Tag Archives: Travel

Lens Artists Photo Challenge #103 – Surprise

This week, Ann-Christine invited us to show some moments of surprises.

There were several surprises for me when we were at Munich, Germany. The tour group went out for a beer in the evening at the Staatliches Hofbräuhaus in München (Royal Brewery in Munich) owned by the Bavarian state government.

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We arrived before dark. Outside of the Hofbräuhaus (Beer Hall), there was a street pantomime artist. He changed the gestures and directions every few seconds, but after he made the change, he was as still and solid as a bronze statue. The woman was surprised when the “statue” moved.

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The tour guide reserved several tables for our group. Before we ordered a beer, I walked around. There were small lockers where regular customers stored their beer steins. It was a novelty to me.

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The Beer Hall was packed full. Servers were twirling fast in serving the beer. Each server could carry five or six 1-liter beer steins in each hand. Some of them even added one on top of the five or six in one hand before they grabbed another five or six in other hand. It fascinated me and I wanted to take photos of them carrying liters of beer, but they moved so fast that I couldn’t get any single clear photo. So, I borrowed one from Alamy here.

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At first, I thought the steins were plastic, but as we got our beer, I realized they were glass steins. How heavy were the steins before filling with the beer and how much the total weight of the glass beer steins plus liters of beer?

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It was amazing and surprising to me!

 

Lens Artists Photo Challenge #103 – Surprise

Lens-Artists Challenge #100 – The Long and Winding Road

Tina introduced a thoughtful theme this week in reflection of The Long and Winding Road we have traveled the last several months. It happened to be the theme she chose for the Lens-Artists Challenge this week. Please visit her to enjoy her photography and her thoughts.

The challenge this week reminds me of one of the multiple trips we took to Maui. We always rent a Jeep to drive around. My husband loves to go on the Road to Hana. The previously drives were enjoyable. He doesn’t mind driving through the narrow unpaved part of the Road with the cliff on one side. Somehow during this one trip, the drive turned out to be different.

We started out in a sunny afternoon right after lunch, enjoyed the ocean and the cliff scene.

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When the road turned narrower with thick trees, it started pouring rain. The rain was so heavy that the windshield wiper didn’t go fast enough to show a view of the road. The waterfalls looked as though the dam was broken. We knew that we had not yet passed the most twisting and winding point with single lane and no visibility of the oncoming cars. Drivers use honking, and caution driving to get through. Sometimes one car must find a tiny shoulder to stop and let the other car go by. We worried about the safety to go through that part of the road in the rain. I looked at the map and tried to estimate the distance behind us and how much further we would have to go. It looked like we were in the middle. Turning around was as hard as going forward. We knew that the hardest part of driving was coming up; there should be a town after that. My husband decided to keep going. I was sitting tight, praying for safety.

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Fortunately, we passed the “no visibility” point before dark. Then we drove in the dark until we got back to the condo. As soon as we saw the smoke from the sugar cane factory, we knew our condo was very near (the sugar cane factory photo was taken during the day).

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The drive was supposed to be six and a half hours. We didn’t get back to the condo at Kihei until almost nine hours later.

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Lens-Artists Challenge #100 – The Long and Winding Road

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #96: Cropping the Shot

This week, Patti invited us to use cropping a shot to bring out the better quality of photography. I’m always interested in doing that, especially when I take photos in a hurry or have a limited choice of my position where I take the photos. The photos may extra elements not desirable to me.

I found several photos in which I applied the cropping. I’ll explain the reasons of doing so. You can let me know if you agree with them.

Before the crop

In this photo I took on the way to Road to Hana in Maui, Hawaii, I liked the cliff but it is in the center and I wanted the focal point to be a little off center to make the composition interesting.

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After the crop

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I took two steps:

  1. I cropped a little of the foreground and part of the slope on the left to change the composition.
  2. I increased the clarity to being out of the texture of the cliff and have more contrast between the land and the waves.

Before the crop

In the next photo I took in the Kowloon Park in Hong Kong, I included a group of flamingos. It was a smoggy day, and the air was not clear.

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After the crop

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I took three steps:

  1. I cropped of a scattered part of the flamingos on the left and the man on the bench.
  2. I increased the intensity of the color to being out a little more of the pink in the flamingos.
  3. I increased the clarity, even though there’s no way to add sunshine to the sky.

Before the crop

I took the last photo in Nara Deer Park in Kyoto, Japan. With the busy tourists taking photos of the deer, it was hard to get in front of the deer to get them to look at me. This deer turned to me, so I took the shot regardless of the busy surrounding.

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After the crop

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I took two steps:

  1. I cropped the immediate tourists who were taking photos.
  2. I increased the clarity to bring out the texture and the clarity of the deer’s eyes. Now I got the deer looking at me.

Tina suggested to crop less to include the tourists as part of the story. Here is the one with less cropping.

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Thank you for reading and please let me know what you think!

Next week, Sue of Mac’s Girl will be our special guest host for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #97 on Saturday, May 16th. Our regular schedule for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #98 on May 23rd will have Ann-Christine as our host.

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #96: Cropping the Shot

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #87 – Reflections

Welcome to my blog! I’m honored to be the guest host for this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #87 – Reflections.

“Reflection photography, also referred to as mirror photography, is when you use reflective surfaces to create an artistic echo of a scene. This type of photography can add an interesting spin to locations that are hot spots for photographers such as oceans, lakes, puddles, and even rain drops.” – befunky

I am fascinated by the reflection photographs in the lakes, the rivers, the building windows, the sunglasses, the mirrors, and the puddles. This week, you may find the photographs from your archives or take new photographs using reflective surfaces to create mirror images. Here are my examples:

 

“A lake is a landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is Earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.” – Henry David Thoreau

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The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens, Los Angeles, CA

We live about twenty-five miles from The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens in Los Angeles, California. This is our favorite spot for a day trip. The Chinese Garden was recently reconstructed and new features were added to the beauty.

 

“Like water which can clearly mirror the sky and the trees only so long as its surface is undisturbed, the mind can only reflect the true image of the Self when it is tranquil and wholly relaxed.” Indra Devi

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The Tagus River in Toledo, Spain

We went to Spain in the summer during a local holiday. It was hot but tourists had the roads by themselves because the local people headed to the beaches. While in Toledo, I caught this scene in the calm river.

 

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience which is bitterest.” – Confucius

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Whale Watching Cruise, Newport Landing, California

Our family was on a whale watching cruise from Newport Beach, California. We didn’t catch any sight of the whales but we saw some dolphins. The above shot was not really planned. I did it just for fun.

 

“Self-reflection entail asking yourself questions about your value, assessing your strength and failures, thinking about your perceptions and interactions with others, and imagining where you want to take your life in the future.” Robert L. Rosen

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Gym at La Habra, California

After the Yoga class several Saturdays ago, I stayed behind to take photos of the mirrors. This is the aerobic room with mirrors on four walls. The mirrors created infinite reflections. There was only one other member in the room, yet the mirrors reflected endless images of this person.

 

“Anybody who has gone through a life-changing experience will tell you there is a different understanding of what is real and what is important, and when you are going through different moments, you can reflect and go, ‘I have been through worse.’” – Delta Goodrem

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Kyoto, Japan

On this sunny day in Kyoto, Japan, our family took a train to Nara Park to see the deer. This photo was taken before we went down to the subway station.

 

“Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.” – Søren Kierkegaard

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Fullerton, California

In southern California, we learned to appreciate rainstorms. The winter of 2018-2019, there was two and a half months of on and off rainstorms, in fact, it was on more often than off. It brought us a good amount of rain to lift the drought. So far, we only had 5 days of rain in the winter of 2019-2020. The cities may reinforce the water rationing this year.

 

 “A day is not always bright, and nights are not always dark. All that matters is what’s inside, because day and night are a reflection of you.” – Avantika

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Guilin, China

Seven people in our family took a trip to China. This photo was at a light show at Guilin, China.

 

For Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #86 this week, we invite you to be creative to find any reflective surfaces to show us your reflection photographs.

 

We appreciated Patti’s challenge last week to invite us looking at the subjects from different perspectives.

Have You Seen These Great Posts from Last Week?

John at John’s Space gave us different perspectives of white Aspen trees from the distance and closeup.

Ana atAnvica’s Gallery showed the interesting perspectives of Eiffel Tower both in the day and at night

Sue at The Nature of Things took us on a tour of the orchids from different perspectives at the Chicago Botanic Garden Annual Orchid Show.

If you’re new to the challenges, click here to learn how to join us.  Remember to link your post to the comment below and use the Lens-Artists tag to help us find your post in the WP Reader.

 

For the rest of March, please follow the usual weekly schedule:

I look forward to seeing your creative and artistic reflection photography. Thank you for your participation and support. Please have an enjoyable week ahead of you!

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #86: Change Your Perspective

This week, Patti invited us to find different perspectives of the subject by getting down, looking up, or taking photos of the subject from different angles.

I have chosen several subjects and showed my photos from various positions to get different perspectives.

 

Looking Behind

The following two photos are the waterfall flowing from top of this rocky formation. After I took the first photo from the front of the rock, I took a photo from behind the rock to get a different perspective.

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Looking Down

The following photos were in the same area of the Glacier in Anchorage, Alaska. The first photo was taken from the Glacier Cruise, seeing the Glacier from a horizontal view. The second one was taken from the helicopter looking below. The third one was zoomed in from the helicopter.

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Looking Around (In this case, the subject turned around and around)

You might have seen these photos. They are my favorite perspective photos of the same peacock as he pranced in place showing off his best sides!

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I’m honored to be the guest host for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #87 next week. Please join me for the challenge and have fun!

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #86: Change Your Perspective

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #85 – Treasure Hunt

This week Tina invited us on a Treasure Hunt! The challenge is to search for specific items – either from our archives or newly captured – from the list below.

  • Challenge Items: Sunrise and/or sunset, Something cold and/or hot, a bird, a dog, a funny sign, a bicycle, a seascape and/or mountain landscape, a rainbow, a church, a musical instrument, a boat, a plane, a waterfall
  • Extra Credit Items: An expressive portrait of one or more people, a very unusual place, knitting or sewing, a fish, an animal you don’t normally see, a bucket, a hammer, a street performer, a double rainbow, multiple challenge items in a single image. Her opening image, for example, includes a sunrise, a seascape and birds in a single shot.

I found several treasures from my archives:

1.Sunset at cruise

The first day of our cruise to Enchilada, Mexico, the weather was right at sunset. I captured this photo with drifting clouds and a seagull flying by.

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We took this helicopter ride to the top of the mountain with Glacier landing at  Anchorage, Alaska. Lynton flies helicopter and had an enjoyable conversation with the pilot.

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A mother-in-law-to-be and a friends were overcome with joy at this bridal shower for the bride-to-be. A treasure moment shared among family and friends.

4.Koala bear in Australia

At Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary in Brisbane Australia, we observed the koalas and had photos taken by holding one such as this.

Koi fish at huntingyon labrary

Koi fish are plentiful in the pond of the Chinese Garden at The Huntington Library, Art  Collections, and Botanical Gardens, Los Angeles.

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The goslings tried to cuddle under this Canada Goose at the Rhododendron Garden in Portland, Oregon.

 

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #84: Narrow

This week, Amy invited us to explore the theme of Narrow. She said the reason she chose narrow for the theme is, “Travel has taught me that once we go through a narrow path, alley, and/or road with a little patience, at the end it always opens up to pleasant surprises. The experience certainly has broadened my horizon allowing me to see the world through different eyes.” 

Here are the photos I share this week.

“There is in true beauty, as in courage, something which narrow souls cannot dare to admire” – William Congreve

Haleakalā East Mai Volcano

We drove on this road many times to visit the Haleakalā (East Mai volcano) which is 10,023 high.

Rhododendron Garden, Portland, OR

On this Mother’s Day, my daughter, along with her hubby and daughter Autumn took us to Rhododendron Garden in Portland, Oregon. The beautiful flowers, plants and trees surround the lake. We admired the water creatures on this narrow bridge.

“Pursue some path, however narrow and crooked, in which you can walk with love and reverence.” – Henry David Thoreau

Haleakalā National Park Maui

During our trip at Maui, Hawaii last year, we went hiking on this trail through the bamboo forest to see the waterfalls and pools in ‘Ohe’o Gulch, Haleakala National Park Kipahulu.

These Alleys in Toledo, Spain are amazing. We went on one alley which was not too much wider than these two, I was almost ran over by a car, the size of a Mini Cooper.

We’re built of contradictions, all of us. It’s those opposing forces that give us strength, like an arch, each block pressing the next. Give me a man whose parts are all aligned in agreement and I’ll show you madness. We walk a narrow path, insanity to each side. A man without contradictions to balance him will soon veer off.Mark Lawrence

IMG_7158 Catheral & Roman Bridge, Cordoba

I took a photo of the Roman bridge on the way to the Great Mosque of Córdoba, Spain. During its history, the bridge was restored and renovated several times and now only the 14th and 15th arches (counting from the Puerta del Puente) are original.

Stay tuned for Tina’s (Travels and Trifles) LAPC #85 on February 22nd. 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #84: Narrow

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge # 82 – Capital

This week, the guest host for Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #82 is Viveka at My Guilty Pleasure. She chose Capital as the theme.

We have traveled to many countries but not all the places we’ve gone were capitals. We did visited several capital cities.

Beijing shopping

When we were in Beijing, China, in addition to sightseeing, we went shopping. At this shop, we saw this magnificent sculpture with one hundred horses carved out of one gigantic piece of jade.

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We visited the Windsor Castle in London, England, on this hazy day. The sky opened up later in the day. Of course we were not expecting to have a glimpse of Her Majesty, but the girl who assisted us at the entrance said, “I’m working here today, but the Queen went to visit my college.”

Berlin Wall Memorial

We learned a lot of the history about Berlin, Germany, at this Berlin Wall Memorial. Large photo replicas and documents were on display on this side of the Wall.

Johann Strauss II

This is the statute of Johann Strauss II in Vienna, Austria. I also took a photo of Mozart when we were there. They are two of my favorite composers. Our tour guide took us to a concert with the performance of music pieces from both composers.

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There was a bullfighting going on in Plaza De Toros (Bullfighting Ring) in the month we visited Madrid, Spain. When we traveled to Barcelona, we were told that Barcelona had banned bullfighting in July 2010. The ban came into effect on January 1, 2012.  I was happy to hear the news because the bulls were raised with no idea of fighting until they were put in the ring and got killed.

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Buddhism was originated in Thailand. Temples large and small were everywhere as we toured the city of Bangkok.

 

lens-artists photo challenge # 82 – cap·i·tal

 

 

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #81: Find Something Red

For this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, Patti invited us to a photo scavenger hunt to find things that are red.

This scavenger hunt was harder than I thought. I found out that most of my photos don’t have too many red things. I’m glad to find some to share with you.

In early 2019 we went to my nephew’s wedding in Hong Kong. This is my granddaughter at the wedding cake cutting area outside of the banquet room.

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I captured this photo with the Royal Guard standing at the Tower of London.

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Mozarts Geburtshaus was the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in Salzburg, Austria. Mozart was born here on 27 January 1756. The Mozart family resided on the third floor from 1747 to 1773.

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This is the art exhibit at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, a science and technology museum in Portland, Oregon. The artist collected insects and small birds around the world and used them to create amazing art displays.

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This piece of artwork is by the same artist. Every tiny dot in this artwork is a real insect.

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Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #81: Find Something Red

 

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #80 – Leading Lines

This week Tina introduced us the important rules in photography – the leading lines and illustrates with her fabulous photos and quotes.

Leading lines are my favorite compositions of photos. I included in this post some of my favorites as well as some quotes on leading lines.

 

“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” – T.S. Elliot

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Maui Bamboo forest, Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii

It was our fourth trip to Maui last year. We drove through the Road of Hana during the previous trips but not the last trip. I decided to go hiking and see the waterfalls. The Seven Sacred Pools is a beautiful series of pools at the base of waterfalls in the Oheo Gulch. This is on the ocean front part of Haleakala National Park on Maui, Hawaii.

There is a 2-mile trail (Pipiwai Trail) along the gulch that takes us past Makahiku Falls. Along the Pipiwai Trail is a majestic Maui bamboo forest. As far as our eyes can see, dense groupings of bamboo stalks are everywhere. The trail ends at the base of the 400-foot Waimoku Falls.

 

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” – Maria Robinson

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The road leading to Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii

We took this road to the Seven Sacred Pool, the same road leads us to the Road to Hana, but we didn’t go through the Road to Hana on this trip.

 

“Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” – Theodore Roosevelt

3.Yellowstone

Uncle Tom’s Trail, Yellowstone

My family and I hiked down then up the Uncle Tom’s Trail in Yellowstone.

 

“Make sure you visualize what you really want, not what someone else wants for you.” — Jerry Gillies

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Alaska Railroad between Anchorage and Denali Park

Hubby and I took the train back to Anchorage from Denali Park. The train stopped here for the north bound train to switch crews.

 

“You have to see failure as the beginning or middle but never entertain it as the end.” – Jessica Herrin

5.Bergisel ski jump stadium, Olympic site, Innsbruck, Austria

Bergisel Ski Jump stadium, Innsbruck, Austria

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Bergisel Ski Jump stadium, Innsbruck, Austria

The Bergisel Ski Jump stadium has a capacity of 26,000. It is a ski jumping hill located in Bergisel in Innsbruck, Austria. It was the Olympics site in 1964 and 1976. I climbed the steps to the top of the ski jump.

 

“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” Walt Disney

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Hiking trail leading to the Monkey Park, Kyoto, Japan

We visited Iwatayama Monkey Park in Arashiyama in Kyoto, Japan in January 2019. The Park is on top of this mountain. The hiking trail was quite steep to me and I had to slow down a few times to catch my breath while Hubby waited for me.

 

“You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” Christopher Columbus

8.Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach, California

Huntington Beach is 23 miles from our home. It is less than an hour drive with traffic to get there. It’s our frequent place for outing or just going for walks.

 

“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” — Arthur Ashe

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Kasuga-Taisha Shrine, Kyoto, Japan

While we were in Kyeto, Japan, after visiting the Nara Deer Park, we visited Kasuga-Taisha Shrine which is the most important Shinto shrine in Nara. More than just the shrine buildings, Kasuga-Taisha is a mysterious world of forest, pathways, lanterns and wandering deer.

 

“Travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.” – Gustave Flaubert

 

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Tunnel leading to Eagle’s Nest, Kehlsteinhaus, Germany

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Bavarian Alps, Germany

 

We visited the Eagle’s Nest at Kehlsteinhaus when we were in Germany. It is situated on a ridge atop the Kehlstein which is an 1,834 m (6,017 ft) sub-peak rising above the town of Berchtesgaden. The tour bus took us to a parking lot, we then walked through a 124 m (407 ft) tunnel leading to an ornate elevator that ascends 124 m (407 ft) to the building. We could see the spectacular view of Bavarian Alps, the most majestic mountain range with rivers and lakes at the foot of the enormous limestone.

 

 

Lens-Artists Challenge #80 – Leading Lines

 

 

 

 

 

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