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Pacforsberg

Feedback greatly appreciated

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Posted (edited)

Hi,

 

I have been contributing to Alamy for almost a year now (253 images), and since Alamy hasn't given me any sales while on other agencies where I have very similar portfolios I have had better success. I'm wondering if my portfolio is not suitable for Alamy´s customers or if there is anything that i'm doing badly?

 

https://www.alamy.com/portfolio/692586.html

 

Thanks for anyone taking their time to help out a fellow contributor and stay healthy!

Edited by Pacforsberg

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Hi Patrik,

 

I think you have some really lovely images. I love the one with the two hammocks, and the landscapes, and there's some nice street and shopfront images too. I get scared looking at the one of the two women jumping in the air on the ledge that is 700m high! My brother just came back from Spain and Portugal, so nice to see some images from places he told me about.

 

I am also fairly new to Alamy and I have just one sale. I think it does take a while on Alamy compared with some other agencies, especially if those agencies are selling the images for much less as microstock. From what others here have said, it apparently can take quite a while to get regular sales with Alamy, but it seems that once you do, it gets better. I think if you can significantly increase the numbers in your portfolio and keep uploading a variety of images, you will hopefully see more sales in the not too distant future.

 

To me your images seem appropriate for potential customers on Alamy, but there will be much more experienced people here who will have a better idea of that than me.

 

All the best and you stay healthy too!

 

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Posted (edited)

Hi Patrik,

Sorry to hear you haven't sold any images on Alamy yet. I like your pictures, the lighting is generally very good and you have colourful subjects. I'm not going to comment on your subjects because otherwise this post will be too long. Generally, try to avoid too many repetitive pictures of the same subject, it will hurt your CTR rank (see below). Pictures with people in or doing something in them tend to sell well. You never know what will sell, but if you can't imagine a photo selling, maybe you should think twice before you upload it.

 

I've got some tips that should help, please bear in mind these are my personal opinion:

 

1. The conventional wisdom on Alamy is that you will sell less than on other stock websites, but that the fees are generally much higher. The general trend seems to be that fees are dropping on Alamy, but I believe they are still generally higher on Alamy than with other agencies (but certainly not all the time). But there does seem to be a race to the bottom and the market is oversaturated, so it's not looking great. Anyway, a general rule of thumb used to be that you would expect to see one sale per month every 1000 images in your portfolio. I suspect that doesn't quite hold true as we approach 200 million images, but you definitely need more pictures in your portfolio to make regular sales.

 

2. One of your captions is "Granada, Spain, 07/08-19. Granada cathedral and the city center photographed during a beautiful sunset."- Image ID: W9BRNR

  • You definitely don't need the exact date in the caption unless the picture you have is particularly newsworthy. I sometimes put the year in, and obviously it's good that you have put 2020 in the caption for your 2020 American presidential election photos. But otherwise, don't put a date in; the date is in the optional information tab for your photos on Alamy Image Manager.
  • Just a minor one, Alamy's image search isn't too intelligent, so you need to put in singulars and plurals of keywords, and the British and American spellings in English. i.e. city center, city centre, colorful, colourful....
  • Another minor one, and I'm not sure it makes any difference but the convention would be "Granada cathedral and the city center during a beautiful sunset, Granada, Spain". The place details generally go at the end. Also, you could add that what season it is - "Granada cathedral and the city center during a beautiful summer sunset in August, Granada, Spain".
  • You don't need the word 'photographed'.

3. Another caption is "02/09-17, Trolltunga, Norway. View from the General area of Trolltunga during a sunset. Lake Ringedalsvatnet is reflecting the beautiful sky. The lak". - Image ID: 2A1PAJB. The end of the caption is incomplete. Same for a few other captions.

 

4. Venice, Italy, 18/11-18. Nightsky over the Chiesa di San Simeon Piccolo. Boats leaving light trails as they pass on the canal. Image ID: W4T3RX

Venice, Italy, 18/11-18. Nightsky over the Chiesa di San Simeon Piccolo. Boats leaving light trails as they pass on the canal. - Stock Image

I like this long exposure shot. Just a couple of things. It's quite clear that the building is not vertical in the photo and is leaning over to the right and leaning backwards. Ditto for the same building in some other photos. You don't seem to be doing perspective corrections. I don't know what software you're using, but this would be the panel to use in Lightroom:
 
How to correct distorted horizontal and vertical perspective in ...
 

Same for this image. "15/09-19, Bilbao, Spain. The crane, named La Carola, is a left over from the areas industrial past. The San Mamés soccer stadium, home to Athletic Bil"

- Image ID: 2A4MY9J

 

15/09-19, Bilbao, Spain. The crane, named La Carola, is a left over from the areas industrial past. The San Mamés soccer stadium, home to Athletic Bil Stock Photo

 

You've got a relatively wide angle shot here and a lot of clear distortion, the lines that should be vertical on the left and right hand sides of the photo are all converging to a point above the centre of the photo ("converging verticals").

 

5. Lastly (because I think we're both losing the will to live at this point!) you don't need to spam keywords (put lots of irrelevant keywords). If you put lots of keywords for your photo, you get a green bar and it says the photo has "optimum discoverability". The forum members collectively decided a while ago getting images to green just hurt your ranking unless you really did need that many keywords for an image. There's a lot of threads about it in the forum. What is your CTR rank and how does it compare to the Alamy monthly average? CTR stands for “Click Through Rate” which is the number of zooms divided by the number of views, multiplied by 100. It only counts zooms from particular clients of Alamy. If you do lots of irrelevant keywords for your images, they will show up in searches, but will not be zoomed. This will drop your CTR rank. If you have a lower CTR rank, your images will get pushed back by Alamys algorithms to the back of the search pages.

 

This is not exhaustive, but I hope it helps!

 

Good luck,

Steve

Edited by Steve F
  • Upvote 2

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22 hours ago, Steve F said:

This will drop your CTR rank.

 

It will if Alamy ever get round to doing a rerank... I reckon it's probably around 2 years since the last one.

 

Mark

 

  • Upvote 1

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8 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

 

It will if Alamy ever get round to doing a rerank... I reckon it's probably around 2 years since the last one.

 

Mark

 

Wow, ok.... Mine seems to change monthly on my Dashboard. I've got a small collection so my monthly CTR bounces around a lot, which affects my rolling yearly average CTR. Am I missing something?

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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, Steve F said:

Wow, ok.... Mine seems to change monthly on my Dashboard. I've got a small collection so my monthly CTR bounces around a lot, which affects my rolling yearly average CTR. Am I missing something?

 

My CTR changes monthly too. But CTR isn't the same as Alamy rank. It's just one of the factors that maybe used to calculate our Alamy rank when, and if, Alamy ever do a rerank again. You can keep an eye on your true Alamy rank by recording the position of your images in a number of test searches.

 

Mark

Edited by M.Chapman

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38 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

 

My CTR changes monthly too. But CTR isn't the same as Alamy rank. It's just one of the factors that maybe used to calculate our Alamy rank when, and if, Alamy ever do a rerank again. You can keep an eye on your true Alamy rank by recording the position of your images in a number of test searches.

 

Mark

Ah ok, your BHZ rank. I haven't checked for a long time actually. Not sure I'm going to start spamming keywords on the assumption that Alamy won't re-rank people. 🙃

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23 hours ago, Sally R said:

Hi Patrik,

 

I think you have some really lovely images. I love the one with the two hammocks, and the landscapes, and there's some nice street and shopfront images too. I get scared looking at the one of the two women jumping in the air on the ledge that is 700m high! My brother just came back from Spain and Portugal, so nice to see some images from places he told me about.

 

I am also fairly new to Alamy and I have just one sale. I think it does take a while on Alamy compared with some other agencies, especially if those agencies are selling the images for much less as microstock. From what others here have said, it apparently can take quite a while to get regular sales with Alamy, but it seems that once you do, it gets better. I think if you can significantly increase the numbers in your portfolio and keep uploading a variety of images, you will hopefully see more sales in the not too distant future.

 

To me your images seem appropriate for potential customers on Alamy, but there will be much more experienced people here who will have a better idea of that than me.

 

All the best and you stay healthy too!

 

Hi Sally!

 

Thank you for taking your time! And thank you for the nice comments and feedback! I will definitely take it into consideration! 

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23 hours ago, Steve F said:

Hi Patrik,

Sorry to hear you haven't sold any images on Alamy yet. I like your pictures, the lighting is generally very good and you have colourful subjects. I'm not going to comment on your subjects because otherwise this post will be too long. Generally, try to avoid too many repetitive pictures of the same subject, it will hurt your CTR rank (see below). Pictures with people in or doing something in them tend to sell well. You never know what will sell, but if you can't imagine a photo selling, maybe you should think twice before you upload it.

 

I've got some tips that should help, please bear in mind these are my personal opinion:

 

1. The conventional wisdom on Alamy is that you will sell less than on other stock websites, but that the fees are generally much higher. The general trend seems to be that fees are dropping on Alamy, but I believe they are still generally higher on Alamy than with other agencies (but certainly not all the time). But there does seem to be a race to the bottom and the market is oversaturated, so it's not looking great. Anyway, a general rule of thumb used to be that you would expect to see one sale per month every 1000 images in your portfolio. I suspect that doesn't quite hold true as we approach 200 million images, but you definitely need more pictures in your portfolio to make regular sales.

 

2. One of your captions is "Granada, Spain, 07/08-19. Granada cathedral and the city center photographed during a beautiful sunset."- Image ID: W9BRNR

  • You definitely don't need the exact date in the caption unless the picture you have is particularly newsworthy. I sometimes put the year in, and obviously it's good that you have put 2020 in the caption for your 2020 American presidential election photos. But otherwise, don't put a date in; the date is in the optional information tab for your photos on Alamy Image Manager.
  • Just a minor one, Alamy's image search isn't too intelligent, so you need to put in singulars and plurals of words, and the British and American spellings in English. i.e. city center, city centre, colorful, colourful....
  • Another minor one, and I'm not sure it makes any difference but the convention would be "Granada cathedral and the city center during a beautiful sunset, Granada, Spain". The place details generally go at the end. Also, you could add that what season it is - "Granada cathedral and the city center during a beautiful summer sunset in August, Granada, Spain".
  • You don't need the word 'photographed'.

3. Another caption is "02/09-17, Trolltunga, Norway. View from the General area of Trolltunga during a sunset. Lake Ringedalsvatnet is reflecting the beautiful sky. The lak". - Image ID: 2A1PAJB. The end of the caption is incomplete.

 

4. Venice, Italy, 18/11-18. Nightsky over the Chiesa di San Simeon Piccolo. Boats leaving light trails as they pass on the canal. Image ID: W4T3RX

Venice, Italy, 18/11-18. Nightsky over the Chiesa di San Simeon Piccolo. Boats leaving light trails as they pass on the canal. - Stock Image

I like this long exposure shot. Just a couple of things. It's quite clear that the building is not vertical in the photo and is leaning over to the right and leaning backwards. Ditto for the same building in some other photos. You don't seem to be doing perspective corrections. I don't know what software you're using, but this would be the panel to use in Lightroom:
 
How to correct distorted horizontal and vertical perspective in ...
 

Same for this image. "15/09-19, Bilbao, Spain. The crane, named La Carola, is a left over from the areas industrial past. The San Mamés soccer stadium, home to Athletic Bil"

- Image ID: 2A4MY9J

 

15/09-19, Bilbao, Spain. The crane, named La Carola, is a left over from the areas industrial past. The San Mamés soccer stadium, home to Athletic Bil Stock Photo

 

You've got a relatively wide angle shot here and a lot of clear distortion, the lines that should be vertical on the left and right hand sides of the photo are all converging to a point above the centre of the photo ("converging verticals").

 

5. Lastly (because I think we're both losing the will to live at this point!) you don't need to spam keywords (put lots of irrelevant keywords). If you put lots of keywords for your photo, you get a green bar and it says the photo has "optimum discoverability". The forum members collectively decided a while ago getting images to green just hurt your ranking unless you really did need that many keywords for an image. There's a lot of threads about it in the forum. What is your CTR rank and how does it compare to the Alamy monthly average? CTR stands for “Click Through Rate” which is the number of zooms divided by the number of views, multiplied by 100. It only counts zooms from particular clients of Alamy. If you do lots of irrelevant keywords for your images, they will show up in searches, but will not be zoomed. This will drop your CTR rank. If you have a lower CTR rank, your images will get pushed back by Alamys algorithms to the back of the search pages.

 

This is not exhaustive, but I hope it helps!

 

Good luck,

Steve

Hi Steve! First, thank you for your extensive answer and your nice comments! I really appreciate you taking your time, so again thank you! Now, lets see:

 

1. More pictures, got it! As I understand It probably pays off, and even more so in the future I presume, to find niches and trends early on. I have been thinking a lot about this and have some ideas that I will explore. One general portfolio question I have is whether or not it is a good idea to keep more or less identical portfolios on Alamy as on microstock sites like Shutterstock. I have read on other forums that it seems like bigger clients do not shop around for images but rather tend to stay with the agencie they prefer, but it would be interesting to hear input on this topic from you and other Alamy contributors.

 

2. 

  • This is the format I've learned to use for editorial images and I have used it for all my images just to make the process of describing more efficient. From my point of view it can be a valuable information for some customers and I can't see how it would hurt the image in a selling point of view. I understand though that it is probably not needed for a lot, if not most, of the images, I just highly value consistency and efficiency.
  • Got it! I didn't know this and this is something that differs a lot between agencies, so when you are working like me and uploading to several agencies there will be conflicts like this. I will figure out what is the best solution for this problem for me. thanks!
  • This is also a formating thing, this is how I've learned how editorial photos should be captioned and I've just been consistent with this and used the same format for all the agencies. Oh, and I also changed the format of the date, so newer uploads have the month in the date tag. Thanks for the input!
  • Got it! 

3. Yes this is a problem I've had for several of my images, Alamy is allowing 150 characters in the caption, in the beginning I didn't realize this at all, but later on I've tried to adjust it but unfortunately a lot of times I am too quick on going through and finishing the images in the image manager and have been missing this error. I wish Alamy would increase the maximum to at least 200 characters, or give off a warning when the caption is cut off.

 

4. Venice can be a nightmare for symmetry chasers (I'm one). The fact that the buildings are leaning over and the symmetrical design of the buildings makes it very confusing when trying to compose the photo! But I agree, it does look a bit skewed. I'm using Lightroom but I have never used the transform tool on a regular basis. It is one of the tool that I need to learn more about, definitely!

 

5. I'm aware of the bad effects of keyword spamming and is something I try to avoid, I'm using a tool to help me find relevant synonyms for example, but I always try to put 50 keywords, sometimes less but probably 90% of my images has 50. I have always got the green bar to max, thinking that this is obviously better, so it's a bit concerning to hear that this is a defective tool in the image manager and is something Alamy should do something about. I will research in the forum about the topic! My CTR is 0.96, which should be pretty good?:

 Period : 01 Apr 2019 to 06 Apr 2020
Total views for Patrik Forsberg: 1042
Total zooms for Patrik Forsberg: 10
Total CTR for Patrik Forsberg: 0.96
Average CTR for Patrik Forsberg: 0.96
Top performing pseudonym: PATRIK FORSBERG(CTR: 0.96)
Last month average CTR on Alamy: 0.57

 

Thank you so much for your feedback! this is all really helpful information and will definitely make me a better contributor! 

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Hi Patrik, I'm glad you're taking this all in such a positive way. I suspected you might be selling on other stock sites because you put the date in. Sure, don't change your captions too much on Alamy then if you've already got them written out somewhere else. It's definitely good to identify a niche, or something that you like photographing and concentrate on that. There are so many landscape, pet and flower shots out there that they don't tend to sell particularly well. Travel shots are ok. Alamy is more of an editorial agency, so pictures you have with property or people in them that you can't sell with other agencies can normally be uploaded here no problem.

 

20 minutes ago, Pacforsberg said:

One general portfolio question I have is whether or not it is a good idea to keep more or less identical portfolios on Alamy as on microstock sites like Shutterstock. I have read on other forums that it seems like bigger clients do not shop around for images but rather tend to stay with the agencie they prefer, but it would be interesting to hear input on this topic from you and other Alamy contributors.

 

Haha, that's a very good question!! On the face of it, it does seem a bit self defeating to sell the same photos on micro stock websites for much less money, because a client that shops around will always buy from the cheaper site. I personally go by this philosophy and so do a lot of other people on Alamy. On the other hand, there seems to be an equal number of people that go by the opposite philosophy and rely on the fact that most clients don't shop around. I'll leave this up to you, I'm not sure you're going to find a clear answer for this in the Forum here, just lots of opinions on both sides.

 

25 minutes ago, Pacforsberg said:

5. I'm aware of the bad effects of keyword spamming and is something I try to avoid, I'm using a tool to help me find relevant synonyms for example, but I always try to put 50 keywords, sometimes less but probably 90% of my images has 50. I have always got the green bar to max, thinking that this is obviously better, so it's a bit concerning to hear that this is a defective tool in the image manager and is something Alamy should do something about. I will research in the forum about the topic! My CTR is 0.96, which should be pretty good?:

 

Your CTR is very good, as you can see compared with the Alamy average figure. My only word of caution; mine started very high and then slowly worked its way down to 0.53 which I'm currently at. See if you can keep yours high!

 

It's not so much a defective tool, it was deliberate from Alamy. We just don't find it particularly helpful. E.g. most pictures taken outdoors have sky in them, it probably wouldn't make your images easier to search for by having 'sky' as a keyword for each image. There's other threads on this topic, but here's one example:

 

https://discussion.alamy.com/topic/11883-discoverability-poor-vs-good-vs-optimized/?tab=comments#comment-217249

 

Steve

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38 minutes ago, Pacforsberg said:

4. Venice can be a nightmare for symmetry chasers (I'm one). The fact that the buildings are leaning over and the symmetrical design of the buildings makes it very confusing when trying to compose the photo! But I agree, it does look a bit skewed. I'm using Lightroom but I have never used the transform tool on a regular basis. It is one of the tool that I need to learn more about, definitely!

Hello again, I'll try and make this short (it's an excuse to take a break from work!). Just on the transform tool. It's very easy, Auto normally does a good job, otherwise you can fiddle with the other sliders yourself. I think it makes quite a big difference. I'm not saying photos with a lot of distortion won't necessarily sell, but once you're aware of things like converging verticals, you just can't help noticing and it is normally very obvious.

 

I'm putting my own personal workflow below. This is just for information, everyone's got their own way of doing it and I'm not teaching you to suck eggs hopefully, you just might find something useful there.

 

Steve

 

  • You can batch edit your photos in Lightroom in the "Library" but I like to do mine individually.
  • Processing in Lightroom under the "Develop" tab:
  1. Lens corrections - apply correction for your lens - if you're lucky, LR does it automatically for you. Remove chromatic abberation.
  2. Transform - make sure horizon is straight and buildings are not leaning at funny angles. You can get away with "Auto" in a lot of cases.
  3. Adjust the exposure. I do it by eye so it looks "right" to me, but you can also try and get the histogram so the 'bell shape' is in the middle and not skewed to the left or right.
  4. Adjust contrast by eye.
  5. Adjust the whites and blacks so that the histogram goes all the way to the left and right with no clipping. But check by eye as well, sometimes you don't want to go all the way to the edge.
  6. Adjust shadows and highlights by eye (sometimes necessary).
  7. Adjust the White Balance as necessary. Default is "as shot". Change it to "Auto" to see what it looks like. See what you think, adjust by eye as you see fit.
  8. Adjust vibrance and saturation. By the way, increasing the overall exposure a lot seems to automatically increase the saturation so you might actually need to apply negative saturation.
  9. Adjust saturation and luminance on individual colours if necessary, i.e. if one colour looks really garish or flat.
  10. Check for dust bunnies with the spot removal tool, and click on "visualise spots". It's a bit hit and miss though so I just tend to zoom in on the photo by eye and remove them.
  11. Sharpening - I just leave it as default and I believe that is alright for Alamy.
  12. Export as highest quality jpeg with sRGB or AdobeRGB colour space - don't apply additional sharpening.
  13. Congrats, you're done, next photo!

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10 hours ago, Steve F said:

Ah ok, your BHZ rank. I haven't checked for a long time actually. Not sure I'm going to start spamming keywords on the assumption that Alamy won't re-rank people. 🙃

 

Not just BHZ, try test searches for subjects you normally photograph and see where your images appear. It would be great if Alamy did start doing regular re-ranks again (they used to be roughly every 6 months), but I wonder if something "broke" around the time they introduced the new AIM with revised database structures and they haven't fixed it since 😞

 

Mark

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21 hours ago, M.Chapman said:

 

Not just BHZ, try test searches for subjects you normally photograph and see where your images appear. It would be great if Alamy did start doing regular re-ranks again (they used to be roughly every 6 months), but I wonder if something "broke" around the time they introduced the new AIM with revised database structures and they haven't fixed it since 😞

 

Mark

Hmmmm, well... kind of I'm alright jack... I seem to be appearing fairly high up on some searches I've done. Of course, if I wasn't, I'd be complaining vociferously!! 😄

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On 07/04/2020 at 13:11, Steve F said:
  • Adjust the exposure. I do it by eye so it looks "right" to me, but you can also try and get the histogram so the 'bell shape' is in the middle and not skewed to the left or right.
  • Adjust contrast by eye.
  • Adjust the whites and blacks so that the histogram goes all the way to the left and right with no clipping. But check by eye as well, sometimes you don't want to go all the way to the edge.
  • Adjust shadows and highlights by eye (sometimes necessary).

 

I find it's often worth trying the Auto button (in the Tone panel). Sometimes the result is rubbish, but quite often I find it's good (I'm using the latest LR CC) or it at least provides a useful starting point.

 

Mark

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6 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

 

I find it's often worth trying the Auto button (in the Tone panel). Sometimes the result is rubbish, but quite often I find it's good (I'm using the latest LR CC) or it at least provides a useful starting point.

 

Mark

 

Thanks for the tip!  A smoother workflow is always good, I'll have a try.

Stephen

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Posted (edited)
On 07/04/2020 at 07:28, Pacforsberg said:

 

  • This is the format I've learned to use for editorial images and I have used it for all my images just to make the process of describing more efficient. From my point of view it can be a valuable information for some customers and I can't see how it would hurt the image in a selling point of view. I understand though that it is probably not needed for a lot, if not most, of the images, I just highly value consistency and efficiency.
  •  

 

 

it hurts you since on average the date would use about 8-10% of your caption, and since search engine gives more weight to the caption, this could be a waste.  The information is also available in the Other info, where it is searchable.  

 

for images i intend to also upload to MS agencies, i put the location and date info at the end of the caption, so its what gets cut off if i use more than 150 characters, and it's also easy to remove for images where it is totally useless, but MS requires it.

Edited by meanderingemu

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2 hours ago, M.Chapman said:

 

I find it's often worth trying the Auto button (in the Tone panel). Sometimes the result is rubbish, but quite often I find it's good (I'm using the latest LR CC) or it at least provides a useful starting point.

 

Mark

 

 

same in C1, it's usually my starting point on editorial image. 

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