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One Hour Photo - John Keatley

Lesson 115 from: Fundamentals of Photography 2016

John Greengo

One Hour Photo - John Keatley

Lesson 115 from: Fundamentals of Photography 2016

John Greengo

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Lesson Info

115. One Hour Photo - John Keatley


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


Welcome to Photography


Camera Types Overview


Viewing Systems


Viewing Systems Q&A


Lens Systems


Shutter Systems


Shutter Speeds


Choosing a Shutter Speed


Shutter Speeds for Handholding


Shutter Speed Pop Quiz


Camera Settings


General Camera Q&A


Sensor Sizes: The Basics


Sensor Sizes: Compared






Sensor Q&A


Focal Length: Overview


Focal Length: Angle of View


Wide Angle Lenses


Telephoto Lenses


Angle of View Q&A


Fish Eye Lenses


Tilt & Shift Lenses


Subject Zone


Lens Speed


Aperture Basics


Depth of Field


Aperture Pop Quiz


Lens Quality


Photo Equipment Life Cycle


Light Meter Basics




Histogram Pop Quiz and Q&A


Dynamic Range


Exposure Modes


Manual Exposure


Sunny 16 Rule


Exposure Bracketing


Exposure Values


Exposure Pop Quiz


Focus Overview


Focusing Systems


Autofocus Controls


Focus Points


Autofocusing on Subjects


Manual Focus


Digital Focusing Assistance


Focus Options: DSLR and Mirrorless


Shutter Speeds for Sharpness and DoF


Depth of Field Pop Quiz


Depth of Field Camera Features


Lens Sharpness


Camera Movement


Handheld and Tripod Focusing


Advanced Techniques


Hyperfocal Distance


Hyperfocal Quiz and Focusing Formula


Micro adjust and AF Fine Tune


Focus Stacking and Post Sharpening


Focus Problem Pop Quiz


The Gadget Bag: Camera Accessories


The Gadget Bag: Lens Accessories


The Gadget Bag: Neutral Density Filter


The Gadget Bag: Lens Hood and Teleconverters


The Gadget Bag: Lens Adapters


The Gadget Bag: Lens Cleaning Supplies


The Gadget Bag: Macro Lenses and Accessories


The Gadget Bag: Flash and Lighting


The Gadget Bag: Tripods and Accessories


The Gadget Bag: Custom Cases


10 Thoughts on Being a Photographer


Direct Sunlight


Indirect Sunlight


Sunrise and Sunset


Cloud Light


Golden Hour


Light Pop Quiz


Light Management


Artificial Light




Off-Camera Flash


Advanced Flash Techniques


Editing Overview


Editing Set-up


Importing Images


Best Use of Files and Folders




Develop: Fixing in Lightroom


Develop: Treating Your Images


Develop: Optimizing in Lightroom


Art of Editing Q&A


Composition Overview


Photographic Intrusions


Mystery and Working the Scene


Point of View


Better Backgrounds


Unique Perspective


Angle of View


Subject Placement


Subject Placement Q&A




Multishot Techniques




Human Vision vs The Camera


Visual Perception


Visual Balance Test


Visual Drama


Elements of Design


The Photographic Process


Working the Shot


The Moment


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Lesson Info

One Hour Photo - John Keatley

Welcome everybody to One Hour Photo, my name is John Greengo, we've got another hour of photography information for you here today. So, what we're gonna be doing in this one hour, is first off, I have polled 10 questions from all of you folks out there that I think might relate to more than that one person, we're gonna go through these 10 questions and I'll give you the best answers that I can and after that, we have special guest, John Keatley in the studio, great photographer, editorial, commercial, fine artwork, we're gonna take a look at some of his photos and I'm gonna pepper him with some questions about his work and I think we can hopefully learn a lot from him, so that's gonna be a great section and then, John is gonna stick around and help us critique some of your photos. These are photos that you have submitted into the student work gallery at the fundamentals of photography website, the page on the Creative Live website, so we're gonna be looking at 10 of your photos there, ...

offering up suggestions of what we like, or what we don't like and maybe suggestions you can follow to help make your photos a little bit better the next time around. So, let's go ahead and get started and as I say, we're gonna get started with your questions, so let's roll out some photography questions from you. All right, here we go with your photography questions. The first one, or actually we should mention how you can submit questions for this program for the next time around because we are doing one of these, One Hour Photos each month and so if you want to submit photos, you could do that on Facebook on the Creative Live Creative Photography Challenge Group and we'll actually be doing a call out, saying we're looking for questions, but we're just gonna go through and kind of scan through all that information and look for good questions that we think would be excellent to ask here in this environment. All right, so our first question is, any advice for shooting out West, Grand Canyon area? I'm bringing an 10-18 wide angle lens, an 18-200 polarizers, graduated, I'm assuming the graduated neutral density there polarizers, there's the few NDs and of course, a tripod, is this too much? Am I missing anything? Is this too much? Are you kidding me? You should be going out there with a full truckload of gear, well, that's what I do sometimes, but no, I think you're looking pretty good here. The 10-18 is gonna come in really nice 'cause there's a lot of big environments out there for the landscape photography. With the 10-18, I'm assuming you're shooting with an APSC crop-sensor camera, so 10 millimeters gets you down to that ultra-wide category, and that will be very useful in many cases. The 18-200 is one that you can leave on your camera probably most of the time, I don't see needing anything more than 200. There's just not that much that you're gonna be using that big telephoto lens for there is not a lot of wildlife out there, and so I think those two lenses are gonna serve you quite well. The polarizer is something you're gonna use on a regular basis, in fact, you might just leave that on your camera almost the entire time. The graduated neutral density is also gonna be a very useful filter, any time you're combining the land with the sky, you'll be able to darken the sky down to get everything within the exposure range of your camera, so that's very good. And of course, you'll need that tripod either on the morning's or evening shoots, or if you get into some of those slot canyons, they can be very, very dark in there. You won't need the tripod a lot in the middle of the day if you're out kind of hiking in normal sunshine, there is just so much light out there. So, no, I don't think that's too much, it depends on who you're going out there with and what the purpose of your trip is and how much photography is a part of that, but I think you're looking pretty good there and I think you're set up for a great trip and I wish you the best of luck. Next, I was born without a right hand, every DSLR that I look at has a big grip on the right side, but I would need one on the left. Do you know if any brand that would be kinder to the lefties of the world? I've had a number of requests from people who either are left-handed or have special needs and nobody to my knowledge has made a left-handed camera, I've seen maybe there might have been some prototypes and the two solutions that I have seen out there and one of them is not that common these days, but that was a pistol grip that some people could put on the bottom tripod mount of their camera, you could grab that with either your left hand very easily and if the shutter release was correctly hooked up, you'd have the half-press for the focusing, and then the full press for taking a picture. So, you might look for a pistol grip to see if there is anything being made out there these days, it might need to be something on the order of custom-made, but it's possible. The other option is that there is a lot of cameras that have vertical grips designed for holding the camera vertically, but if you want, you can kind of hold those on the left hand, you'd end up holding the camera upside down which is a little bit awkward, but at least you can grip the camera with your left hand and so, challenging situation and I don't know if they'll ever make a left-handed camera, but take a look at those two options and see if they can help you out. John, have you ever used the Lensbaby Velvet or other Lensbaby lenses and what is your opinion of them? So, for those of you who are not familiar with the Lensbaby lenses, they are inexpensive, for the most part, they are kind of these cheap, fun little lenses that do a number of different, unique things. And the original Lensbaby was all about focusing in a small, central area and everything else was out of focus, so it was a selective focus. If you had a person on one side of the image, you could tilt the lens, they would be in focus and everything else would be out of focus, but in a way that was much different than a normal lens, so it definitely lended a unique look to your images. I haven't used the Velvet 56, but I have had a Lensbaby before and I had one kind of as a loner item for probably about six to nine months, it's small, it's lightweight, it's not much money, it's pretty good if you just want a different look to something, but I found that it just wasn't me. I brought it out, I took it on a bunch of different trips, I tried it and I just decided it wasn't me and some people love it because they want that distinctive look, some people go through phases on them. A funny little story, I used to work in a rental department for gear, and there was a very popular group of people that rented Lensbabies and you could almost just see who the person was, you see, okay, we've got another rental for the Lensbaby, who's this gonna be? And for the most part, it tended to be women between the ages of 20 and 35 who are shooting weddings. And for some reason, that group of people really got into that look and it allowed them to shoot portraits that have a unique look. It's not that unique in the photography world, but for the clients, it definitely provided a unique look at not too much money, so it's something you may want to play around with to see if that's really your thing or not. I have a Nikon D7000 and want to upgrade. Which is better, Sony a6500 or Sony A7II? This is a tricky question to answer because I don't know what you are trying to do in your photography, I don't know what your budget is. Just on the question, as it stands right now, the Sony A7II, is a higher resolution, I wanna say it has a higher resolution, no it's the same resolution, but it has a full-frame sensor compared to a crop-frame sensor, so it's technically the better camera. Now, is it really the better camera for you, maybe, maybe not. The Sony A7II is gonna require more expensive lenses that are much larger in size, so if you said that you were doing travel photography and you like to bicycle travel and being lightweight was very important, or you had a bad back or you didn't like lifting up heavy cameras, then the a6500 would be better. And this is a common problem when people are asking questions about equipment, what is better, this or that, it really depends on what you're doing. So, I have a hard time answering these questions because I want to get you the best gear for what you're doing, and if I don't know what you're doing, it's kind of hard to recommend something. They're both really good cameras that are very, very capable, a6500 would be my choice if I was into travel photography, also it might be my choice if I was into sports or wildlife photography because of the tele-photo capabilities and the advanced focusing system on it. If I was into portrait or landscape photography, probably the Sony A7II. All right, I need to get a new computer, install Lightroom and download my pictures. Okay, that's a good start. Could you give me recommendations on type or specs for a computer to use for my photos? Well, I think almost any computer is gonna do the job these days, Macs and PCs both are running with enough RAM power and processing power that they're gonna handle all these normal files from normal cameras. Now, if you're gonna get into a 50 megapixel camera or greater, then you're gonna need to look in at getting maybe either more memory or faster processing on your computer. But for your most cameras, most computers are gonna be able to handle it. One of the key things for anybody getting into photography is that you don't want to store your photos on your computer. Photos take up a lot of space in general and they're gonna clog up and slow down any computer you have, so you're gonna have to put together some sort of external hard drive system and it can be very, very simple. You can have one external hard drive which is where your photos are stored and when you want access to download and work with them, you plug that in. Now, because all hard drives will fail eventually, you should have a backup and ideally, you should have a backup to that stored in an offsite location in case something happens right here with your computer And so, there is a little bit to get setup there, I don't think you need to be too much worried about your computer, I use Apple Mac, I know people who use PCs, I know there's fanboys of both clubs, and frankly, they're both gonna work just fine these days. But make sure you get yourself set up with some hard drives so that your photos are store safely in that regard. I traveL a lot and it's very cumbersome to carry my full frame Nikon system. What is your opinion of switching to the Fuji X-T2? Nikon is too bulky for travel and I don't see them coming up with a mirrorless anytime soon. So, yes, Nikon and Mirrorless, they do have their little one system that we'll put aside for the moment, I don't know if Sony is gonna come out with a Mirrorless system or not, I'm sure they've been working on something and they're just kind of waiting to see when they might want to release something. So, if you are currently using a Nikon system and the full frame system is a big too big to travel, I can understand that. The X-T2 is a smaller camera and the lenses are smaller and I do have to admit, I'm a big fan of Fuji. I think they are doing a lot of things right, they're not perfect, trust me, they're not perfect, but the X-T has very good image quality, it's got good 4K video on there if you want to shoot video as well when you're traveling and you can travel with a two, three or four lens packet system with Fuji and reduce the size of your camera bag probably by about 30%. And so I think it's a great choice, I'm not a big fan of switching just 'cause there's a lot of money in switching, but if you did want to save bulk and weight, I'm a big fan of that Fuji X-T2. If you had to pick between a 5Ds and the Mark IV, which would you choose and why? Well, glad you asked this because I have been owning a 5DS for almost the last year and I recently purchased the 5D Mark IV and the 5DS is a great camera, it's a nice upgrade in many ways to the 5D Mark III and I originally bought the 5DS because I did a test and I did a test that no one else that I know had done, is I shot the 5DS at its medium resolution of 28 megapixels and I wanted to see if it surpassed the Canon 5D Mark III and in the test that I did, it did surpass it and so that was enough for my standard shoot and if I wanted to, I could throw in the turbo mode, get it up to 50 megapixels and I would have a 50 megapixel camera which was nice, but the thing that I didn't like about the 5DS is that it's a little bit on the slow side. Those 50 megapixel files are fairly large and it wasn't killing me, but it was kind of something that I didn't really like that much. The 5D Mark IV has got a number of really nice, new features on it and it fits more my style of shooting. So, you asked me which would I choose, so that's why I'm answering this question for me, now for which one is better for you, it really depends on what you're doing. But mostly, the 5DS is gonna be for people who are gonna be printing large. If you're not printing large, the 5D Mark IV is probably gonna make a better camera. One of the things I noticed about the 5DS is that you get a fair bit of noise once you start getting above ISO 800, depending on how large you print your images and so forth, the new 5D Mark IV is much, much better at low-light work, much better for action, it's a much better general purpose camera. And this does bring up kind of another question and that is how many megapixels do you need and is there a limit as to where we are going? I have no doubt technology is bringing us into more and more pixels in the future, but there is a point of diminishing returns and there is a point of limitations of everything else. If you have a 5DS, you better make sure that every lens in your arsenal is really the top of the line lens. You're not gonna be able to afford to have any of those cheap lenses in there because then you're not getting that 50 megapixel quality from it. So, it's just something you're gonna have to raise your standards on everything you do. You might need to be using the tripod a lot more often because every little bit of movement is gonna be more clearly seen in an image with 50 megapixels. Does one need power converters in Cuba? All right, so I'm assuming you're asking me because I go to Cuba on a regular basis. You do not need power converters so long as the charger for your equipment, whatever that is, your computer, your cameras can handle the standard, worldwide voltage which I believe is to 240, so what you do need is a plug adapter because they will sometimes have these two flat plugs that we use here in the United States, but for the most part, they use the two round plugs which is very common in Europe. But because it's a developing country and the standards are a little bit loose from one place to the other, east coast to west coast, you probably want to get one of those universal adapters that can fit a number of different plugins, but mostly you just need the two round plugins and if your charger says 120 to 240 on it, it can handle the voltage from that full range coming from any converter, so no, don't need it, but do need those plug converters. What are the best lenses for portrait photography for a Nikon D750 and he's actually getting two questions in here, and what would be the best lighting equipment for portrait, continuous lighting or strobe? Let's go for the first part of this. Best lenses for portrait photography for a D750, I did a class on lenses, on Nikon lenses and in the class I wanted to compare all the lenses available for shooting portraits and we shot everything down from a 14 millimeter up to an 800 millimeter and when you say portraits, I'm thinking head and shoulder type portrait, and using the different lenses really changes the shape of the face, how much of the face you can see and my determination was everything from about 70 millimeters up to 200 looked really good, so 70 to 200 2.8 lens is super-popular with a lot of portrait photographers because it gives them pretty much everything they need in that range, at a pretty fast aperture of about 2.8. Some people really get into liking particular focal lengths or they want to shoot with an even faster aperture, so the 85 1.8, the 85 1.4 lenses are kind of the classic favorite of most portrait photographers. Nikon recently introduced the 105 1. which is a shot put of a lens, it's pretty big and it's very heavy, but it looks to be a beautiful lens that has beautiful, extreme boake, that's the out-of-focus area and so the 85 and 105 are gonna be really popular fixed focal length lenses, but the 70 to 200 2. is gonna be one of those general purpose, something that a wedding photographer would have and they're gonna choose that over some of the fixed focal lengths in many cases because they're dealing with so many different situations. Sometimes they're inside, sometimes they're outside, they don't have control over the environment. Somebody working in a studio or who really knows a lot about their setups is more likely to choose prime focal lengths. So you can go with zoom or prime, but look for any of those lenses that I just mentioned. All right, what would be the best lighting equipment for portrait, the continuous lighting or strobe? I'm not a lighting expert, but there are two different types of lighting, the continuous lighting, like here in the studio, we have these continuous lights on right now because we're shooting video, but you also have the option of shooting strobes and one of the big advantages of strobes is that they are much more powerful. So, continuous lighting is nice for smaller objects or close in, but the problem is that it's not that bright so you may need to be raising up your ISO, you may need to be using faster lenses. When you have strobe equipment, if you are shooting multiple people or you're working in a larger environment, those strobes need to be back further, they need to be 10 or 20 feet back, they're gonna have the power, and so this is gonna determine what type of shooting you're doing and how big of an area you have. If I was doing a lot of portraits, I would probably want to be shooting with strobes in most cases because they're gonna stop the moment, they fire very, very quickly, so you can have fast shutter speeds but the light is gonna be turning on and off very, very quickly, so it's gonna stop subtle little movements that might be going in there. I'm gonna stick with strobe lighting, I do use continuous lighting for some things and strobe lighting for other things, but I'm gonna say for portraits, I would stick with strobes. All right, if you want to get some questions in on the next version of One Hour Photo, you can do that at Facebook, just do a little search for Creative Photography Challenge group with Creative Live and there's a lot of people posting photos and you can meet other photographers on there and comment on their photos, post your photos, get people to comment on them and you can ask questions here and we'll kind of scour those forums and look for your questions and if we see something we like, we're gonna pull it up and we're gonna answer it on the next version of One Hour Photo. All right, it is time for our special guest here in the Studio, I'd like to welcome John Keatley. Thanks for being a part of this. Thanks for having me. All righty. So, John's brought some, go ahead and have a seat. John's brought some photos that we're gonna get into here in just a moment, but I just want to talk to you just for a little bit because I'm sure we've got some people who aren't familiar with you and your work. And I've done some looking at your work and you've got some beautiful editorial, commercial and some fine artwork, what sort of work do you like to do and how do you see that fitting into the world of photography? Well, I guess if I look over my career as a whole, what I like to do constantly changes and evolves, sometimes I feel I'm too finicky, but I think I'm just a curious person and as I grow and learn, my interest professionally and as a person changed, so right now, I'm focused primarily on advertising and fine art or just personal work in general, you could say. When I started out, I started doing weddings and pretty much anything I could get my hand on and then as I grew dissatisfied with that, I discovered editorial photography and I've loved the mystery and the challenge of breaking into that, then as I got more into that, I started learning more about myself and realized that I liked to control things, so advertising became kind of the next step because you do get to control it, it's more effective, it's more deliberate, whereas like editorial, which is hard for me because there's so much, it's just a surprise and you show up and this is your place you have to work and what are you gonna do with it, that kind of thing, I'm more of a planner and I like to know what I'm getting into. So, that's kind of been the quick ark of it, I guess right now what I like to do, I like to create characters, I like to create, I hate to say stories, but I like to create images that focus on a theme or a topic that gets people thinking in a certain way. So, we're gonna be looking at some work here in just a moment, and I guess I kind of want to go to your creative process and so, when you come up with an idea, and you make it real in photographs, how close do you get, or I guess, how defined is that idea, do you kind of go, I want to do something in this genre and you figure it out photographically or do you come up with specifics? I usually come up with very specific ideas of what I'm gonna do, but then what the end result is, may or may not be that. Sometimes it's exactly as I planned. I did a shoot a couple of weeks ago and it was not at all how I planned. I got there and realized it was much better in my head, and visually, it doesn't make any sense. This was an extreme example, I got there, there is not part of this particular idea that made any sense, but the good news was, some new ideas emerged and developed with the people I had in the location I was at, so I ended up getting two pictures out of the shoot, I was only intending to get one, I ended up getting two that I like, even better, I would say, but they had nothing to do with the original idea. So, that happens and I think you have to be open to life, even for a control freak like me, in any setting I think if you're too focused on your ideas, then you have to live and die by the fact that you're not perfect and a lot of your ideas are not gonna be good. But I do think if you're open, you could potentially always get something great, you know, no matter what the situation is or what your idea was. Do you work alone, do you work with a team, do you have assistants, and I guess that kind of doubles up as far as your personal work, versus your business work? I mean, yes, the answer to those questions I guess. My team looks a lot different if I'm working on my own on a project, then I'm funding myself, my team is as small as possible, but if I'm working on an ad campaign, there could be a very large team. But sometimes there's even ad campaigns that are very small too, I very much take the approach of, I don't ever want to have lights or people just for the sake of having lights or people, I always try to have what we need to do the job well. There is, it's just waste if you're trying to do it to impress people or whatever it is. Putting on a show. Right, yeah. Sometimes the crew can be quite large, but in general, there's usually myself, an assistant and probably a hair or makeup artist or like a wardrobe stylist. What are some companies that you've done work for? Oh, goodness, I've done work for the San Francisco Mona, I've done work for Mexico Tourism, I've done work for Amazon and Microsoft and lots of companies and things like that. Now, are these companies coming to you with their idea that they want you to fulfill or are they wanting something from you, to come up with something? One big shift that I see in commercial photography is that companies aren't really looking for photographers anymore, because there is so many of us. I mean, if we're talking professionally here, there's a lot of photographers, so the value of a photographer has gone way down, so what I see happening more and more now is companies are looking for art directors in a sense. Sometimes, there's an idea and it's pretty specific, this is what we're doing and they want you to put your own spin on it, whether it's like, we want you to light this in your way, you know, elicit the response or reaction or mood that you typically do. So, that certainly still happens, but there are other times when they present a very loose idea or even a goal, we're trying to use humor to drive more foot traffic through the stores, kind of thing and they look to you for ideas, along those lines, and there are certainly analytics and data and things that you have to look at and stuff like that, but I'm finding that I get pulled into more of those strategy meetings now than I used to. It used to just be, take this picture, you know? But that doesn't happen so much anymore. Interesting. So, one of the questions that I want to try to ask everybody that I get to interview and that is, because I've got a lot of people who are, you know, they're just doing photography for fun, but so many, almost everybody who picks up a camera and starts shooting, starts immediately thinking dollar signs, I can make money shooting. What percent of your work time is actually shooting photos? Oh, boy, probably like three percent. Three percent, okay, that's pretty terrible. So, if somebody wants to just pick up photography and do it on Sunday, they're better off. I always say, if I meet someone who does photography for fun, I always say that's the best. It should just be for fun. I mean, I think we live in a culture today where, and I do this to people all the time, if someone expresses any interest in anything, our first response is, oh, you should do that. Like, I really love cooking and people are like, oh, you should be a cook, and it's like, I wouldn't enjoy it anymore. I do it because I like to do it slowly and decompress and calm down after work, I don't want to be in a kitchen being yelled at or yelling at people and having to serve 200 people in a night. So, sometimes if you just enjoy photography, I think it's important to understand what it is that you enjoy about it and you may actually derive more joy not having to rely on it for an income. That's my cautionary two cents, but yeah, it's a business. Any business is hard. And I could talk about why I think business is even harder today than it has been in the past, but if you want to maximize your time taking pictures, I would caution you before you get into doing it for a living. Yeah. So, being a control freak, you work in the studio a lot and kind of on sets a lot. So, if you go on a vacation, do you take pictures with your phone or do you have a casual camera? I have a casual camera, it gets used probably three or four times a year. I rarely am taking pictures if it's not a specific idea that I produce for work or for myself, kind of thing, so if we go on a vacation, I'll take, I have a small Fuji, I have other cameras I could take, but I specifically don't take them because I don't want. You don't want to be tied down with all that. But lately, I'd take a lot of pictures on my phone. So, with what you do, when are you most excited about what you're doing, is it in-shoot or are you like sitting down, planning something, what's the part of the process that you just dig into? When you're like, okay, today is good, today I get to do this. I would say, I mean I enjoy parts of planning, it's also very stressful. A lot of that is probably self-inflicted, someone with better demeanor and someone more balanced than myself would probably enjoy it more, but I do enjoy parts of planning, I enjoy the shoot day immensely, that would be off the top of my head my most enjoyable because you have to trust at that point all of the work that you've put in, you have to trust that it is what it is, at this point there is no changing anything, we've already figured out the details out, so you just enjoy the moment and you finally stop or at least, I finally stop stressing out and I'm just there in the moment and I love that. And probably one of my least favorite is going through the images afterwards because then I'm just a ball of nerves and I'm thinking about all the things I did wrong and wish I had done differently, and I struggle with the editing process, I struggle with even just forcing myself to sit down and do it. But then probably the next favorite moment, I'm giving you many, because there are many moments, I work with a retoucher, so I don't do my own retouching, I enjoy getting the images back and seeing them finished. The finalized images. Yeah, yeah, that's exciting. And more recently what I've discovered is I love printing, I just did my solo exhibition and kind of was forced to buy a printer and do it on my own and learn it, and I didn't want to do it, it was a reluctant decision, but I actually had no idea how much I would love that process. What do you love about that? I mean, there's something very tangible obviously about making a print, you experience the work in a different way, on a different scale, you see things, it sounds funny 'cause you can see anything on the monitor, but you really actually do see things that you never would've seen or noticed on the screen and I don't know, there's just something very rewarding about that process. Working with your hands and seeing the physical results. Good, so let's get to some photos and you've got a great collection here. Talk to us a little back story about these first few photos that we're gonna see. Sure, so this project series I titled Conman and I really enjoyed coming up with ideas and I often say what if moments, thinking about what would it look like if this had happened, and even something as simple as if I was in a restaurant and I sometimes people are talking to me and I'm not there anymore because I'm imagining what if the waiter came over and said this sexually inappropriate thing or whatever it is and so in this particular point though, I was thinking a lot about identity, and so this project was a very superficial, visual question or exploration on identity in terms of how we view others. Let's bring up the second photo and people can start seeing the similarities here. So, if you haven't figured it out, this is the series where it's the same person, in every single person, there is seven or eight final images in this project and basically we used wardrobe, hair makeup and some just very light prosthetics if you will, like moles and wrinkles and things for aging, and so I wanted to see what was the range of one human face and how do we respond or judge or view that person simply by what they're wearing and how do they look, despite the fact that it's actually the same human being underneath. So, that's the back story on this and this would be the one going back to the question you asked earlier where this turned out exactly how I planned. I think usually a lot of my close up portraits, they tend to go exactly how I'm planning. When you start to pull back and you see more, show more in a photograph, that's when things don't always end up exactly, 'cause there's just so many more moving pieces and things to consider. So, this is a personal project, correct? Yes. And what is the status, what are you doing with this project at this point? At this point, ultimately, I'd love to show this at a gallery, show the prints in a gallery, I think this particular series, at least three if not all of them need to be shown together. How many do you have in the series? There's seven or eight, there's seven and there's an eight one that's kind of a spin off, but it could go with it. So, basically that's where I'm at right now. I mentioned I did my first show in January, it was a different project, but it's going back to how much do you shoot, it's a lot of work of putting your work out there, showing it to people, talking to galleries, finding hopefully, eventually a gallery or a curator that connects with that work and sees a fit. So, right now it's just showing it and talking about it and doing this kind of thing and hoping to find people who connect with it or something that resonates with them. And so, with this after model, was this done in one day or was this done over weeks? This was done one day, yeah. That must've been one heck of a day, 'cause I know you're working with make up artist, and a number of, a team to get this done, and it would seem like it would take quite a bit of time to get from one to the next. This goes back to again, you asking about crew size, this was a personal project, so would I have liked to have done it over two or three days? Yes, could I afford to do that? No, so you kind of have to work with your constraints and reality, so. Yeah, I think fantastic photos. I think individually they're very nice photos, excellent, but as a group, it's really hot. Especially, I love hiding the fact what it is at first because you actually did a show here and had photos up, and I wondered in and I looked and it took me, I'm not gonna say how long it took, but it took me a period of time to figure out, okay, I got it, I got it and that revelation is a lot of fun. All right, so we have some other different work here and this is looking like Death Valley to me. It is Death Valley, Badwater basin. And so, the photographer in me just wants to jump out and say, how did you get the water out there? Well, there actually is, or at least when I went out there, there was some water, right around the parking lot. Okay, I've been there a couple of times, there was no water, so I was just wondering if you said, we're gonna need water, so we're gonna bring out water tanks and put that out there, and how do you legally get around all that? But this is just naturally there. That was naturally there. Did you get lucky or did you plan for that or did you scout it out? I scouted it out online, I mean just, I had never been before, but I knew that I wanted to do something like this and so it was just a lot of looking around online and trying to figure out where, and there's the salt flats in Utah and Badwater Basin and there were some places, I can't remember all the different places I looked at, but this was one that I was really drawn to, so I planned a road trip out and I think I was there for maybe two nights and three days and was up every day before sun rise and you know, every day, until sunset, striving around, so we spent the first couple of days just kind of scouting while we were there and then on the last day, shot this and it was actually more of a midday that this image was shot, but it's so flat and barren and just bright, that it didn't really matter. Nice, all right, let's go on to the next one. All right, I need a little explanation. This is really just right place, right time. Actually, I should mention, the last shot was a composite as well, the diver was shot in the separate time from the location and same with this. This is, currently I'm working, I call these conceptual landscapes, this was one of the first ones that I did, I was collaborating with a retoucher and just kind of exploring the opportunities of this new world to me as I discovered retouching and kind of telling these ideas that are bigger and outside of what's possible in reality, and this picture actually was taken just randomly, like a snapshot, we were on a whale-watching tour, my wife and I and then later on, as I had this idea of exploring, there's three images in the series called falling bodies, this was one of the images and I shot the other images for this, but this was one image that I had in my archive already. And we've got one more that's part of the series here. Now, did you photograph the people or is that like a painting? No, the people, that was probably the hardest part of the whole shoot, was finding a woman who was willing to jump naked on a trampoline. 99% of the time if someone asked you to do that. Was that a Craig's listing thing? It sounds like a Craig's list ad, most people turned me down for a good reason, but I found someone who eventually was willing to do it, and what I learned in hindsight was fortunately, she was a personal trainer, and incredibly fit and I rented a professional gym where I think some athletes were training and things like that and they had an Olympic trampoline, and so we rented it after hours when it was closed down and I had no idea, I was just thinking I'd get someone jumping and take some pictures, and I realized very quickly, when they're jumping up, their hair is falling down, that doesn't look natural, if you catch them at the peak, when they're moving the least, so there's less camera blur, I was thinking that would be ideal, because then I don't have to worry about the body blurring, well then everything is kind of suspended, so then I realized I have to actually catch them falling down and then the problem became, even on a trampoline, a human is not just gonna let themself fall because you're gonna brace yourself, you just can't let yourself trust, so it became really difficult to get these images to actually work and feel like they're falling and feel like they've really kind of given up in a sense, and then the other thing I realized was how painful and difficult it was to actually jump and land on this trampoline because these large trampolines we're using were thick strips of cloth and so her back was like a waffle at the end. Would you, in retrospect, would you have chosen a different way to shoot the falling body? No, I don't think there is any other way to do it that I'm aware of, but it was more-- I was just thinking, it's a one-time thing, but you could have someone jump off a high dive and just fall backwards, but background is hard, it's one time, and then your hair is gone. It's like a belly flop on your back. If you do it on a three-meter dive, that's a tough one. All right, what else we got here? So, this was a shot I did, this is for an ad campaign for Mexico Tourism, this was a little over a year ago, this is Patricia Heaton from Everybody Loves Raymond, I can't remember the new show she's in, but basically, I was contacted by an ad agency who was working on a campaign and they had a series of commercials for this campaign. This was right after hurricane Patricia and so people didn't want to travel to Mexico 'cause they heard this hurricane and things were terrible, so they did a campaign called Patricia's Welcome and they had a contest where anyone named Patricia could enter and win a free trip to Mexico, the idea around the campaign was to show everyone that it's fine, there's nothing to worry about, it wasn't that big of a deal. So, that's where this came from. All right, so a little geek talk, lighting, she's really well-lit here, it almost looks like it's a composite. It is a composite. Is it? Okay, 'cause I was wondering how did you light that up on the beach so well, and so it is a composite. I mean, it's the kind of thing when you're working with celebrities, especially in conjunction with film sets, we had about five to 10 minutes with her and it was on a break from filming, so we went out and scouted several beaches a couple of days in advance, and shot hundreds of plates of beaches and things like that and then once we've decided on the plate, we lit her to match. I have assistants standing in and you try to get an idea of the angle of the light on them and then you mimic that and enhance it in studio when you light it, so that ideally, when you put her in, it will look as natural as possible. Right, right, excellent. This was a shot that I did for an add campaign for CL Humane, they were creating an ad campaign to raise money for a new facility that they were gonna build. So, the concept behind this one was called animal people can, and so we're showing people from all walks of life and how animals are just part of their life, good and bad, so this one was something along the lines of, you don't need an alarm clock kind of thing. So, they were trying to show that animals make life better, it doesn't mean that life is not gonna be messy, some of these images were a little more wild, but that's where this image comes from. I see how they would contact you for doing these types of images, now this one is the one image of the group that you submitted that just seems different from the rest. So, tell me about this one. I'd be curious to hear from your perspective why? I am a big fan, something that you had for a lot of years, I loved symmetry, everything, very, very, for the most part extremely clean, here we just have a little bit more lifestyle, and it's a little bit more of a loose shot. And so, that's why I'm curious about this one and the wig on the dog. No, I appreciate that. Yeah, so this is again same campaign, it's kind of again showing how animals become part of your life, and so here we see this individual, you get a sense of their lifestyle, what they're into, and it kind of shows again how the dog is a part of that lifestyle, it's a companion. It's deeply connected to who you are. We're trying to show that bond and that connection between a person and the animal. This, it's interesting, I mean this shot was taken in a home that we did another shoot for and I picked probably, the first location we shot, which was the family was probably the most balanced and symmetrical and clean environment in the room, in the house that we were in and so then it was like, how do we take another shot, not in the same place, we were trying to differentiate everything, so I think my options in that sense were a bit limited and this just made the most sense to me, but it is much looser than what I typically do and I think sometimes I have to try to force myself to do that, because sometimes when you're so focused and so neurally holding onto this one certain thing, you can lose opportunities. Did you have to wait till evening to shoot this because I see that purple light just seeping through. No, this was shot mid-day, but going back to kind of what you were talking about earlier with strobe and continuous lighting, strobe is so powerful, you can black out daylight essentially, the sun was on, there's a fence right outside the window and if I remember, some of that we did just do in post, but we did use light to knock everything down quite a bit, so even though there was daylight coming in from the window, you're only seeing strobe, so we put a gel light outside the window. Okay, nice. And so we've got your final series of photos here which I think are great. So tell us, we don't have too much time, but kind of the background on this. This series is called uniform and this is, kind of a continuation of the conman images that we talked about earlier where I'm exploring a little more than simply visual identity, but it was in a nutshell, trying to figure out how something like war and the military became these plastic toys, you know, in toy story, there is no context, there is nothing controversial about it, but if you start talking about real human life and war, it's very controversial. So, for me, it was an exploration of humanity, you know? There's these toys that are clearly human, but we don't have much regard for them in the sense of the humanity, so what I wanted to do was create this iconic, graphic image that we all recognize, but with humans, and especially when they're printed large, and you can kind of experience them like we're talking about them in physical form, that humanity really kind of jumps out at you and so that was the idea and the exploration behind this. I think they're fascinating, it just really bridges two very different worlds, I mean, toys and war and it draws a connection that I haven't seen before, which I think is really fascinating. Well, thank you so much for answering all my questions and sharing these photos with everybody, I hope everybody was able to pick something up from this, with our remaining time, if you don't mind sticking around, we're gonna take a look at some photos from everybody else, I'm gonna go ahead and just take a moment and switch over to our lightroom catalog. Okay, first up from Erica Greene, and you know, I'm just looking at this thinking, I thought that this was submitted upside down and I wasn't sure if she did that on purpose, or if my computer just flipped around, but I'm pretty sure she had it listed, or posted upside-down which is actually what caught my attention on this. And so, I guess we can review it either way. And so I Was actually more fascinated with it upside-down, just because it changed my perspective on things. So, normally I wouldn't post a photo upside-down, but this is one of those ones, I think it makes you look at it a little bit differently, and so, I'm actually just shocked, because I think Lightroom in my catalog flipped it around for some reason on its own. So, I don't know what to say about it. But I think it was an interesting take just because every once in a while, there are photographs that you can flip upside down, I don't know if you've ever done that. I mean, I do it for different reasons, but I think sometimes when I'm editing, turning an image upside-down, sometimes I can't see color unless I do that because I'm focused on expression and things like that, so sometimes when I'm editing I'll actually do it upside-down because it allows me to see things. It's kind of like, when you learn to draw, I think, in basic drawing they talk about drawing something upside down because your brain isn't focused on the details, you're able to just think clearly about line and perspective and that sort of thing. And if you work with a view camera, four by five or an eight by 10 camera, you see the image on the ground glass. I don't know how people do that. And so, I've turned images upside-down for compositional reasons, just to kind of look at the edges a little differently and the proportions of size, things, and that's I think, two big tips, one for composition, but one for color, I think that works out well. All right, let's go to the next image. And we're looking at a beach image with a little bit of snow, I'm trying to see if I recognize this place, and I love the clouds in the sky. I'm not sure if there is a spot on your sensor, or if that's a bird. And do you shoot much landscape stuff? Only when I'm doing conceptual landscapes, but typically it's not part of my-- Not part of your, it's one of the things, and I don't know if this is controversial, I will clone out a bird if it's so small that it just seems awkward and distracting and I know that it was naturally there, and when you get the whole photo. You're asking the wrong guy, I'll do anything, I don't have any problem with it. If you're working for a newspaper, you probably need to leave that bird in. Yeah, you definitely would, journalism ethics fit into their own special category of photography and everyone else is up to their own and with what you're doing, it's really, it seems like it's all about the final image, what's in the final image. Everyone gets to draw their own little line in the sand as far as how far they want to take things. I mean, this personal opinion, like you said, it depends on what your personal preference is, but I think often times we limit ourselves by thinking of photography as this documentary tool, which it can be, but if you're interested in just creating, you know, photography should be thought of no differently than painting, you can paint something that makes no visual sense to others, without understanding where it came from, but no one is gonna question it. But I think for photographers, we get so caught up in those details, I think you're right, it just depends on what you're interested and what you're trying to achieve with it. This is what happens when you talk about photos, you get kind of set off on tangents and back on the photo here, one of the first things I look for in a photograph is a subject and I'm not getting a strong subject here, I'm seeing the lifeguard stand, and I guess I would like a little more tangible, there are some nice elements, you've got the nice sky, the snow on the sand I think has potential, and maybe there's some patterns in it, and so I think the scene needs to be worked a little bit more, on its own, it's not bad, but it's not catching me with anything. I think with this, the horizon on the water seems to be, it's a challenge to me. So, one of the thing I'd like to do is go to the Lightroom and see if we can just kind of fix that because the human eye can be very, very sensitive to the horizon and so, there you go, there, a couple of percent better. Feels a little better. Yeah, and so don't want to have those horizon lines off, all right, excellent. Let's go to the next one and this feels like Europe to me, and I'm gonna drop off this bottom just to get a little bit bigger, and this is Marcello Maselli, and so one of the things and we talked about this, about symmetry and it looks like you embrace that in a lot of your photographs, this type of photo bugs me because they're not quite in the center of the sidewalk and it's kind of like you want to be when you've got everything else so symmetrical on there. Any thought? I would agree, I mean if you're gonna do it, it can be over a little bit, for me, when I look at this photo and this is personal preference, but I get the feeling of walking into, which doesn't happen to me a lot, I get a feeling of walking into a room where the ceiling is too low and I have to duck down, I feel kind of restricted by the lack of headroom, so to speak, so for me, I prefer seeing more sky and maybe less pathway. But it's a beautiful image. Yeah, I mean it's a beautiful place. The other thing I would maybe try is, I feel like we're a little too close with the wide-angle lens 'cause that roof is kind of fading way, I wouldn't mind seeing this backed up, if you have the lawn to give you the space, backing up a little bit further with a more normal or maybe even a tele-photo lens, unless there is something in the foreground, but it's just kind of a plain sidewalk, and so that's why I might try a longer lens on that one. All right, let's go to this next one here. So we've got a black and white from Anthony Kriz, and I love black and whites, I'm starting to shoot more black and whites myself, I would like to do black and white class Creative Live at some point, but that's, I think it's years down the road. So, I think it's an excellent image for turning black and white and I think he got some good elements in there and I love the repeating pattern of course. I like the toning and the contrast in it. And there's a whole science to that, getting it right, I'm still working on that. I'm not totally sure about the big angle in the bottom right-hand corner, I do like that it mimics the girders that are kind of right above it and so that part is pretty good and there is a nice angle where it's cutting the railroad lines, I would like to visit this spot myself because I think there's many different other angles that can be exploited. All right, let's move on. So, is this a pre-shoot for a wedding, I'm not sure, chosen a good time of the year in this location with the fall foliage there, they've got a long lens, getting the shallow depth of field, and so I think it's a nice shot of the couple, it's clean, it's colorful, I think the framing on it is pretty nice. Any suggestions? I mean, I know how this stuff goes, the first thing that comes to mind is it would be cool if there was an umbrella of a different color, a solid color or something like that, but I know if you did that it would change the lighting on their face which is maybe why they did clear, but for me, the clear umbrella kind of takes off my focus. It's a very artificial element in a very natural world, and so yeah, I would agree that if you can choose the umbrella choice, there might have been a better choice with that. It's good for lighting reasons. Yeah. All right, let's try a little close-up here. Close-ups, this one is from Renee Song, and close-ups in my mind are kind of an easy gimme if you get in close enough, 'cause there's just beautiful little colors and textures and things like that and I don't know flowers well enough to know what this is, and so this one to me just screams color and it's got some really nice color, it's nice on its own, it's not totally sharp and I don't know if it's supposed to be, there are elements that are sharp, but they're kind of in odd places. I actually kind of like that about this, though, I feel like, I mean, I think if it was sharp where you expected it to be sharp, it would look like any other close-up, but I don't know, that's the one thing that I find the most interesting about it is that-- It does mimic a bit more of a painting, and so when I say, I think it should be sharper, if I was shooting this, what would probably happen is I would shoot the next picture sharper and then I would say, oh, I may not like that. And I'd go back to the first one. It's second guessing at this point, it's hard to tell 'cause we don't have that mythical photo to compare it to. Next up, this is from Mia, me pronouncing names is just hard, Arana, and so, I really like the shot on this, this is just a good moment of light, choosing light on the subject and I think you could've shot this at any time of day, but I think this is one of the best times of the day to shoot this and then another black and white photograph here. Do you shoot much in black and white? No, I actually just did a portrait series in black and white a couple of weeks ago, but outside of that rarely do I shoot black and white. 'Cause that's how I got started you know, it's back in the film days, that's really all you had, but there is a whole special look to toning and development of it and so it's something I encourage everyone to play around with a little bit because nowadays you can shoot raw, you can process it later, into black and white so you can do amazing things with it, so definitely get out there and shoot some black and white. All right, ever do sports photography? Action photography? I did it once and then never did it again. Once? (laughing) So, going down the motorcycle track, we've got a slow shutter speed shot which I love, action in slow shutter speeds because that, you know, shows us where the action is, shows us what's moving, I do a lot of panning stuff and the thing on this shot, I just want to move to the right, if there's another spot to shoot a little bit to the right or shooting this cyclist just a little bit before because we're starting to get onto the back side of them, and it's harder to get good shots on the back side of them and generally you want to shoot as they're coming up perpendicular to you, and then generally speaking, you can stop shooting once they get straight in front of you, and so I kind of feel like they're riding away and not in a great way, but I think it's a good choice of shutter speed because when you're shooting action and you're doing these slow shutter speeds, finding that right mix where there's a little bit of sharpness, but some fun blur in there, and I think they nailed it on the shutter speed, and just gotta keep shooting and watch those backgrounds. It's a little bit messy, a little bit bright in the upper parts of the background. All right, a couple of more to choose from here, okay, Ndine Wittkamp, all right, so you're our portrait expert here, what are your thoughts on this? I mean, the lighting is nice, they have a good handle on light and control. I guess, I'm trying to, for me personally, I guess, I don't know what it says or what I'm supposed to be feeling about it, it seems like she's kind of, I'm not sure about the expression so I'm not really sure if it was a portrait for the person or if it was about them for a story or something. Certainly, I like that they're exploring with their environment and that their lighting seems to be coming from a good place and the post, certainly it looks there was maybe some post involved, but I would just say keep shooting, I would say really think about expression and subject and how that is meant to relate to the overall image, but it's a nice, well-lit portrait. For me, it feels like she's sitting behind a store window that's reflecting out, but you can't see the photographer and the reflection or it's a composite and I'm not sure which. I mean, to me, I assumed it was a composite not because they did anything wrong with it, it just seemed like it would be a composite. If they actually lit that up on location, I think they did a great job, of balancing the light and that sort of thing. Okay, now I'm starting to see it on location, but at first it felt like the lights were a reflection in the window that was in front of her, it's like she was sitting in a store front. And part of the thing that threw me off, I think is the person's logo because they have imagine photography there, and it almost felt like it was the store window, I knew that was a logo, but it felt like it was the store window. But if that was all out on location, that's a lot of work to get all the props and get everything set up out there. All right, so a little bit of a fun one for our last one here, John what was your original statement? This cannot be real, I mean, I don't know, maybe it was like jumping and it just happened to do this, but I can't believe that that's real. A good moment here. Which I don't wanna take away from, I love it, I think it's hilarious, so I don't want to take away from, I don't want to be thinking about whether it's real or not even though I said that. I'm going with it's real, I think it's real, Planet Earth 2 is coming out, they have this little video of a mouse on one strand of grass that's kind of folding around, so they might crawl up a piece of grass, I don't know if he's eating some of the flowers or something there. The one thing that's just throwing me off a little bit is the aspect ratio of the image and I don't know if this is exactly one by one, and so, it is, and I guess I wasn't used to the square, I was gonna say I prefer squares to something a little bit longer, it felt a little bit taller and so, obviously they're cropping this, I think just to get it tighter and maybe get rid of some distracting elements there, but this is a good moment, and we don't have full resolution here, so I can't tell on sharpness, but definitely they've got a great moment. They've definitely got a great moment. All right, so that concludes our image review. John, thanks a lot for sitting down with me on this, and helping out, I hope all of you were able to pick up something from that, so if you want to submit your photographs to a future review, you can do that at Creative Live's website, if you go to the Fundamentals of Photography, that's my class, Fundamentals of Photography, there's a student work gallery that you can post your images there. You don't even have to be a student in the class to submit your photos, so we'll take a look in there and try to pick up 10 new photos each week. And so that brings this little episode of One Hour Photo to a conclusion. Thanks a lot, we will be posting another video next month and right now we have Art Wolf set for our interview on that one. So, that should be a very good show. Thanks a lot for tuning in and we'll catch you next time around.

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Ratings and Reviews

a Creativelive Student

Love love all John Greengo classes! Wish to have had him decades ago with this info, but no internet then!! John is the greatest photography teacher I have seen out there, and I watch a lot of Creative Live classes and folks on YouTube too. John is so detailed and there are a ton of ah ha moments for me and I know lots of others. I think I own 4 John Greengo classes so far and want to add this one and Travel Photography!! I just drop everything to watch John on Creative Live. I wish sometime soon he would teach a Lightroom class and his knowledge on photography post editing.!!! That would probably take a LOT OF TIME but I know John would explain it soooooo good, like he does all his Photography classes!! Thank you Creative Live for having such a wonderful instructor with John Greengo!! Make more classes John, for just love them and soak it up! There is soooo much to learn and sometimes just so overwhelming. Is there anyway you might do a Motivation class!!?? Like do this button for this day, and try this technique for a week, or post this subject for this week, etc. Motivation and inspiration, and playing around with what you teach, needed so much and would be so fun.!! Just saying??? Awaiting gadgets class now, while waiting for lunch break to be over. All the filters and gadgets, oh my. Thank you thank you for all you teach John, You are truly a wonderful wonderful instructor and I would highly recommend folks listening and buying your classes.


I don't think that adjectives like beautiful, fantastic or excellent can describe the course and classes with John Greengo well enough. I've just bought my first camera and I am a total amateur but I fell in love with photography while watching the classes with John. It is fun, clear, understandable, entertaining, informative and and and. He is not only a fabulous photographer but a great teacher as well. Easy to follow, clear explanations and fantastic visuals. The only disadvantage I can list here that he is sooooo good that keeps me from going out to shoot as I am just glued to the screen. :-) Don't miss it and well worth the money invested! Thank you John!

Vlad Chiriacescu

Wow! John is THE best teacher I have ever had the pleasure of learning from, and this is the most comprehensive, eloquent and fun course I have ever taken (online or off). If you're even / / interested in photography, take this course as soon as possible! You might find out that taking great photos requires much more work than you're willing to invest, or you might get so excited learning from John that you'll start taking your camera with you EVERYWHERE. At the very least, you'll learn the fundamental inner workings and techniques that WILL help you get a better photo. Worried about the cost? Well, I've taken courses that are twice as expensive that offer less than maybe a tenth of the value. You'll be much better off investing in this course than a new camera or a new lens. I cannot reccomend John and this course enough!

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