Bare Necessities

bare necessities brittain room seeking critique jack

Tags: brittain room seeking critique

Category: Architecture

Author: Brittain Jack

Gallery: Architecture

Exif Information:
Make : NIKON CORPORATION
Model : NIKON D700
Date Time Original : 2011-06-17 19:18:50
Focal Length : 35/1
Shutter Speed Value : 1/60
Exposure Time : 1/60
Aperture Value : 4.0
F Number : 4.0
Iso Speed Ratings : 360
Metering Mode : 5
Focal Length In35mm Film : 35
X Resolution : 72.0000000
Y Resolution : 72.0000000
Software : Ver.1.02

Published:
Friday 19th of August 2011 10:49:33 PM

Comments

Pierre Dumas
Very interesting and good looking!

Nothing without Coke! Even an empty and deserted room!

Best regards Jack!

PDE

Alon Eshel

Simple and beautiful ........ Good work

vlad khodski

Very well composed

Diane Hooper

I like this a lot - the colors certainly pop!

Thanks for rating my Mt. Diablo shot - I appreciate it.

 

Luís Gonzaga Batista

Great!

Patrick Hudepohl
Response to Bare Necessities by Jack Brittain

Please note the following:

JC Uknz
Response to Bare Necessities by Jack Brittain

LOL :-)

Ken Thalheimer
Bare Necessities by Jack Brittain

Interesting in it's simplicity & graphic quality. But, the slanted lines, the keystoning & the electrical conduit at right just do not do it for me. Strictly personal taste

Alex S.
Response to Bare Necessities by Jack Brittain

Well-framed, tight composition. But not interesting.

Frederick Dunn
Bare Necessities by Jack Brittain

The GREAT divide between NATURE which has been closed off for viewing only

and the skewed environment badly constructed by man and fueled by sugar syrup in the most un-natural way possible

that is what this image says to me anyway...

John A
Bare Necessities by Jack Brittain

From what I can surmise looking at Jack's photostream, Jack makes photographs of things he encounters that interest him. I don't see any deep thought (not a criticism, maybe a blessing) but just a joy of shooting whatever catches his eye. Here, it seems he saw something that, by the title, had somewhat of a conceptual meaning to him and he shot it. I am not sure there is a whole lot more to say about it, it's a photograph and it appears to have been taken rather quickly--the slight cant to the image.

Oddly, I think if it had been made by someone like Stephen Shore or Alex Soth, there might be more to talk about but certainly each person is free to make up their own story or see great insights or nothing at all, that is always a choice. But often it is a person's oeuvre that gives us insight into a work and can give it significance. Here, Jack's idea is expressed in words, the title, and a quick capture of that thought.

Anders Hingel
Response to Bare Necessities by Jack Brittain

I agree with John, al the way. Such shots attract me but the pleasure of them comes by series.
My immediate reaction to this weeks POW was however a cultural chock. The cultural poverty of this scene compared to that of the Wakhi house of last week.

Louis Meluso
Response to Bare Necessities by Jack Brittain

I don't like this image. There is a certain Mondrian-esqe design feel to the image. I think this would be more appealing if it were carried off with more composition precision and care. The canted lines and optical distortion pull me away from the pleasing arraignment of line and color. As such, I would like to see some other center of interest emphasized but find none save for the spill spot on the ground. That alone doesn't carry the image for me.

Richard John Edwards
Bare Necessities by Jack Brittain

I quite like this image. the bareness of the room contrasted by the lush green foliage out window and the oh so recognisable vending machine. if i look deeper in the image we see some spliliage on the ground, hinting at the use of the machine, also gives a sense of the types of people who may frequent this place. It has the feeling of being a train station or something in a rural place. The lack of life and emptyness it portrays are good. The image quality is a little lacking but it does have a story in there somewhere. It grabs attention because of the red green combo. Its not an image that will be recieved welll by many, because of the lack of WOW factor, but it is interesting if you take the time to study some of the subtlties in it. Thats my 2 bobs worth.

Landrum Kelly
Bare Necessities by Jack Brittain

Okay, okay, so it would have been better with perspective correction (or, better yet, nailing the composition the first time in the viewfinder), but I still like it. I like it in spite of the imperfections, not because of them, although in truth one could make a case for showing how out-of-kilter our corporate, homogenized culture really is. Nature also looks even more appealing through the window, I think, as a result of the imperfections--not that I think that Jack was thinking about any of that when he snapped it.

It won't be the first snap to win the Photo of the Week--and sometimes snaps can be better than our best set-up shots with tripods and good lighting.

I only know that I like it. I like the colors, I like the glimpse of nature, and I like the Coke machine. I will not go so far as to say that the image is emblazoned on my soul.

--Lannie

Arthur Plumpton
Bare Necessities by Jack Brittain

I cannot add much to the conversation and I agree with John A, Anders, and Louis. The idea of the multi-green richness of nature kept behind the prison like bars and the much less appealing content of man's world is a good one, if in fact that was what was intended, but it could be more convincingly told than here (and the title may not allude to what I sense is an attempted message of the image).

Jack Brittain
Bare Necessities by Jack Brittain

From the photographer;
To me the bare necessities are water, shelter, fire. When i was sitting there looking at the modern shelter by modern man I saw those same things but in different forms, Water is now Coke, Shelter is something built from Concrete and Fire is Electricity. Mean while the real beauty is the nature outside the window, which is the place I really wanted to be.
Technically the photo has many faults but that is what I saw and was very surprised to be photo of the week.
Thank you all for your comments and viewing this photo.

Lech Dobrzanski
Bare Necessities by Jack Brittain

I do not see the visualized synthesis of things necessary for living but the arrangement at the bus terminal. So some obvious necessities are missing. The power line available is not passengers necessity but is a possibility to move here the vending machine may be. I do not see the reason to think deeper on live in such circumstances.

G .
Response to Bare Necessities by Jack Brittain

Sadly lacking for me I'm afraid. All the lines are off kilter and the window seems too central. The cola creeping in at the edge also feels clumsy to me and the electrical wires to the right also distract.
There's nothing wrong with taking snapshots of scenes that appeal to us for whatever reason, however I do agree that more care could have been taken when framing this shot.

G .
Response to Bare Necessities by Jack Brittain

Sadly lacking for me I'm afraid. All the lines are off kilter and the window seems too central. The cola creeping in at the edge also feels clumsy to me and the electrical wires to the right also distract.
There's nothing wrong with taking snapshots of scenes that appeal to us for whatever reason, however I do agree that more care could have been taken when framing this shot.

G .
Response to Bare Necessities by Jack Brittain

Sadly lacking for me I'm afraid. All the lines are off kilter and the window seems too central. The cola creeping in at the edge also feels clumsy to me and the electrical wires to the right also distract.
There's nothing wrong with taking snapshots of scenes that appeal to us for whatever reason, however I do agree that more care could have been taken when framing this shot.

Mike Morrell
Bare Necessities by Jack Brittain

RJE sums it up for me too. Strong points are the contrast between the bare room and the lush foliage outside the quite decorative window. The green/red contrast is an eye-catcher. Coke made it out here to this bare room too.
From Jack´s post, I now understand what was going through his mind and why he included the electricity on the right wall. Interesting perspective on this room.
Mike

Fred G
Bare Necessities by Jack Brittain

Something Eggleston's and Shore's work has that this doesn't is presence. This is one dimensional. It doesn't go beyond being about its subject. If there were a series of these, the same would be true. I don't think a series would add depth or much of anything to this. It would just become a series of colored graphic sights. Mondrian has been mentioned, presumably because of color and geometry. Mondrian's paintings have rhythm and pattern and are alive. Not this.

Ammlan Ghosh
Bare Necessities by Jack Brittain

Only interesting thing I found in this picture..... How much money Cocacola is going to pay to photo.net?
Regards.

Anders Hingel
Response to Bare Necessities by Jack Brittain

When Fred is right it should be said. He is right on Mondrian.

John A
Bare Necessities by Jack Brittain

Fred, I don't know how one comes to the conclusion, without seeing it, that a series would not have presence. While most of Jack's work posted here doesn't indicate thought along those lines--and how this one was transacted doesn't allude to maybe the necessary attention--we could be seeing only his more casual work.

My point is just that if he chose to work in series, that alone could make a huge difference in how he approached things and maybe these issues would all reconcile themselves and something more meaningful would emerge. It doesn't mean it would, but I think it not fair to dismiss something one hasn't seen or experienced, just IMO.

Fred G
Bare Necessities by Jack Brittain

John, I came to my conclusion by way of seeing a lot of PN portfolios that have series comprised of many photos just like this one and none of them have the kind of presence I'm talking about, that extra something (atmosphere, perspective, visual commentary, depth, texture, layering, etc.). I also looked at Jack's portfolio and see a lot of one dimensional sight type shots not dissimilar to this one, recordings of shapes and color, lines, etc. Where I find soul lacking others may feel something very different. So I was providing my own impressions and extrapolating from what I see, not asking anyone to agree. As a matter of fact, some of the series and portfolios where this type of work is repeated become even more one dimensional the more the formula is pursued, almost as if by rote. There was a discussion in the Casual Conversations forum where several people referred to the "mundane" quality of Eggleston's work in a positive way. That he found the extraordinary in what might typically be passed over as mundane. I think a lot of photographers pursuing similar subject matter or trying to emulate his sensibility or photographic milieu simply find the mundane without moving beyond it. It can be dangerous to generalize and extrapolate, I know, but given the amount of photos and portfolios we're exposed to it seems reasonable to do so and to be able to draw conclusions even when the full story is not necessarily before us. It's a little like pre-visualization though there are, of course, differences. And, importantly, it can always prove wrong.

John A
Bare Necessities by Jack Brittain

I don't know that Jack has the interest anyway, but my comments are more directed at not squelching someone's attempt by rendering it moot before it happens. Taking a point of view, a more personal one, is very difficult and exposes the photographer in a different way than random snaps do. Often early attempts do fail, but we all have to move through these things to get somewhere else. I guess I have come to appreciate the attempt even when the work falls short, at least they are moving somewhere.

Jeremy Jackson
Bare Necessities by Jack Brittain

It's interesting to me how easily and quickly the POW discussion can degenerate in to an art rather than photography discussion. I'd prefer to deal with the photography first and if that's any good, then talk about art.

The photography:
Moment: none.
Light: ordinary.
Technique: nothing special.
Composition: I think it's pretty good. The choice to include only the side of the Coke machine is interesting to me and suggests a deeper approach to this subject than mere documentation. The oblique lines don't bother me at all. I think they actually give it a bit of flow...movement.
Subject: ordinary.
Creativity: I don't see too much here. The camera was used in a pretty ordinary way.

To me there is now little point in talking about art here. This is a photography website and the photography needs some work. But I have to say, I think the photographer should be credited for his attempt at social commentary. There is an idea here that could turn into something. I would suggest that the photographer work on the photography and pursue the idea. If they could both come together, it might lead to something interesting. Best, Jeremy

Arthur Plumpton
Bare Necessities by Jack Brittain

"...(atmosphere, perspective, visual commentary, depth, texture, layering, etc.)..."

While Fred's points are not invalid - and I am probably not alone in agreeing with much them - but he does set the bar quite high, and, as Jeremy points out, Jack may not have those art or communicative interests in mind when he is recording the world about him. Many of the photos that pass our vision each day are quite unidimensional, yet are of obvious interest to a large portion of the population. For heaven's sake, I produce a good proportion of unidimensional photos and they are not even seeking the same public attention. I do transcend that singular unidimensional frame in some cases, but those cases, however exhilarating, are quite rare. What Jack is doing is very commendable in one important sense - he is attempting to see things as they are not, or as they aren't usually seen by many observers - and that is a good step towards adding the other aspects that Fred mentions.

My beef, albeit a small one, is that we often are very good at saying what an image doesn't have, with similar references to the parameters mentioned by Fred. What I find lacking, are insightful and analytical comments on the works of those held in some esteem, like Eggleston and Shore, who operate in the American scene. Those comments or critiques should be easy to formulate. Perhaps we could use a forum topic (OP) intitled "What can be seen in the art of a Shore or Eggleston", with specific and insightful critiques of their known works. It might bring out some of the art "magic" that it is said is consistent with those images. Unfortunately, the tendency I see is to hold up some artist photographers as the finest examples of current or recent photography, without expressing the whys, hows and the analyzed substance/elements of their images and how the various elements all come together to make a powerful work. I don't think the particular head of MOMA, who chose one or the other of these artists, is available to us for comment, but surely those who have studied these artists in depth can provide such analysis.

Jeremy, I appreciate many of the elements of your well considered response, yet for me photography and art are inseparable. While intrisically inseparable, they do not often interact, just as many current paintings and sculptures are not great examples of art, but there is nothing that prevents that link, and when it occurs it can elevate photography as a medium. Jack has, I think, shown sensitivity in various elements of his image, in combining them and in showing only a part of them, as just the side of the soft drink machine (although enough), and a limited small view through the bars of lush exterior vegetation that contrasts with what is inside. He is on the right track, although not at destinatiion, but it hopefully will provide a continuum for his progress, as I think John suggests.

John A
Bare Necessities by Jack Brittain

Arthur, I think the issue here is really that Jack's image--and I really have come to appreciate it more over the week--does have some nice elements to it and I do think people have commented on most of those things. The issue comes down more to intent and context and those are the things that separate the people you mention from the rest of us.

I was listening to a presentation by Chuck Close yesterday--a video--about photography and he suggested that it is the only art medium where anyone can do it pretty quickly and without much fanfare, something wonderful can be generated as mistakenly as the cropped off heads of ones subjects. But that isn't what makes an artist or the work resonate. It might be extremely beautiful, but when a concept is involved, I just think there needs to be more intent and context to it. In this case, I think Jack's image, and even his idea, is admirable but the technical issues fall short in his quick snap and his body of work makes one dismiss concept as important to him. (again, I am not trying to in anyway diminish what Jack does, just point out what he doesn't do) Anyway, I saw this article the other day and maybe it has some relevance to all of this in some way:
http://m.wired.com/rawfile/2012/03/10-photographers-you-should-ignore/?pid=2081&viewall=true

Fred G
Bare Necessities by Jack Brittain

While Fred's points are not invalid - and I am probably not alone in agreeing with much them - but he does set the bar quite high, and, as Jeremy points out, Jack may not have those art or communicative interests in mind when he is recording the world about him. Many of the photos that pass our vision each day are quite unidimensional, yet are of obvious interest to a large portion of the population. --Arthur

I very much agree. Please keep in mind that I speak for myself and I think it's great that we all share our own honest impressions of the work posted. Yes, indeed my bar is high and I have no intention of lowering it any time soon, whether I'm discussing something as photography or as art or as some combination of the two. And, yes, "many of the photos that pass our vision each day are quite undimensional [or, lacking in dimension], yet are of obvious interest to a large portion of the population." And still that doesn't necessarily make them of interest, or at least doesn't necessarily make them compelling, to me. Again, I was speaking for myself and giving my own reaction to the photo, not speaking for the population at large.

Fred G
Bare Necessities by Jack Brittain

Arthur, regarding Eggleston and Shore, I was surprised you didn't catch that I was asserting what it is about their work I find compelling, since you quoted it . . . "atmosphere, perspective, visual commentary, depth, texture, layering, etc." and I would also add a sophisticated sense of color, particularly a depth in color as it relates to content and form. I merely brushed up against my assessments of Shore and Eggleston so as to provide some substance about them but not steer the discussion from Jack's work, which is the subject of this POTW forum. If you would like a much more in-depth discussion of what Shore and Eggleston have to offer, you might consider starting a thread about it in one of the appropriate forums on PN.

Donna Pallotta
Bare Necessities by Jack Brittain

most significant experience for me in this picture... i luv the way Jack's perspective gives us a sort of panoramic view of the room. great eyes, great thought, Jack ;-} dp

Dara P.
Bare Necessities by Jack Brittain

I think the color contrast is well done in this image. Red CocaCola machine in relation to the Green that is what is outside the window, the green foliage etc. Contrast of primary colors Red and Green subtracting the Blue ( yet although Blue not so obvious here and not a really strong element in this image yet it is there because of the light, just convert the image to black and white and move the blue slider in Lightroom or Adobe camera Raw etc and you see the blue) I do not think this image would work so well if the walls and the bench where in any other color other than light grey (as I see it here) or white. Color photography looks simple but it is complicated it does not simplify the world to shades of grey as black and white does (although black and white photography is just as complicated), Color photography works with color contrasts and harmony or disharmony among many other things. Yes the pioneers and masters of color photography are among others William Eggleston, Stephen Shore and also Ernst Haas...Congratulations to the Photographer.

Arthur Plumpton
Bare Necessities by Jack Brittain

Some interesting information and points, John, Fred, and more recently, Donna and Dara.

My point about knowing more about the works of Shore and Eggleston, and other photographers often referred to, is not that the critiques encapsulate single word characteristics (albeit important as I mentioned) that Fred proposed, but that it would be very interesting I think to see their individual works discussed with elaborated support for these qualities and how they work within a given image, in at leaast as much detail as the critiques of POW (and hopefully in even more depth, given the importance of the famous images). That for me would be refreshing, in addition to simply branding with the singular labels.

For example, one would ideally take any image and submit it to critical analysis, similar to what Arnheim does in discussing works in his books "The Power of the Centre" or "Art and Visual Perception" (in particular Ingres's "La Source" which is a fascinating analysis of an albeit 19th century image) or what we see in other books given to the analysis of the elements of paintings or sculpture.

That said, the subject at hand is the image of Jack, and I am beginning to think, as John mentioned, that the image gains with increased familiarity, even if it can be criticized in some regards. Comparing to Shore or Eggleston is utimately not too pertinent (Jack is Jack and he likely has different intentions), as what I think matters is the qualit of a single image and what we may understand of the intention and interest of Jack in regard to his subject matter. Jack sees it as earth-air fire-and-water, which is fine. I don't quite get that, myself, but I do see the contrast between the moderrn interior and the barred view of nature. That might well change if there were other images in a series related to Jack's theme. What we do see, I think, is a valuable attempt at interrelating some common aspects of man's contemporary existence. I hope that Jack continues in his quest along his chosen lines.

John A
Bare Necessities by Jack Brittain

Arthur, I certainly didn't mean to compare what Jack is doing with what types of images Shore or Eggleston make but more a contrast in apparent ways of working--maybe Jack is looking to move a new way or keeps other work elsewhere, I can only evaluate what I can now see.

There is certainly something here that could be explored but I don't know that that is something Jack wants to tackle or if he prefers to create images in the vein we see in his body of work here. I have always considered such efforts to explore concepts like this image bridges to be the result of a burning internal sense to get such things out rather than an external decision. I suppose we will just have to wait and see what this turns out to be.

As I referenced above in the Chuck Close comment, any of us are capable of creating something that can be a seed or pointer to something that could become more but that doesn't mean we intend to do that, we get lucky or we have a moment of unexplained vision--or we just shoot something that we find ironic when we take time to notice it. I think there is a difference between taking time to notice something and being aware of those things through an internal, artistic drive to express it.

What I hope is that Jack keeps having fun with his photography and pursues what motivates him to shoot. Often those internal burning desires aren't really so much fun as they are obsessions.

Jeremy Jackson
Bare Necessities by Jack Brittain

Arthur, I think we agree. I was just trying to point out that photography and art are different and that the POW discussion tends rather easily and perhaps too readily to a discussion about art. I am turned on to an image when it manifests an interesting photographic approach. I like to see photographic skill in the use of the camera, use of light, selection of interesting/challenging/dynamic subjects, the exploration of moments, choice of composition, tonalities, aesthetics, etc. Then if the image has the more subjective, let's say artistic qualities some like to talk about here (e.g., atmosphere, presence, etc) it becomes even more interesting. In this case, I was just wondering what the point is in talking about art when there is so much work to do on the photography itself. It is photo.net after all, not art.net.
Best, JJ

Fred G
Bare Necessities by Jack Brittain

Jeremy, you mistook my talking about presence, atmosphere, etc. for my talking about art instead of photography. No. I often look for those things in photographs, especially a photograph of this kind. Unless it was simply a diagramatic photo of a room, which I suspect was not its purpose. If I expect more from a photo than I got, it doesn't mean I'm looking for great art. But I do come here to critique photos. I can admire trying as much as the next guy, but I am also quite comfortable critiquing even the most heartfelt endeavor. Blind support of "the attempt" does no one any favors, especially in a critique forum. If a photo doesn't do anything for me, I am not obliged to endorse it because someone had the idea of making it. I can be critical of the highest attempt at art or the simplest attempt at making a photo.

Yayusa Yayusa
Bare Necessities by Jack Brittain

Una escena que hace pensar...Quizá le falte un encuadre más simetrico que la haga más atractiva visualmente, acortando y ajustando el margen derecho.Saludos

Arthur Plumpton
Bare Necessities by Jack Brittain

John, I understand your point and I think we were really considering the subject from a similar viewpoint. A New York artist friend (she expressively paints Ile d'Orleans rural scenes from her vacation motorcycle), and summer gallery exhibitor here, spoke to me a few years ago of her apprenticeship with Chuck Close as having been very formative. Does the video you accessed go into his perception of photgraphy and art? If it is available on the net I would very much like to listen to it. Thanks.

Jeremy, that is a valid approach. Photography can be a great craft without seeking some sort of art statement. On my own list of challenges, the art statement (or whatever one might call it) is the desirable target. Second is a manner to communicate something appreciable to another person. Third is the craft. They do overlao.

John A
Bare Necessities by Jack Brittain

Arthur, the video I was referring to was a very short snippet, which was disappointing as it was in conjunction with a show of his daguerreotypes as I remember--I didn't book mark it. If you get YouTube feeds there, you will find quite a few videos by him there. I think I remember some on photograph, but that might have been on one of the museum sites--the Tate and the US National Gallery of Art have a lot of great videos--as does SFMOMA, which has its own channel on YouTube.

John Rowsell
Bare Necessities by Jack Brittain

The photo does serve Jack's intent. That would not have been clear unless he expressed it. This does speak to the connection of images and words. Is context better expressed in words?

Fred G
Bare Necessities by Jack Brittain

The photo does serve Jack's intent. That would not have been clear unless he expressed it. This does speak to the connection of images and words. Is context better expressed in words?

No, the context of Jack's photo is not better expressed in words and I don't think the photo serves Jack's intent, though I think his intent is a fine one. I don't see in the photo what is being expressed in words. For instance, Jack says the following:

"Mean while the real beauty is the nature outside the window, which is the place I really wanted to be."

I get no sense by looking at the photo that the real beauty is outside the window or that that's the place he wants to be. So, Jack hasn't accomplished in his photo, IMO, what he was actually feeling. And he could have. How? Perhaps the window could be treated not so equally to the other elements. Perhaps what's outside the window could somehow draw the viewer more, could have more depth to it, could be more than a fairly monotone green flatness. And perhaps there would be some way to differentiate the different "realities" Jack was thinking about, for instance in a different sort of expression of color. As it stands, the red of the Coke machine is treated very similarly to the green of the window. Had the red seemed more artificial than the green, I might get that sense of different realities, but looking at what Jack's presented, the green seems as artificial, as saturated, as bright, as the red, so I get none of the subtlety or feeling that Jack's words express. So here, rather than words providing some enlightening context, they just seem to support the failure of the image to convey what it might have.

I like what Jack has expressed in words and would encourage him to have found or in the future to find visual ways of translating that to the photograph.

Tony Carlson
Response to Bare Necessities by Jack Brittain Okay, I rarely provide critique because I still consider myself a beginner and don't have the professional knowledge to support critical reviews. However, the attention given to this photo baffles me. It appears to me to be some quick snap in which everyone else is trying to make more of it than it really is. I have looked at Jack's profile and he certainly has better pictures. I cannot speak for Jack, but if this were a quick snap, he apparently liked the minimalist qualities about it and as such caught the attention of other minimalists.

Adam Horga
Bare Necessities by Jack Brittain

I like this image very much! Espacially the tilt in it! I love it. But! I think it would be much better, if the corners, or corner lines of the ceiling and the floor would be paralelles. As I said, I like the tilt, my only problem with it, is that the window, the center of the image is not tilted, maybe because of the lens distortion. So, IMO this would be a perfect shot, if every possible line would be paralell with each other, and than the whole image would be tilted (including the window) in the same degree, and not partly because of the distortion.
However, I like it very, very much!
Best Regards, Adam

Michael Linder
Bare Necessities by Jack Brittain

Jack: Forgive me for not having the time to read all of the previous reviews so that I could enter into the dialogue. To me, regardless of technical details, the image has two (2) strong elements - its composition and its simplicity. Congratulations on it'e being selected as the POW.
michael

Paul Greenwood
Response to Bare Necessities by Jack Brittain

Although quite unique and fluid with the leaning floor to the coke machine, the image simply doesn't touch my soul or make much sense....

Jack Brittain
Bare Necessities Was sitting in here to get out of the rain and snapped the picture

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