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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by kidwoo View Post
    For THAT, you need a plastic flower, a weather report and a lakebed!



    come on you know that was funny

    I laughed.

  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by kidwoo View Post
    For THAT, you need a plastic flower, a weather report and a lakebed!


    come on you know that was funny
    Indeed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Lonnie View Post
    Depends on what you doing, and for sport/action, I'd agree it isn't as easy a process as using AF (Af was invented for a reason). So in your typical style of shooting I'd say you're right. But one the flip side, if I had an AF failure, I'd also know how to compensate for it using manual settings. F/8 and be there, right?
    No, not really. I was shooting a catalog for a major ski clothing brand and with the current state of the Wasatch it was imperative to be able to use shallow dof to both hide a less than perfect environment and focus attention on the product / models. I'd much rather have a lower keeper rate but know that my good stuff is actually good rather than fuck off at f8 and submit a turd to a client. F8 and be there is akin to saying showing up is half the battle. Maybe it was true for a newspaper shooter 50 years ago (they don't exist anymore, they simply run iphone photos from joe blow on twitter which I guess is the new f8 and be there), but in commercial work it simply holds no water. In this situation I got lucky that the problem was at the end of the day and we were able to reshoot the two pieces with the same models at no additional cost a day later. Normally I'd grab a back up body but we were literally chasing the light as it crept away from us until the sun dropped behind the ridge behind me and it was done. The whole thing happened in less than 5 minutes.

  3. #53
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    Chad,

    If I can shoot a wiggly kid at f/1.4 using MF and get the focus right, it should be possible with relatively stationary models. I understand the challenges when there is really money on the line, and I'm not trying to burn you down, but I know it can be done, and has been done for a long time.

    As for f/8 and be there, I think the point is knowing your equipment (and I'm not implying you don't) and how the settings effect things. This past summer I spent a good hour or so running random numbers thru a DOF calculator. It was a very enlightening exercise. I had a conceptual idea before, but had never looked at real numbers. What it did for me was give me an idea of how "wide open" or "stopped down" effects the focal plane at different focal lengths and distance to subjects, etc. Long story short, it gave me an idea of under what conditions I can "cheat" the f-stop up or down and still get the same look as "wide open" or "stopped down" and still get the subject in focus with maximum sharpness (and to what degree the background/foreground is OOF). For example, a very simple landscape situation where this is applies is shooting a scene that really doesn't go to "infinity" at f/11 vs f/18 or f/22. If the whole scene is in focus at f/11 then all going above that does is add lens diffraction and reduces sharpness.
    This is the worst pain EVER!

  4. #54
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    A wiggly kid crapping itself on the floor is a far cry from two bubbly girls walking toward the camera with fading light, an audience, in a public space, on a Sunday afternoon but I digress...clearly you're the expert here. Thank god the forum has your vast expertise to rely on as gospel. Clearly you already have all the answers: Av mode and f8 are the real inside line to banger city.

  5. #55
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    Can you get that focus right, dead on, with no time to "find" focus, and only one chance to get it right? It was hard for seasoned pros back in the day, and they were using cameras that were designed for manual focus, with a split prism focusing screen and a viewfinder larger than that on most DSLRs. I know that my D3s can focus faster than just about any human on earth, track motion in ways that nobody can, and I'm free to concentrate on composing and exposing the shot itself instead of focusing.

    MF lenses are fun and there are times to use them, but if your subject can move and modern AF is an option, it's almost always the better one.

  6. #56
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    Guys,

    I'm not saying it's easy, That it's my first choice, or it's the best way to do it. All I'm saying is it's possible and if you think it isn't then that is your limitation, not the equipment's. (To be fair, I did say that AF was invented for a reason).

    Back to your situation, and insert some hypotheticals. Say we've been shooting the two cute girls all day with our 70-200 f/2.8 at about 100mm. We've been trying to isolate the background so we've been shooting wide open. I know, by running the numbers thru a DOF calculator, that at f/2.8 the total area that's in focus at 100mm is about 5-10% of the distance between the lens and the subject. So at 10', the DOF is 0.5,' not much margin for error. But I also know that at 20' it doubles to 2 feet, and by dropping down to f/4 I gain another 33% to 3 feet. That still leaves plenty of room to isolate the background, and that effect can easily be enhanced in post if needed. (On the flip side of that discussion, run the numbers for a 75mm f/1.8 lens shot wide open at 18" and tell me which one of these situations has a narrower depth of field and smaller margin of error).

    I guess this is the difference in taking pics for fun vs taking pics for $$. If I miss, no big deal.

    On a lighter note I'll leave you with this....
    http://www.kontraband.com/videos/517...r-Sandbagging/
    Last edited by Lonnie; 12-23-2011 at 06:16 AM.
    This is the worst pain EVER!

  7. #57
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    Actually Lonnie, I was shooting at 200mm because not only did I want maximum fore and background blur, I also wanted maximum compression. When 200mm is adjusted for crop factor my effective focal length is actually 260mm (1.3x). So using an online calculator my actual total DOF at f/2.8 at 40 feet from my subject (guessing here but it's close to the mid point of the walk they were doing as they raced the creeping shadow line) was .76 feet. If I bumped to f/4 it would be 1.09 feet, at f/5.6 it would be 1.52 feet. At 80 feet from the subject f/2.8 would have been 3.07 feet which is still a very tight window for two moving subjects as their movement is independent. Now you also need to take into consideration that I don't just need a sharp image a 1:4 resolution, I need it tack sharp at 1:1 as the images are being used not only for a print catalog, but also to wrap the client's SIA booth. Go out and track a subject moving at you with manual focus and see just many keepers you get a 1:1. It's not as easy as it might sound.

  8. #58
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    That's one of the reasons I've really enjoyed the switch to full-frame. I can drop a stop for sharpness but still pull the same DoF that I did wide open on crop. I really like shooting my 2.8 glass at f/4 and my 1.8 glass at f/2.2 or f/2.5 and getting awesome results.

  9. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chainsaw_Willie View Post
    Because someone said they shoot manual because they don't want the camera doing any calculations for them. To me, that's misleading because if you're using the camera's meter to create a starting point to work from for a scene, then you are absolutely letting the camera do some calcuations for you. While you may wish to modify the settings the camera is telling are best for a particular shot, you are still starting with what the camera is telling you.
    NONONONONONONONONONONONO... The camera meter is telling me nothing other than how much light MY settings are letting in.

    A meter is a MEASURING DEVICE. Set it to "SPOT" and MEASURE. There are no calculations. I now realize that many people aren't even considering what metering mode is being shot or possibly what that even means.

    If you still can't understand then maybe rent an external light meter and use it for a day. Perhaps getting the meter out of the camera will help your thought process.

  10. #60
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    Reading this just makes me realize how much I don't know. My head hurts now.

  11. #61
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    All modes have their place. It's not like shooting in manual gives you some magic aperture or SS that don't exist in the other modes. All modes can get you to the same exact settings.
    All I want is to be hardcore.

    www.tonystreks.com

  12. #62
    Hugh Conway Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by 4-TEEF'S Ghost View Post
    NONONONONONONONONONONONO... The camera meter is telling me nothing other than how much light MY settings are letting in.
    For some 70s vintage TTL, yes. Best a Leica CL with a sensor on a paddle that swung up and measured the light in the center just in front of the film plane; similar to a handheld lightmeter just other side of the lens.

    For a modern metering camera in matrix mode (Nikon), no, it's doing quite a bit more information gathering than a simple "how much light is there"



    like hitek70 said - they all have their place, depends on what you want to do and what you want to shoot.

  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Conway View Post
    For some 70s vintage TTL, yes. Best a Leica CL with a sensor on a paddle that swung up and measured the light in the center just in front of the film plane; similar to a handheld lightmeter just other side of the lens.

    For a modern metering camera in matrix mode (Nikon), no, it's doing quite a bit more information gathering than a simple "how much light is there"



    like hitek70 said - they all have their place, depends on what you want to do and what you want to shoot.

    Agreed. But I was responding to Willie's specific question of how I set my exposure. I use the spot metering mode which is 4% of the frame.

    I like the second part of hitek's quote better -> "All modes can get you to the same exact settings." <- I simply prefer using spot metering and manual shutter/aperture to get to those settings.

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by truth View Post
    Jesus fucking christ...it's not about exposure Tipp.
    Of course it is... it's exactly what it is. It's the one constant in all photography, from Film and Digital still cameras to Film/digital moving picture cameras. You are exposing a light-sensitive medium to light. HOW you do that is the rub.
    That's the fucking problem. If all you want is perfect exposure every time then buy a fucking point and shoot and snapshot your way to flicker infamy.
    I never mentioned "perfection" in any way.
    Of course I'm using the meter and the histogram, but I'm also aware of all the other tools I have at my command. The auto modes will only get you a properly exposed image. They will not create a beautiful photo using all the variables that one can manipulate to alter the image that you capture.
    So how did anything I say disagree with this?
    If you don't understand this then you really don't have any grasp on what makes a great photograph and I can't help ya there. You wonder why pros don't bother with this forum or any other for that matter? It's because every time we answer your questions 20 know it all's that can't shoot a decent image to save their life chime in yapping about everything under the sun and refuting everything we say that might require some effort and learning. God fucking forbid. You're a great cameraman but you're no cinematographer. That's pretty much it in a nutshell. Press the buttons and get the same image every other monkey gets.
    Well thanks for keeping it civil. I wasn't refuting anything you said, and yes I do understand how changing shutter speed and/or aperture and/or ISO and/or focal length affect the captured image. As you admit - despite your long and storied career - at some point all photographers do take a fucking meter reading to base their decisions on, be it incident or reflective...

    Clearly this is an easier conversation to have in person over beers. Do "Pros" do that still?

  15. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4-TEEF'S Ghost View Post
    NONONONONONONONONONONONO... The camera meter is telling me nothing other than how much light MY settings are letting in.
    I think we're splitting hairs here.

    All I'm saying is that you're relying on the camera to tell you something about the shot you're about to take and manual doesn't save you from that, which is what it appears you just said also. I think maybe I've muddled up the word "calculate" with "measure." My bad if that's incorrect terminology leading to frustration.

    I totally get using the spot meter to meter the most important part of the scene rather than relying on matrix metering. Makes a lot of sense and is a technique I really ought to get more comfortable with. I admit that I don't make the best use of the light meter in my camera, that I almost never use spot metering, and that light metering as a whole is kind of a "dark art" to me (play on words intended).

    I know that back in the days before cameras had light meters in them photogs used external light meters, but I don't know how they took a number in Lux or Foot-Candles or whatever and turned that into a shutter speed to go along with a particular aperture. I'm guessing there were tables published and/or formulas every photographer knew for this but nowadays the camera calculates all that.

    And what about in the very early days of photography when they didn't even have light meters. Was it all trial and error 'til you got a feel for how the particular medium you were exposing would react to exposures of various lengths?
    ...Some will fall in love with life and drink it from a fountain that is pouring like an avalanche coming down the mountain...

    "I enjoy skinny skiing, bullfights on acid..." - Lacy Underalls

    The problems we face will not be solved by the minds that created them.

  16. #66
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    Click image for larger version. 

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    18955754326
    A fucking show dog with fucking papers

  17. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chainsaw_Willie View Post
    And what about in the very early days of photography when they didn't even have light meters. Was it all trial and error 'til you got a feel for how the particular medium you were exposing would react to exposures of various lengths?
    They had basic "guidelines" based on time of day, how much sunlight there was or wasn't, etc. But the film plates were so slow (were talking exposure times of several minutes), if they missed by a few seconds then it didn't matter that much.



    This is the worst pain EVER!

  18. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chainsaw_Willie View Post
    I think we're splitting hairs here.

    All I'm saying is that you're relying on the camera to tell you something about the shot you're about to take and manual doesn't save you from that, which is what it appears you just said also. I think maybe I've muddled up the word "calculate" with "measure." My bad if that's incorrect terminology leading to frustration.
    Yes. I use the camera's meter always but it's not for calculations. The defining difference here is the metering mode. My bad for not identifying that earlier.

    Think of it this way. You have a white circle that takes up 50% of your viewfinder and the rest of the viewfinder is black. SPOT METER the white and you will get a MEASUREMENT of the amount of light coming into the camera. If you adjust your shutter/aperture/iso so that MEASUREMENT of white reads 2 stops over on your meter you will get a perfectly exposed image. <- This is an overstatement ;-)

    Now. Same white circle, etc but put the camera is "average metering mode" or whatever. Now the camera CALCULATES the amount of white AND black in the frame and gives an AVERAGE of the scene. If your composition is exactly 50% white/black you will get a perfect exposure but if the white circle is offset in the frame the calculations and exposure will be different. This is why I don't like most auto-exposure modes. As composition changes so does exposure.
    [/QUOTE]

    Quote Originally Posted by Chainsaw_Willie View Post
    I totally get using the spot meter to meter the most important part of the scene rather than relying on matrix metering. Makes a lot of sense and is a technique I really ought to get more comfortable with. I admit that I don't make the best use of the light meter in my camera, that I almost never use spot metering, and that light metering as a whole is kind of a "dark art" to me (play on words intended).
    I don't think you really get it... or at least you're not getting how I use it.

    I'm rarely looking for the "most important part of the image" I'm looking for something to measure. If I want white find the brightest spot, spot meter and set 2 stops over. If I want black I find the darkest spot, spot meter and set 2 stops under. Many times I'm not even measuring true "white" or "black" but actually what I WANT to be white/black.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chainsaw_Willie View Post
    I know that back in the days before cameras had light meters in them photogs used external light meters, but I don't know how they took a number in Lux or Foot-Candles or whatever and turned that into a shutter speed to go along with a particular aperture. I'm guessing there were tables published and/or formulas every photographer knew for this but nowadays the camera calculates all that.
    Maybe way back when they used something else but for as long as I can remember the measurement have always been in exposures/f-stops. I've mainly used external meters for flash work so we ended up with measurements like 60/sec@f6.0@iso100.

    You're close Willie but I think you're missing out on how technical (and also simple) photography was BEFORE the advent of digitals and matrix metering. Here is the first link I found to learning how to guess exposures -> http://theonlinephotographer.typepad...to_guess_.html

    Here is a quote from the above site: "What you'll find is that for any light you can encounter outdoors in the daytime, standing under God's open sky, there are only about five possible exposures, or EV values, that you will ever have the opportunity to use. Five. As in the number of fingers you have on one hand."

    P.S. Happy New Year!

  19. #69
    Hugh Conway Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Lonnie View Post
    They had basic "guidelines" based on time of day, how much sunlight there was or wasn't, etc. But the film plates were so slow (were talking exposure times of several minutes), if they missed by a few seconds then it didn't matter that much.
    For wet plate photography (which replaced Daguerrotypes, but before dry plates which came before "film") you had to make the glass negative onsite and develop it rapidly after taking the photograph; quick feedback for failures.

  20. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4-TEEF'S Ghost View Post

    Now. Same white circle, etc but put the camera is "average metering mode" or whatever. Now the camera CALCULATES the amount of white AND black in the frame and gives an AVERAGE of the scene. If your composition is exactly 50% white/black you will get a perfect exposure but if the white circle is offset in the frame the calculations and exposure will be different. This is why I don't like most auto-exposure modes. As composition changes so does exposure.
    Yep. Just a note on Nikon's Matrix Metering - it's heavily weighted towards the focus point. If you're using single point AF then the metering system will try to get the focus point exposed "properly" at the expense of other areas in the frame, which is probably why I've had blown highlights but no true blacks in low-contrast scenes as I'm usually using single point AF when shooting landscapes. This is something I just learned a couple months ago and it explains a lot about what I've been seeing in my camera's behavior.


    Quote Originally Posted by 4-TEEF'S Ghost View Post
    I don't think you really get it... or at least you're not getting how I use it.

    I'm rarely looking for the "most important part of the image" I'm looking for something to measure. If I want white find the brightest spot, spot meter and set 2 stops over. If I want black I find the darkest spot, spot meter and set 2 stops under. Many times I'm not even measuring true "white" or "black" but actually what I WANT to be white/black.
    Ding! The light just went on over my head. Thanks! *That* is extremely useful information. In essence you're setting the white or black point, depending on what you want, for an exposure before taking the picture. Much better idea than trying to fix things in post which never works if the whites or blacks are clipped...

    Quote Originally Posted by 4-TEEF'S Ghost View Post
    You're close Willie but I think you're missing out on how technical (and also simple) photography was BEFORE the advent of digitals and matrix metering. Here is the first link I found to learning how to guess exposures -> http://theonlinephotographer.typepad...to_guess_.html

    Here is a quote from the above site: "What you'll find is that for any light you can encounter outdoors in the daytime, standing under God's open sky, there are only about five possible exposures, or EV values, that you will ever have the opportunity to use. Five. As in the number of fingers you have on one hand."

    P.S. Happy New Year!
    Cool, thanks for the link. I'll do some more reading on this for sure. And, happy new year to you too!
    ...Some will fall in love with life and drink it from a fountain that is pouring like an avalanche coming down the mountain...

    "I enjoy skinny skiing, bullfights on acid..." - Lacy Underalls

    The problems we face will not be solved by the minds that created them.

  21. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chainsaw_Willie View Post
    Ding! The light just went on over my head. Thanks! *That* is extremely useful information. In essence you're setting the white or black point, depending on what you want, for an exposure before taking the picture. Much better idea than trying to fix things in post which never works if the whites or blacks are clipped...
    Exactly. Just remember, that if the dynamic range of the scene exceeds that of your cameras ability to capture it, something is going to be clipped be it highlights or shadows....
    This is the worst pain EVER!

  22. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chainsaw_Willie View Post
    Yep. Just a note on Nikon's Matrix Metering - it's heavily weighted towards the focus point. This is something I just learned a couple months ago and it explains a lot about what I've been seeing in my camera's behavior.
    My cam has like 4 or 5 metering modes. Average, center-weighted, center-weighted average, etc. They all suck save for "spot". ;-) Actually most cams with spot metering let you sample multiple spots and average them out. Essentially "manual matrix metering."


    Quote Originally Posted by Chainsaw_Willie View Post
    Ding! The light just went on over my head. Thanks! *That* is extremely useful information. In essence you're setting the white or black point, depending on what you want, for an exposure before taking the picture. Much better idea than trying to fix things in post which never works if the whites or blacks are clipped...
    I think you've got the basics but keep expanding your thinking. Sometimes I'm actually clipping white or black on purpose. However it's all based on determining what white or black really IS in the scene. White and Black have a measured value whether you measure with cam light meter on "spot", external light meter or trial and error.

    Example #1:
    You're lying on your back on a sunny day. Girl stands over you. Back-lit hair and face. She's wearing SHINY black lipstick. I would probably try to frame in tight, meter the lips and set exposure at 1 stop under to give a LOT of detail in the black lips. This would undoubtedly lead to blown out highlights and maybe overexposed skin but the "look" is what I wanted.

    Example #2:
    Same girl and same scene. I turn her sideways for a profile shot, meter the sun and set exposure 2 to stops over. In this shot the head is now a silhouette with NO black detail and the look becomes all about the rim-light and the position of the sun.

  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by 4-TEEF'S Ghost View Post
    Example #1:
    You're lying on your back on a sunny day. Girl stands over you. Back-lit hair and face. She's wearing SHINY black lipstick. I would probably try to frame in tight, meter the lips and set exposure at 1 stop under to give a LOT of detail in the black lips. This would undoubtedly lead to blown out highlights and maybe overexposed skin but the "look" is what I wanted.

    Example #2:
    Same girl and same scene. I turn her sideways for a profile shot, meter the sun and set exposure 2 to stops over. In this shot the head is now a silhouette with NO black detail and the look becomes all about the rim-light and the position of the sun.
    Example #3:
    Same girl and same scene. She's now lying on her back, staring back at you with that "come hither" look that most sluts have perfected before they've graduated high school. You rip off her blouse violently, exposing her ample, giggling breasts. She like it; her nipples become erect. I don't give a fuck how you fucking meter, what aperture is appropriate or if you go up to ISO 58,000. Take copious pics and post here by the end of today!
    ˇÓrale, vato!

  24. #74
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    ^^^
    THIS is the answer to my original question. Thanks all!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4-TEEF'S Ghost View Post
    My cam has like 4 or 5 metering modes. Average, center-weighted, center-weighted average, etc. They all suck save for "spot". ;-) Actually most cams with spot metering let you sample multiple spots and average them out. Essentially "manual matrix metering."
    There's a metering button on the D7000 that lets you easily switch metering modes with the command dial. It allows changing between 3 modes: Matrix, Center Weighted, and Spot. I looked these up in the manual and there's a menu setting for the Center Weighted mode that changes it to Center Weighted Average so that effectively gives 4 metering modes, plus you can adjust the size of the metering area for center weighted.

    I could not find any way to average the results from separate spot meters though. If this camera can do that, it's not well explained in the manual. What camera do you shoot with?



    Quote Originally Posted by 4-TEEF'S Ghost View Post
    I think you've got the basics but keep expanding your thinking. Sometimes I'm actually clipping white or black on purpose. However it's all based on determining what white or black really IS in the scene. White and Black have a measured value whether you measure with cam light meter on "spot", external light meter or trial and error.

    Example #1:
    You're lying on your back on a sunny day. Girl stands over you. Back-lit hair and face. She's wearing SHINY black lipstick. I would probably try to frame in tight, meter the lips and set exposure at 1 stop under to give a LOT of detail in the black lips. This would undoubtedly lead to blown out highlights and maybe overexposed skin but the "look" is what I wanted.

    Example #2:
    Same girl and same scene. I turn her sideways for a profile shot, meter the sun and set exposure 2 to stops over. In this shot the head is now a silhouette with NO black detail and the look becomes all about the rim-light and the position of the sun.
    Good examples! I think I'm going to try Viva's example though.
    ...Some will fall in love with life and drink it from a fountain that is pouring like an avalanche coming down the mountain...

    "I enjoy skinny skiing, bullfights on acid..." - Lacy Underalls

    The problems we face will not be solved by the minds that created them.

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