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Over the last couple of years I have been asked time and time again to help family, friends, and work to be the photographer at all kinds of events. As an amateur photographer I have volunteered my time and talents as a gift of love to those around me. Recently I purchased a new Canon T6s and have been traveling overseas with my students. After one of my trips, several of my co-workers recommended that I try to sell some of my photographs. That is how I discovered Alamy.

 

I have been reading all the blog posts, but I still have a few questions. I am currently on my 5th submission (although the first three shouldn't count because I did not completely understand the QC process) and I really thought I had the requirements down. When I look at my images at full size (10+MB size, with 6000 x 4000 resolution) they look crystal clear. Unfortunately, I am still being rejected because my images are soft or lacking definition. I have read that images need to be at least 10MB or larger. My new T6s has a APS-C 22.3mm x 14.9mm sensor size, with 24 megapixel and gives great images. Is it possible my camera is not on the approved list (I have not been able to find a specific list, just lots of talk that there is or was a list)?

 

What is the average number of submissions one makes before being accepted? Do you go through the same submission process for every picture you want to sell? I see many contributors have thousands of images, at 48 to 72 hours for each approval it could take a long time to get a large enough inventory to sell. Is there a faster way to submit once your initial photos pass inspection? 

 

I look forward to meeting some of you and seeing your work.

 

Smiles ...

Kristi

 

 

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Your Canon T6 is just fine.  I use a Canon T4.

 

Do you shoot RAW or JPG?  You should be shooting RAW and doing your post processing in software such as Adobe Camera Raw or Lightroom.  There are other choices.

 

Images from a 24 megapixel camera are more than large enough to meet size requirements.  Minimum file size is 17mb and that is for the RAW image size, not the JPG.  JPG image sizes vary depending on the content in the image.

 

What software are you using for processing or are you using out of camera JPGS?

 

Jill

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As Jill says, your equipment is just fine. The best thing you can do is to let us see a portion of one of your images at full size. Cut out a bit that you think is sharp (not the whole image), upload it to the web somewhere and post a link to it.

 

Alan

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This may or may not apply to your photos, but in the past some contributors have been failed for soft or lacking definition because what they took to be the main subject and what Alamy QC took to be the main subject weren't the same.  It's perfectly acceptable to have most of the photo soft as a consequence of depth of field, so long as the main subject is sharp.  But, for example, the photographer may have been concerned with the hands and Alamy sees the eyes soft and fails the photo.  If this doesn't apply to the photos you have submitted, just tuck the advice away for the future.

 

Good luck.

 

Robert

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I am excited to report I have had my most recent submission accepted. Thank-you for your support and help. 

 

Jill: I usually shoot in JPEG, but have started to experiment with RAW. I try hard not to edit my photos too much, but when I want to make minor corrections I use Google's old software Picasa. It is so simple and does not over correct things. It also has some really fun setting for creating my other passion, abstract art photos. 

 

Alan: Thank-you for your suggestion. I don't currently have a webpage (working on it). but I have posted my three accepted images on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/kris.kisler. I believe FB compacts images, but they still look very clear.

 

Robert: Thanks for the information. I will keep this in mind when I am taking my picture. Great advice.

 

Finally, one other question ... I have now tagged my three photos, added all my details, and it shows the photos are for sale. How do I see how much Alamy has listed the photos for? I tried to do a search after I finished tagging them, but I couldn't find them. Is there a delay as to when you can actually see your photos for sale?

 

Thanks ... Smiles,

Kristi

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Some thoughts on your initial questions:

 

Once you have passed the initial test of three images you can submit as many images as you wish per submission and as often as you wish. The speed at which you build a portfolio is down to you. Be very aware though that after the first submission only a small sample of each subsequent submission is inspected. If that sample passes then the whole batch of images passes. This means it is incumbent on the contributor to inspect all images they submit in detail to make sure they meet QC requirements before submission. Alamy is a professional library and the contributor is expected to produce images to professional standards and exercise their own QC.  If any image you submit fails QC you may well find your upload privileges suspended for some days to give you time to ponder the error of your ways. Be also aware that if any image fails QC all images waiting in the QC queue at  that time will automatically fail too. It is a good system - it concentrates the contributors mind on their responsibilities for their own quality.

 

Take note of advice on shooting RAW if possible. Out of camera JPEG will be acceptable in many cases where you are shooting in good conditions but you may well struggle to maintain quality when conditions are more challenging. I've never used Picasa but I would stake next week's lunches on it not cutting the mustard as far as professional image editing goes. If you are serious, look for software which will help you in your work.

 

If you are going to put your images on Facebook consider putting a watermark on them to reduce the risk of the images being copied and used without your permission. You'll find much discussion on these forums on the value of social media for promoting your images. In fact, you'll find the forums exceedingly useful for learning about all manner of subjects relating to stock photography in general and Alamy in particular. You will find the contributors here helpful and, fo rthe most part, very professional in their approach. However, they are your competitors and will not give away all their secrets. 

 

Your images will usually appear in searches within 24 hours as the Alamy servers update.

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Picasa is a decent database and I still use it for that, but it won't enable you to process RAW- in fact it won't even display RAWs properly, mine look flat and green in it. You may be better sticking to jpeg until you can get some suitable software, but it may cost you the odd fail where a well handled RAW would pass.

Alamy's strict QC requires flawless shooting technique. You just can't get rid of the odd bit of camera shake or poor definition from a wide aperture if the lens isn't good enough.

Now your initial submission has passed you are on your way. Subs usually pass in a day and if you submit in batches you can get plenty of images through- my average is about 25- but it's not just a numbers game.

Edited by spacecadet

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Some thoughts on your initial questions:

 

Once you have passed the initial test of three images you can submit as many images as you wish per submission and as often as you wish. The speed at which you build a portfolio is down to you. Be very aware though that after the first submission only a small sample of each subsequent submission is inspected. If that sample passes then the whole batch of images passes. This means it is incumbent on the contributor to inspect all images they submit in detail to make sure they meet QC requirements before submission. Alamy is a professional library and the contributor is expected to produce images to professional standards and exercise their own QC.  If any image you submit fails QC you may well find your upload privileges suspended for some days to give you time to ponder the error of your ways. Be also aware that if any image fails QC all images waiting in the QC queue at  that time will automatically fail too. It is a good system - it concentrates the contributors mind on their responsibilities for their own quality.

 

Hi Joseph ... Thank-you for this invaluable information. I am guessing I have now been suspended for 9 days (my upload link says upload in 9 days), lesson learned. I found it interesting that of the 9 images I uploaded, the photo they choose to QC was my weakest image. Do they select the image they QC at random or do they look at the uploads and find the image they feel might not hit the mark?

 

Is there a relation between the fact that I uploaded 9 images and I am now suspended for 9 days? I will definitely be using these nine days to up my game, review my images more carefully, and start organizing my files accordingly. I do appreciate the functionality of teaching contributors the importance of self reflection and quality control. I can see why it might take several years to build a quality portfolio. Nine days is a pretty stiff penalty.

 

Picasa is a very simple photo editing tool and Google (the creator) no longer supports it. I am currently researching softwares that can accommodate RAW editing, but I really try hard to make my images need as little editing as possible, so I would like a good software that is easy to learn and use. Do you have any recommendations?

 

Just out of curiosity ... I had updated the information on my three approved images before I uploaded my new images. Is my account suspended on posting these three images for sale too? I already have friends that would like to see my work here on Alamy. When everything is back up and running, will I have a link I can advertise that will draw customers to my work here?

 

Thank-you for all your great information and advise. It is greatly appreciated.

 

Smiles,

Kristi 

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Picasa is a decent database and I still use it for that, but it won't enable you to process RAW- in fact it won't even display RAWs properly, mine look flat and green in it. You may be better sticking to jpeg until you can get some suitable software, but it may cost you the odd fail where a well handled RAW would pass.

Alamy's strict QC requires flawless shooting technique. You just can't get rid of the odd bit of camera shake or poor definition from a wide aperture if the lens isn't good enough.

Now your initial submission has passed you are on your way. Subs usually pass in a day and if you submit in batches you can get plenty of images through- my average is about 25- but it's not just a numbers game.

 

You are right, Picasa is definitely a very low level editor, but when you have a really good quality image and you just want a small tweak, it is extremely fast and easy to use. What does it mean when it says "Reputation 1197" under your name?

 

Thanks for supporting my questions. I know I tend to ask a lot of them.

 

Smiles,

Kristi

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Some thoughts on your initial questions:

 

Once you have passed the initial test of three images you can submit as many images as you wish per submission and as often as you wish. The speed at which you build a portfolio is down to you. Be very aware though that after the first submission only a small sample of each subsequent submission is inspected. If that sample passes then the whole batch of images passes. This means it is incumbent on the contributor to inspect all images they submit in detail to make sure they meet QC requirements before submission. Alamy is a professional library and the contributor is expected to produce images to professional standards and exercise their own QC.  If any image you submit fails QC you may well find your upload privileges suspended for some days to give you time to ponder the error of your ways. Be also aware that if any image fails QC all images waiting in the QC queue at  that time will automatically fail too. It is a good system - it concentrates the contributors mind on their responsibilities for their own quality.

 

Hi Joseph ... Thank-you for this invaluable information. I am guessing I have now been suspended for 9 days (my upload link says upload in 9 days), lesson learned. I found it interesting that of the 9 images I uploaded, the photo they choose to QC was my weakest image. Do they select the image they QC at random or do they look at the uploads and find the image they feel might not hit the mark?

 

Is there a relation between the fact that I uploaded 9 images and I am now suspended for 9 days? I will definitely be using these nine days to up my game, review my images more carefully, and start organizing my files accordingly. I do appreciate the functionality of teaching contributors the importance of self reflection and quality control. I can see why it might take several years to build a quality portfolio. Nine days is a pretty stiff penalty.

 

Picasa is a very simple photo editing tool and Google (the creator) no longer supports it. I am currently researching softwares that can accommodate RAW editing, but I really try hard to make my images need as little editing as possible, so I would like a good software that is easy to learn and use. Do you have any recommendations?

 

Just out of curiosity ... I had updated the information on my three approved images before I uploaded my new images. Is my account suspended on posting these three images for sale too? I already have friends that would like to see my work here on Alamy. When everything is back up and running, will I have a link I can advertise that will draw customers to my work here?

 

Thank-you for all your great information and advise. It is greatly appreciated.

 

Smiles,

Kristi 

 

 

A quick response as I have to dash off elsewhere...

 

i don't know how they chose which image  to check. If I was doing the job I would chose one which I thought could pose problems on the grounds that if that one passes, then the others should too.

 

The number of days suspended is not linked to the number of images in the submission. It used to be 30 days but I think they are being more flexible now, depending on the QC record of the individual concerned. Nine days is not a lot in Alamy terms.

 

Your account is not suspended while upload privileges are suspended. I can see one of your images at the moment, which is slightly odd as I would expect to see all three of your initial submission. It may be that the database is still updating.

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I am excited to report I have had my most recent submission accepted. Thank-you for your support and help. 

 

Jill: I usually shoot in JPEG, but have started to experiment with RAW. I try hard not to edit my photos too much, but when I want to make minor corrections I use Google's old software Picasa. It is so simple and does not over correct things. It also has some really fun setting for creating my other passion, abstract art photos. 

 

 

Finally, one other question ... I have now tagged my three photos, added all my details, and it shows the photos are for sale. How do I see how much Alamy has listed the photos for? I tried to do a search after I finished tagging them, but I couldn't find them. Is there a delay as to when you can actually see your photos for sale?

 

Thanks ... Smiles,

Kristi

 

It can take 24 hours  (more on weekends and holidays) for the photos to actually be searchable.

 

Alamy gives you a price calculator, but sales are almost never at that price.  So just ignore it.  Alamy negotiates prices with most of their customers, so the actual sales amount will vary widely according to the use and who is buying.  And remember that your cut is 50% on direct Alamy sales but only 30% for sales through a distributor.

 

Robert

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You already have a RAW editor in the Canon supplied Digital Photo Professional (DPP).  I don't find it as intuitive or comprehensive as Lightroom but for lower levels of image manipulation it works very well.

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Welcome! Be careful with your tags. You have quite a few unrelated tags in your image of a castle floor. For instance, small towns, rooftops. I see no small town, I see no rooftops.

Only use tags that reflect what's in your image. Name of castle,castle floor,walls,stone,location, etc. leave out best shot,name of your camera. Someone searching for an actual picture of your camera type will get a castle floor. Those views will hurt your CTR because they won't be zoomed.

On the other hand, if you have a picture of an animal as the subject and a tree is in the distant background, don't use tree as a tag. Someone searching for a tree will be looking for the tree as the subject...but usually search for a tree by name and scientific name. Exception could be "squirrel,tree. While the squirrel is the subject, the searcher is looking for the squirrel to be in or near a tree. In that case, the name of the tree is good if you know it, but not necessary. But...if the person is searching for an image of an oak tree, naming it and the scientific name will offer two sales chances. The squirrel search and the tree search.

 

It took me ages after joining to figure out not to add "tree" just because I could see a tiny one, lol.

I'm sure I haven't corrected all of those! Working on it, though. More fun to get it right to begin with.

Good luck.

Betty

Edit typo

Edited by Betty LaRue

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Welcome! Be careful with your tags. You have quite a few unrelated tags in your image of a castle floor. For instance, small towns, rooftops. I see no small town, I see no rooftops.

Only use tags that reflect what's in your image. Name of castle,castle floor,walls,stone,location, etc. leave out best shot,name of your camera. Someone searching for an actual picture of your camera type will get a castle floor. Those views will hurt your CTR because they won't be zoomed.

On the other hand, if you have a picture of an animal as the subject and a tree is in the distant background, don't use tree as a tag. Someone searching for a tree will be looking for the tree as the subject...but usually search for a tree by name and scientific name. Exception could be "squirrel,tree. While the squirrel is the subject, the searcher is looking for the squirrel to be in or near a tree. In that case, the name of the tree is good if you know it, but not necessary. But...if the person is searching for an image of an oak tree, naming it and the scientific name will offer two sales chances. The squirrel search and the tree search.

 

It took me ages after joining to figure out not to add "tree" just because I could see a tiny one, lol.

I'm sure I haven't corrected all of those! Working on it, though. More fun to get it right to begin with.

Good luck.

Betty

Edit typo

 

Hi Betty ... Thank-you for all the great advice. I was finding it difficult to find 50 tags and it would not approve my photos for sale unless I had them all. I am getting better at tagging since I started, but I still need to go back and change a few of my tags. Right now I am trying to figure out how to find an address link to my photo page, so I can advertise my images here in Alamy. Do you know how to do that?

Smiles,

Kristi

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You already have a RAW editor in the Canon supplied Digital Photo Professional (DPP).  I don't find it as intuitive or comprehensive as Lightroom but for lower levels of image manipulation it works very well.

 

Hi John ... I will look into that ... I have been trying to shoot in RAW, but the post production takes me a long time and the image quality is very poor. I am wondering if I am limited by the constraints of my camera, but my jpeg images are coming out great, crystal clear. The problem is they are not 10 MB or larger. They hit the limit of the camera at 4000x6000, but the size averages about 7 to 8 MB. I still have so much to learn.

 

Thanks for taking the time to respond to my post. 

 

Smiles,

Kristi

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You already have a RAW editor in the Canon supplied Digital Photo Professional (DPP).  I don't find it as intuitive or comprehensive as Lightroom but for lower levels of image manipulation it works very well.

 

Hi John ... I will look into that ... I have been trying to shoot in RAW, but the post production takes me a long time and the image quality is very poor. I am wondering if I am limited by the constraints of my camera, but my jpeg images are coming out great, crystal clear. The problem is they are not 10 MB or larger. They hit the limit of the camera at 4000x6000, but the size averages about 7 to 8 MB. I still have so much to learn.

 

Thanks for taking the time to respond to my post. 

 

Smiles,

Kristi

 

Kristi:

 

The size of your jpeg is irrelevant.  It will always vary depending on what is in the image.  Only the size of the RAW image matters, or if you save your jpeg as a tiff, the size of the tiff image.  the minimum dimensions of an image to pass QC on size is 3000x2000 or 6 megapixels.

 

I'm not sure how a RAW file can be poor quality but the jpeg crystal clear. 

 

Jill

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You already have a RAW editor in the Canon supplied Digital Photo Professional (DPP).  I don't find it as intuitive or comprehensive as Lightroom but for lower levels of image manipulation it works very well.

 

Hi John ... I will look into that ... I have been trying to shoot in RAW, but the post production takes me a long time and the image quality is very poor. I am wondering if I am limited by the constraints of my camera, but my jpeg images are coming out great, crystal clear. The problem is they are not 10 MB or larger. They hit the limit of the camera at 4000x6000, but the size averages about 7 to 8 MB. I still have so much to learn.

 

Thanks for taking the time to respond to my post. 

 

Smiles,

Kristi

 

 

 

Hello kristi,

 

When I used to shoot with Canon cameras I used DPP only to process my RAW images and found it very good.

 

I only switched to LR and PSE when I went on to shoot with other makes of camera. Now with Sony and Nikon. Nikon's own processing software is not very good so I stay with LR and PSE.

 

Allan

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As far as I understood it, the Alamy minimum uploaded JPG size is the expanded JPG - not the original RAW? To check the expanded JPG size, I open the finished JPG image in Photoshop & the size is shown in the lower right.

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As far as I understood it, the Alamy minimum uploaded JPG size is the expanded JPG - not the original RAW? To check the expanded JPG size, I open the finished JPG image in Photoshop & the size is shown in the lower right.

 

Alamy does not have a minimum jpeg file size, certainly not that I have seen anywhere.  It does have a minimum uncompressed (jpeg is a compressed file) file size of 17mb which is 6 megapixels, or if you are downsizing an image you can go down to 3000 x 2000 which makes it a 17.2 mb uncompressed file.

 

Jill

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Welcome! Be careful with your tags. You have quite a few unrelated tags in your image of a castle floor. For instance, small towns, rooftops. I see no small town, I see no rooftops.

Only use tags that reflect what's in your image. Name of castle,castle floor,walls,stone,location, etc. leave out best shot,name of your camera. Someone searching for an actual picture of your camera type will get a castle floor. Those views will hurt your CTR because they won't be zoomed.

On the other hand, if you have a picture of an animal as the subject and a tree is in the distant background, don't use tree as a tag. Someone searching for a tree will be looking for the tree as the subject...but usually search for a tree by name and scientific name. Exception could be "squirrel,tree. While the squirrel is the subject, the searcher is looking for the squirrel to be in or near a tree. In that case, the name of the tree is good if you know it, but not necessary. But...if the person is searching for an image of an oak tree, naming it and the scientific name will offer two sales chances. The squirrel search and the tree search.

It took me ages after joining to figure out not to add "tree" just because I could see a tiny one, lol.

I'm sure I haven't corrected all of those! Working on it, though. More fun to get it right to begin with.

Good luck.

Betty

Edit typo

 

 

Hi Betty ... Thank-you for all the great advice. I was finding it difficult to find 50 tags and it would not approve my photos for sale unless I had them all. I am getting better at tagging since I started, but I still need to go back and change a few of my tags. Right now I am trying to figure out how to find an address link to my photo page, so I can advertise my images here in Alamy. Do you know how to do that?

Smiles,

Kristi

Kristi, you do not have to have 50 tags for your images to go on sale. You do have to have a caption. Use only relevant tags that actually apply to your image. Even if the bar stays orange. Even if you only have 10 tags. You can ask almost anyone here who've been contributors for years and they'll tell you how important it is not to spam.

Spamming is adding tags that don't apply to your image. Doing that will hurt your success. New contributors get a middle placement. When that term runs out, your image placement may go up...or down. Down isn't good, since it means a buyer would have to go many pages to see your image.

Tagging appropriately and offering subjects that buyers seek, can help your images rise in searches.

I can't help you with linking. I never attempt to do that.

Betty

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You already have a RAW editor in the Canon supplied Digital Photo Professional (DPP).  I don't find it as intuitive or comprehensive as Lightroom but for lower levels of image manipulation it works very well.

 

Hi John ... I will look into that ... I have been trying to shoot in RAW, but the post production takes me a long time and the image quality is very poor. I am wondering if I am limited by the constraints of my camera, but my jpeg images are coming out great, crystal clear. The problem is they are not 10 MB or larger. They hit the limit of the camera at 4000x6000, but the size averages about 7 to 8 MB. I still have so much to learn.

 

Thanks for taking the time to respond to my post. 

 

Smiles,

Kristi

 

Hi Kristi, as others have said, shooting in RAW is the way to go. The reason is that the RAW file isn't truly an image, it's pure data which you can work with in an editor like Photoshop or Canon DPP.

If your images don't look good in RAW, unfortunately that's because it's showing exactly what you shot..... If your images look better as JPEGs, then the camera, or the editor you are importing it into is applying some form of automatic correction to make them look better.

 

File size is a strangely complicated issue, but the thing to remember is that the only one that matters is the uncompressed size. You'll only see this when you open it in an editor like Photoshop or DPP, and this must be at leasy 17 mb. Your camera is fine for producing images of this size. File sizes shown on the desktop are (almost always) irrelevant. JPEGs in particular, because when you save a picture as a JPEG, it compresses the picture to a smaller size. In Photoshop etc, you can choose how much you wish to compress the picture - when it's re-opened it comes back to full size, this (again) is the uncompressed size.

 

In summary:

1) Shoot RAW, yes it takes longer, but the objective here is to sell pictures. In RAW you can truly make the best of your photos, once you're done, save them as a JPEG for Alamy to use.

2) Always give Alamy the biggest file you can give them.

3) Ignore the file size shown on your desktop.

 

Good luck!

Tony

Edited by TeeCee

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Kristi,

 

File sizes can be a little involved, but as others have said the easy way is to look at the file size as shown in Photoshop or other photo editor that shows file sizes.  One point -- the 17 megabyte ( MB )  requirement on Alamy is for 8 bit files.  If you do your editing at 16 bit as I and probably many others do, you'll need at least 34 MB showing while you're in 16 bit mode as you'll loose half the file size when you change the mode to 8 bit.  Alamy only accepts 8 bit jpeg's.

 

Each pixel in 8 bit mode uses 3 bytes of data -- one each for the red, green and blue channels.  So you need, at a minimum, 17 / 3 or 5.6667 megapixels.  Any combination of length and width that gives this will give you the required size.  For example 2833 x 2000 pixels or 2500 x 2267 pixels.  Most, if not all, editors will show you the image dimensions in pixels, as will Windows Explorer if you use Windows.  You probably don't want to cut it too close, so the 6 megapixel recommendation that others have made is probably a good target.  Also, larger is better unless you go over the maximum size.  But you will only get over the maximum if you're using something like a digital back, so don't worry about that.

 

I hope you do well with Alamy.

 

Robert

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