) When I showed her the picture, she sighed and said, "Oh, that was always one of my favorite things to do with those kids!" Jennifer Mitchell/Lost Rolls America, 2004 Lost Rolls America: How does this old photo make you feel? Keith Munger: Like One Of The Miraculous Few That Loves His Wife As Much Now As In 1969. I Am A Very Lucky Guy! Keith Munger/Lost Rolls America, 1969 Guests: Lauren K. Walsh and Ron Haviv Ron Haviv is a is an Emmy nominated, award-winning photojournalist and co-founder of the photo agency VII, dedicated to documenting conflict and raising awareness about human rights issues around the globe. He has worked in more than one hundred countries and published four critically acclaimed collections of photography. His work has been featured in numerous museums and galleries, including the Louvre, the United Nations, and the Council on Foreign Relations. Lauren Walsh is a professor and writer who teaches at The New School and NYU, where she is the Director of NYU Gallatin's Photojournalism Lab. She is editor of Macondo, a photo book documenting the long-term conflict in Colombia, and coeditor of the collection, The Future of Text and Image, as well as the Millennium Villages Project, a photography book about efforts to relieve extreme poverty in sub-Saharan Africa. She has appeared on CNN as a scholar of photography and digital culture, as well as in the documentary 9/11: Ten Years Later. Ron Haviv, Allan Weitz, and Lauren Walsh John Harris   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 11/21/2018
Today we welcome two of professional basketball’s best photographers, and that’s not just me talking. Nat Butler is Senior Photographer for NBA Entertainment and has worked the last thirty-three NBA Finals. He is also the official photographer for the New York Knicks and Brooklyn Nets. Andrew Bernstein is the longest-tenured official NBA photographer, the photographer for the L.A. Lakers and L.A. Clippers, a recent inductee to the NBA Hall of Fame, and the photographer of the new book, The Mamba Mentality, by Kobe Bryant. So, enough of the bona fides, these two photographers are also great friends, and they bring their easy-going banter and the ultimate insider’s perspective to the B&H Photography Podcast. Our conversation covers a wide range of topics, from the gear they use (and what they don’t), to the lighting systems they’ve developed, the intimacy of basketball photography compared to other sports, and how fashion and social media has affected their day-to-day work. We also dig into the shooting strategies they employ for each game and how their images are used by NBA Photos. Butler noted that in the past, a cover photo on Sports Illustrated would have been seen by approximately 3 million subscribers and, now, with tethering and instant feeds, a game photo can be seen by up to 30 million subscribers to the NBA Instagram feed within five minutes of the photo having been taken. Whether you are into sports photography, event and production photography, or NBA history, this easy-going episode is for you. Guests: Nat Butler and Andrew Bernstein Patrick Ewing at Madison Square Garden © Nathaniel S. Butler / NBAE / Getty Images Larry Bird and Magic Johnson © Nathaniel S. Butler / NBAE / Getty Images Tim Duncan © Nathaniel S. Butler / NBAE / Getty Images Bill Russell © Nathaniel S. Butler / NBAE / Getty Images Kobe Bryant, 1996 © Andrew Bernstein / NBAE / Getty Images Kobe Bryant © Andrew Bernstein / NBAE / Getty Images Kobe Bryant and Phil Jackson, 2009 © Andrew Bernstein / NBAE / Getty Images Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bernstein, Photograph courtesy Andrew Bernstein Magic Johnson, 1987 NBA Finals Game 4 winning shot © Andrew Bernstein / NBAE / Getty Images Kevin Durant and Steph Curry, 2017 NBA Finals © Andrew Bernstein / NBAE / Getty Images LeBron James, 2018 © Andrew Bernstein / NBAE / Getty Images Nat Butler and Andy Bernstein, 1980s Photograph courtesy Andrew Bernstein Nat Butler and Andy Bernstein, 2018 © John Harris Allan, Andrew, and Nat on the B&H Photography Podcast © John Harris Previous Pause Next   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Senior Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 08/31/2018
Today, we discuss tennis photography from two distinct points of view. Our first guest is an independent photographer with twenty years of tennis photography experience to his credit and, later, we’re joined by representatives from Drawbridge Digital, the company that is present for all three weeks of the 2018 U.S. Open, creating and managing the still photography used on U.S. Open.org. and archived by the U.S.T.A. On the first half of the show, we welcome Chris Nicholson, a veteran of our podcast, and a multi-faceted photographer whose tennis work has been published in Wired, Men’s Health, Golf Digest, Tennis Magazine, and the New York Times. We speak with Nicholson about the opportunities available for freelancers and even amateurs to shoot tennis matches and high-profile players. We discuss techniques, settings, and gear that will make your job easier and your photos better. After a break, we are joined by photographer Jen Pottheiser, and Reid Kelley of Drawbridge Digital, and we explore their massive undertaking to photograph the U.S. Open for the host organization. They work with all facets of the U.S.T.A. to provide photography to the editors at usopen.org, to their social media outlets, their marketing partners, as well as provide image storage solutions so that the thousands of photos taken at the Open can be made available for future needs. We speak with Pottheiser and Kelley about managing the workflow of the almost thirty photographers and editors on staff during the Open, about the on- and off-court images they look for, the systems they use to edit and organize the photos, and how to maintain your creativity while shooting nothing but tennis for three weeks. Join us for this timely and interesting look behind the scenes at the 2018 U.S. Open Grand Slam Tournament. Guests: Chris Nicholson, Jen Pottheiser, Reid Kelley © Chris Nicholson © Chris Nicholson © Chris Nicholson © Chris Nicholson © Chris Nicholson © Chris Nicholson © Chris Nicholson The Drawbridge Digital Team at the 2018 U.S. Open. Courtesy Drawbridge Digital Arthur Ashe Kids Day performers at 2018 U.S. Open. Courtesy Drawbridge Digital Jen Pottheiser and Reid Kelley © John Harris Reid Kelley, Allan Weitz, and Jen Pottheiser © John Harris Chris Nicholson on the B&H Photography Podcast © John Harris The B&H Photography Podcast team at Arthur Ashe Stadium. Courtesy Jen Pottheiser Previous Pause Next   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 12/29/2017
For the B&H Photography Podcast, 2017 has been a wonderful year. We published our 100 th episode, surpassed one million downloads, and reached #1 on the iTunes podcast chart in the Visual Arts category. Achievements aside, we are simply pleased with the remarkable guests we have hosted on our show, the variety of subjects we have covered, and the consistently entertaining and intelligent conversations we have published. And honestly, we are proud to have maintained our production output—week in week out—and to still really enjoy what we do. With this in mind and with gratitude to our listeners, guests, co-workers, and the management at B&H, we have cobbled together a 2017 year-in-review episode in which we discuss our favorite shows from 2017 and play a few clips of the most interesting moments from these episodes. The highlights were many and hard to narrow down, but Allan Weitz chose our episode with photographer Lynn Goldsmith as his favorite, with a close second being our talk with Bellamy Hunt, aka the Japan Camera Hunter. He also mentioned our talks with Richard Drew on his photograph, referred to as “Falling Man,” and our episodes with photojournalists (and husband and wife) Ben Lowy and Marvi Lacar. As for Jason Tables, he pointed to History of Hip-Hop Photography and Night Photography—From Film into Digital, as his favorites. My list included a few of those mentioned above, as well as an episode on social documentary projects and the clip I chose from our serial segment, “Dispatch,” with Adriane Ohanesian, in which she recounts the story of a fatal attack she survived while covering a story in Congo. We discuss several more episodes during this end-of-year extravaganza and hope that the clips pique your interest and inspire you to subscribe to our show and check out programs from our catalog, which now includes more than 100 episodes. Thank you and happy New Year from Allan, Jason, and John. Guests: Lynn Goldsmith, Bellamy Hunt, Richard Drew, Ben Lowy, Marvi Lacar, Danny Hastings, Eric Johnson, Janette Beckman, Vicky Tobak, Chris Nicholson, Lance Keimig, Adriane Ohanesian   Jason Tables, Allan Weitz, and John Harris   Jolene Lupo, Penumbra Foundation DON'T MISS AN EPISODE SUBSCRIBE NOW:   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 03/10/2017
Today’s episode broadens our normal photographic sphere as we discuss ophthalmic photography and how the eye’s own optical system is used in conjunction with camera equipment—some techniques very common, some not so—to examine the interior of the eye and to diagnose illnesses that go far beyond problems with vision. We are joined by Mark Maio, clinical medical and ophthalmic photographer and developer of the first high-resolution digital imaging system in ophthalmology. We talk with Maio about his early interest in social justice photography, working as a “jack-of-all-trades” photographer for a hospital, and how his eventual concentration in ophthalmic photography led to early adoption of digital technology and the development of a tool that helped to transform the industry. Throughout this conversation, we learn about the use of analog and digital photography in the biomedical field and how fundus cameras and other specialized gear are used to diagnose optical and systemic maladies. When the pupil is dilated, they eye becomes a portal into the body, and with the proper tools, we can see inside our corporeal system without cutting. Maio is also an accomplished fine art and documentary photographer, and we will also discuss how these various disciplines have intersected throughout his career and resulted in the workshops he leads on ophthalmic imaging, documentary, and landscape photography on the beautiful Isle of Skye. Guest: Mark Maio From the series Saving Sight-- The Flying Eye Hospital From the series Against the Grain – Buffalo Grain Industry From the series, Isle of Skye Previous Pause Next All photographs by Mark Maio DON'T MISS AN EPISODE SUBSCRIBE NOW:   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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Posted 01/20/2017
We are living in a Golden Age of landscape photography. Digital cameras and improved software enable the kind of imaging that until recently was only possible via the budgets of large publications and the talents and ambitions of a few select photographers. Ambition and talent remain, and with enhanced dynamic range and color algorithms, higher sensitivity settings, simplified stitching and compositing software, and a network of websites to display work, impressive landscape photography is abundant; however,  there are new masters and the skill set of current practitioners includes not only those of the photographer, but also of the savvy digital graphic artist.  With the ability to pull details from shadows, augment colors, and combine distinct files into a single image now easier than ever, we must ask—is it acceptable to represent nature without natural characteristics, to merge photos from different focal lengths into one image, or add a blazing sunset to a foreground taken hours or days apart? Can images composed in such a way even be defined as photography and does an ethos, akin to that in photojournalism, apply to nature photography? These are some of the questions we pose to two incredible landscape photographers,  Adam Burton  and  Ryan Dyar. We spoke with them separately, but prepared a similar set of questions, and asked them to walk us through their in-camera workflow and post-process techniques. We spoke about their approach to a scene, their use of “grad-filters” and plug-ins, acceptable degrees of enhancement, and strove to understand if there is indeed an ethics to landscape photography. Guests:  Ryan Dyar and Adam Burton Unprocessed image (left) and post processed image (right) Adam Burton Adam Burton Adam Burton Adam Burton Adam Burton Adam Burton Unprocessed image (left) and post processed image (right) Ryan Dyar Ryan Dyar Ryan Dyar Ryan Dyar Ryan Dyar DON'T MISS AN EPISODE SUBSCRIBE NOW:   Host: Allan Weitz Senior Creative Producer: John Harris Producer: Jason Tables Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves
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