time ??


many photographers  seem to have the "rush to publish" syndrome…get out a book, any book, just as fast as possible…well, not Joseph…in 7 days in 1968, Koudelka photographed his first book material…but, it has taken him 40 years to publish it…

at the Magnum office last week Joseph explained  to our staff about his famous Prague watch picture…even he was confused about the actual time on the watch….he came to show us his new book "Joseph Koudelka:Invasion ’68 Prague"….i naturally asked him "why did you wait so long to do this book?"..his answer:  "nobody was interested at the time…i was not interested at the time"…

as the Russians rolled into Prague in August ’68, Joseph had amazing access, riding around on the Russian tanks, shooting everywhere all the time…this book  is quite an amazing piece of good old fashioned photojournalism, with i think about 250 pictures…some you probably know…some are "new"….

Joseph poured us all a glass of wine, flipped through the pages of the book, told some good stories, and then, looking at his watch, abruptly left  saying "i must go to work" .. quite literally like a man late for "work" or something…funny…

so, what time do you think it reads on the watch???


74 Responses to “time ??”

  • So, what do you think, is he giving you or time the finger?

  • AKAKY…


  • The watch is stopped!

  • 12:22pm. That’s good for a bag, right?

  • 12:00 pm ? Spring time, like today.

  • agreed it’s 12:22 unless that’s a second hand and the minute hand has fallen off..looked thru a loupe, have a copy of Exiles in my lap (purchased in 1990, signed by the man himself this past year)

  • I’m desperately trying to wake up my girlfriend…
    so she can help me write something in Czech …
    Prague…. what a beautiful city…

    wine…! Koudelka…DAH,… party,…good friends… new book …!
    good times…

    in the meantime,
    in panos’s little dark world…:


  • i’ve stood there looking down upon that boulevard (in 1990 (many times) when i lived in Praha)…though at the time, i did not know the picture or who Joseph K was (at least not THIS joseph K)….whenever i think of koudelka, this is one of the pics…i even tried to do my own homage in the DAH emerging photo project…bobblack style ;))…

    as for the time on his watch, it’s clear as day:


    cant wait to see the new book….

    running (out of time)


  • Koudelka, how appropriate for you right now David! … the “homeless” photographer photographing the “homeless” photographer. Whose floor will you sleep on?

  • it’s 1/60sec of 12:22… I guess… yes, timeless.

  • PEOPLE….

    HOW ABOUT “JOSEF” instead of “JOSEPH” ?????

    Vazenny mistre Josefe Koudelko!!!!
    Gratuluji Vam k Vasi nove knize…!!!

    Sorry, but Barbora took over my laptop for a second…

  • Not sure what time it is, but he sure means for people to just leave him the hell alone, just looking at the finger he uses!

    David, nice to see you can still shoot a “complete” photo. No unquite there!


  • Thank you for the insight on book publishing. I for one tend to get wrapped up in all the photographers who do publish often.

    Re Craig: my sincere condolences. I lost a brother much to young several years ago. It is a loss in the family energy, no matter what the circumstances.

    ALL::: Anyone in Mpls./ St. Paul this weekend, I am taking advangtage of my new digs at the Northern Warehouse Artist Co-op to show at ART CRAWL. There are some nice prints, that I’d forgotten about. I am really happy with them seeing them again on the wall. 308 Prince St., 521.

    Will be back in South Dakota for awhile next week.

    Drive Safely



  • I think the watch says its TIME for happy hour.
    cheers!… and enjoy your weekend people.

  • looks like 22 seconds after 12:02 to me

    hesitated to tell you the last time david, but i too lost a brother many years ago. he was only 18

    re your new project: when you were just hinting at it a few months back i actually though that you were going to go, not across the u.s., but around the world in search of the people in this blog community and photograph them. keep it in mind for your next project? ;-)


  • I would have guessed five minutes until noon, but it sounds like 12:22. Funny, I have a book I bought in Paris called “Prague, 1968 – Photographies de Josef Koudelka” It’s a “PHOTO NOTES” book. Nice little book with his photographs in it. I remember reading a story by another photographer there. What you describe as “access” that Josef had, this photographer described as Josef being “a crazy photographer getting on and off Russian tanks”. BTW, David, thanks for your nice note regarding my photographs a couple of blogs ago, and best of luck with your new project-if you get to Fort Worth/Dallas be sure to call. I can help. JOHN FULTON

  • What makes a good photographer…?
    Is it … just, character ??!…
    Do you have to be a good person…?
    to be a photographer…?
    Does a camera makes a photographer…?
    Does holding a baby makes you a mother…???
    Does driving a car, makes you a driver…?

    Does music… count…?
    Does your clothes …. deliver some kinda special message..?
    Does your camera believe in God ????
    Are YOU a good person…?
    Where… to what extend… would you sell your soul to pay the bills…?

    in the little 2 minute black and white movie below…
    please click…


  • panos, as an editor i recommend you hire an editor….tarantuala was very cool, that’s your film….the rest as we say is a bit “fat”.

    i’ll check out ryan’s hairdo next…

  • ryan’s hairdo….? i thought he was going to cut it off or something. what did the mother say? was it about his hairdo? i’m guessing mother’s probably get a bit creeped out when people hang out in the park photographing their kids….did she tell you to go through her kids agent if you want a picture?

  • It’s “High Noon” A confrontation that is likely to decide the outcome of a situation. Like Gary Cooper in the movie.

  • … laughing….
    thanks Natan for your comments…
    I was hoping to make myself and others laugh too or at least smile…
    with the above attempts to express myself…

    You see , i’m having fun or at least i try…

    I’m exploring the video capapili-posibili-ties…
    of a small compact videocamera ….
    editing on a small laptop…
    and “FREE” ( unsophisticated ) editing software….
    I realized yesterday morning…( finally)…
    that a little 2-15 min movie … i call it (MOVIGRAPHS )…
    it has a stronger “visual” impact than a
    REAL , 2 HOUR LONG MOTION picture ( movie)…
    and maybe a little less (impact) than a photograph…

    so i want to experiment in the “MOVIGRAPH territory”…also…
    That “monster” that stands between
    the DONKEY ( MOVIE )
    and the HORSE ( PHOTOGRAPHY )…
    the mighty MULE ( 2-15 min movies, clips or “movigraphs” in panos- language…)

    Now, what did the mother asked me…?
    Well she asked me if i was originally from Detroit,…!
    and the reason is because i was wearing a jacket…
    with the FORD-cobra LOGO on it…
    You know,…
    one of those blue Ford racing jackets,.. that you dont see that often near Santa Monica…
    It is not the most sophisticated jacket anyone can wear you know…
    So my jacket,… brought that lady with the baby…
    memories from her family… back in Detroit…
    Ford… Dearborn Michigan…
    so much history…

    all that

  • Saw every one of those unbelievably mind blowing images on his proofsheets, at Magnum Paris, 1982, after I begged him to pull them out for me. Every single one is a heartbreaking keeper! Can’t wait to see his definitive selects, and can’t imagine how he axed any of them. Thanks for the heads up, pre-ordered: http://www.amazon.com/Josef-Koudelka-Invasion-68/dp/159711068X !

  • Nice, I ordered Exiles a week ago. It’s a book that I have read three times in different places, each time owned by a different person, so it was time to get it. When I think about editing I always try to think about how do those sections and those pictures mingle with each other. Then I’m always amazed how those “still life” pictures fit in it (oh, those waves that close the book! that tilted cliff with a wood arrangement by the beach!). It’s pure poetry. He even has the best picture of people pissing that I have ever seen (the one in Ireland). Very remarkable as a whole. I don’t remember what the watch said, I looked at it many many times, but I’ll never remember. There are other watches as well, I think one more in the French pocket book of his work…

  • I was visiting a “new” lake yesterday… lake Arrowhead… highway 18…. from the top of the mountain…
    5:30 pm… the fog was coming up !!!..? not down…!

    4 more photos in the blog to share what i saw…


  • Time? Time to spare to give me a critique! If you have time, I have edited my ‘Cockfighting in Cuba’ story down to 14 images.


  • David… awesome photos…

  • What time is it?

    The time is NOW. Always.


  • I really like the one with the kid jumping with his shadow doubling as another fighting cock, David R. The dull (midday?) often backlit whitish light was not kind to many of your captures, though, as it diffuses the energy we can guess around the arena.

    IMO, of course.

  • Hyping one’s stuff in the comments section of an unrelated blog is so stupid, it makes me look like a genius.

  • based on the twenty-four hour clock method………I’d say it’s about 2401…….


    just wanted to say sorry for the loss of your brother.

  • david alan harvey


    i think i mentioned to you before that i liked this Cuba story….you have it edited down pretty tight..maybe you could take out the cigar lighting picture…i am not sure what it adds, unless i am missing some point…i think Herve is right about the light, but can’t you saturate just a bit in photoshop??


    for some reason , i am having trouble posting to your site….anyway, i like “From the Top”, “Private Land”, “Prison Truck” and “Fat Cloud”….

    can you technically get your video and stills meshed together in the same piece?? given your love of music and film , it seems like a logical move for you…


    you worked this well….i liked the first one and the third one the best, but you had good control over the whole shoot…

    ok, running to shoot..prom night in Virginia !!! back soonest…

    cheers, david


    1.What makes a good photographer…?

    2.Is it … just, character ??!…

    3.Do you have to be a good person…?
    to be a photographer…?

    4.Does a camera makes a photographer…?

    5.Does holding a baby makes you a mother…???

    6.Does driving a car, makes you a driver…?

    7.Does music… count…?

    8.Does your clothes …. deliver some kinda special message..?

    9.Does your camera believe in God ????

    10.Are YOU a good person…?

    11.Where… to what extend… would you sell your soul to pay the bills…?



    1. An interesting question. I think a camera helps. Enjoying mortadella on a hard roll is optional.

    2. No. A person can enjoy liverwurst and still be a good person, although this is not true in every case.

    3. Was that question on the application?

    4. Given that in the absence of a camera you are not really a photographer, I’d say so. Otherwise there’s not much point to you being there. If you needed something described, why wouldnt you hire a writer?

    5. No, I know plenty of mothers who would never hold kids, even if they had some of their own.

    6. No. Watch any teenager behind the wheel on prom night.

    7. Yes. If it doesnt, you’re listening to noise.

    8. Yes. I am a slob.

    9. Yes. Most of my cameras are Buddhists, I think, although I do have one with disturbingly Episcopalian tendencies.

    10. Yes, I am a good person. I dont care what Mom says about me behind my back.

    11. I would join the civil service, as loathsome as that possibility might sound to the ordinary man in the street.

    Just a question: is this graded on a curve?

  • I’ve misplaced my “I’m with Stupid –>” tee shirt.

  • Akaky… laughing…
    said”…I think, although I do have one with disturbingly Episcopalian tendencies…”…

    …which one… Akaky…?

    David McG…
    nice light… ( what’s that with the misplaced “stupid” shirt, though…?)

    Damn… I see X-Mas around the corner…
    Time goes fast…
    faster than i thought…

  • David McG, the first shot in your essay is wonderful. There is something of an angel with an arm as a wing in that child walking almost towards an altar.

    A shot, full of poetry, I supppose the sneaker (weird position, this one) is out of place within that range of evocation, but somehow, it brings that element of unquitenes to the picture, telling us your shot is as much prose (timely) as poetry (timeless), as much here as there.

  • Well said Herve, and thanks for the comments DAH and Panos. As the title implies, I stumbled upon some nice light and was able to isolate a situation in an environment greatly different than what you see here.

  • Thanks Panos. David and Herve I think I agree about the light. I was trying to shoot without flash, but next time I would probably want to. I did saturate a tiny bit in photoshop but maybe i’ll redo it. I thought the cigar gave some information about place, but if that didn’t come across even to someone who has worked extensively in Cuba then I guess it wasn’t successful…

    Thanks guys!

  • DAVID,

    Prom nights…I hope you will be sharing some highlights… By the way, as you mentioned Prom night, this reminded me of an essay from Lauren Greenfield. It ocurred to me that she is also documenting a lot “America”… What do you think of her work?

    I am intrigued to see how you intend to shoot your new piece of work. Will this be similar in style to your street photography or do you plan to radically chnage and go more after portraits…I have been wondering in light of your desire to go with Medium format…

    Hope you have fun out there and keep us posted on how the early days are shaping…



  • Stupid ;))

    u r a the most stupidly genius photographer/commentator/brother I’ve ever met :)))…i knew u were a lurker and Im pleased u are here :)))))…ditto Michal Daniel :))))…

    anyway, here’s the pic i made as a stupid salut to koudelka…it did not make my final edit for FOP, so this may be the only place u see it, since i later didnt even print it for my exhibition here in TO post DAH assignment…as David likes to use this form for photos that “dont make the grade” for his own work, i’ll offer this one up too…

    anyone guesses the time, i’ll buy them a drink if they come to Toronto…:)) (sorry, too poor to have nice quality camera bags!)

    give u a hint: it’s night…. ;))…between 8:00 and 12:00 am. ….



  • p.s

    I just showed Marina the pic and guess what!: she guessed the fucking time, smack on!….so, there really is a time: i guess this proves the old adage right:

    A spouse can see right through shitty art to the heart of the matter! :))



  • It just occurred to me David meant the time on the second shot (1968), not the first. and I have been wondering for 2 days the cryptic signification of 12.22…..

    Forever the outsider, and stupid too, yes!

  • Herve, I just checked in Proverbs 12:22 and it says “The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful”, which is very fitting.

  • david alan harvey


    well, i am still thinking all of this over….but, i would say that this will be both a “departure” stylistically and a “continuation” philosophically…since my parameters are wide open, i have already been “playing” with combos of b&w and color…something i normally never do..i have no editors to “please”….also with the med format, i am surely a bit more deliberate in some ways, but i will also use disposable cameras and Polaroids too for some things….i may have mentioned before that i am looking at the exhibit as more of an installation than framed prints hanging on a wall…anyway, so far so so much fun…and i must say, that going back to film has been terrific…you do not look back as with digi, you only go forward …

    i was a big fan of Lauren Greenfield,s “Fast Forward”…i still think that is her best work….her best quality is her ideas, her concepts…always interesting…and for those who are always asking and thinking about how tough it is for a woman with children to work, Lauren seems to do pretty well with two little ones…

    many many have photographed America..not a new idea…as a matter of fact, a cliche idea..i am photographing in the U.S., but what i am doing could be done anywhere…this just happens to be my country of birth and i am totally tying it in to my earliest work etc etc..i am working now in Virginia just because this is where i started my photography in the first place….so, it is much more about families and my personal vision than it is specifically about “America”…

    cheers, david

  • david alan harvey


    i have no clue what time your picture was taken and no time to try to figure it out!!! but, i will guess around 11pm just because i am imagining you going home after dinner and a bottle of wine or whatever…

    not sure what you meant: “he likes to use this forum for photos that do not make the grade for is own work”…??????????????????

    hey dude, you want a camera bag?? you do not have to “win” one of my silly little contests to get one of my bags….i have too many….companies send them to me sometimes to “test”….just get your you know what down to New York and you can go “shopping” in Harvey’s Bag Store…

    abrazos, david

  • g’day to you all…

    just looked up the same proverb…very nice and fitting indeed…

    also found some other meanings of 1(2:22), with some interesting readings…



    i like the idea you have of putting together an installation for your america. the philosophy that you are giving yourself total freedom with regards to your toys is also admiring (bring you back to the roots…)… and have you checked out the lomo cameras? also interesting cameras that i have used are of course the holga, and the horizon202 (panoramic). will you go back the fuji 6×9 for this trip?

    yesterday, i saw the retrospective exhibition of Dani Karan, who’s work if you don’t know, is very inspirational and forward thinking. it was a great instillation, at the martin gropius bau, berlin, where the extensive use of projectors for still and video, really intrigued me. one time it was very mind blowing, entering into a massive room, where the “wall paper”, was the documentary images, of Karan’s architectural accomplishments.

    talking of exhibitions, i am currently doing research for my thesis, where i will put together a review of the history of photographic exhibitions. in this regard i am looking for input, and would very much like to ask you all…what is the best photographic exhibition you have seen? reasons and comments would be highly appreciated. have also posted this question on lightstalkers, and have been receiving, lots of great replies. you are welcome to send any replies to jarlejorg@gmail.com.

    wish you all a wonderful day!

    peace and love,

  • DAVID :)))

    what i meant about “he likes to use this forum for photos that do not make the grade for is own work…” is that from time to time you offer us a photo to start a discussion, one with meaning for you but one that wouldn’t “make the cut” for you for your book or exhibition, etc, but one you wanted to offer us to discuss a point or show us some recent work, etc…that’s what i meant: to show you guys a photo i made during the 1st night of my immigrant students shoot for the DAH project: i shot 2 shots similar (the one i posted, which was shot using lomo and trix) and another using my “famous name” old 35mm and trix: the 35 pic was way too pretty and too much like Kouldelka pic (i dont meant quality, i mean too obvious an homage), and i like the lomo better…BUT: i still think it’s not a terribly interesting photo, so i never made a print for exhibition and didnt include it in the fop edit…though i sent as part of my submission in the fall…anyway: maybe somthing for another thread some time: photos we’ve made as homages to photographs/photographers we admire: since all photography sings the songs of those which came before….:)))

    as for bag: im still hoping to win one of our trivia competitions: might be interesting: when u r on the road: send us a pic, and we guess the location :))))…

    as for time: very close :))..and you thinking, as usual, is right on target: it was night, 1st night of the week’s shoot, frame ~12,…had to be home by 11:00 for wine and thoughts…but u r very close :))

    dont forget about NC :))

    hugs, big :))


  • joni :)))))))))…

    bingo! :))


  • Anyway, the thing of it is, I finally got my local public library to get Magnum Magnum for me from someplace over in Connecticut. This is the good part. Now comes the bad part. If this behemoth falls on my foot, will I have to sue Magnum to get my medical bills paid or is there no liability involved here? What about if I herniate myself trying to lift the damn thing? Will Magnum spring for a truss? The other thing is this: there are no dog pictures from Erwitt in this thing. Having Erwitt and no dog pictures is like having peanut butter and jelly without the peanut butter. Magnum expects people to shell out big bucks for this sucker and there’s no dog pics? This is not going to happen. Pardon me while I go look for Woof!

  • Hi David,

    For more than a year now, you have used the following word very very often in your posts. English is not my first language so I did not understand it. Yesterday (at last) I decided to look into it:

    Serendipity: finding something when looking for something else, thanks to an observant mind. Making discoveries by accident of which you are not in quest of…

    And then I thought that this will probably (no, surely) happen to you during your upcoming trip in the USA. You may have an intuition about what you will be finding along the way, and come back with a completly different set of views/findings/understanding…


  • Hi David,

    For more than a year now, you have used the following word very very often in your posts. English is not my first language so I did not understand it. Yesterday (at last) I decided to look into it:

    Serendipity: finding something when looking for something else, thanks to an observant mind. Making discoveries by accident of which you are not in quest of…

    And then I thought that this will probably (no, surely) happen to you during your upcoming trip in the USA. You may have an intuition about what you will be finding along the way, and come back with a completly different set of views/findings/understanding…


  • David, I know it will sound trite: You certainly never give too much the image of someone self-questionning/doubting, or harbouring existential stirrings (maybe you do privately).

    So I am wondering how much the idea of personal quest(ever-mining deeper thru one’s inner core), fits, or not, in any of your long time project, and especially this new one, which may have a bit of the proverbial “all P. is self-portraiture” ring to it, when all is shot, said and exibited. Or does it?

    I actually rarely sense such direct stirring from photographers, from their output (their biography and life being another story). There is something “sure” about photographs that seem to preclude witnessing such stirrings in them so obviously. Even Serrano, or Mapplethorpe.

    they (the pictures) seem to say: “well, there it is” rather than wondering aloud. Maybe it has to do with the fact that the craft element of photography is never far from the art one. It is hard to find a 2-dimensional (I think it’s 2! definitely not 3…) art that would be more concrete, ie. “black on white”, once represented.

    PS: definitely wondering aloud here, and yes, probably asking myself more than you, as usual, david, but in case….. ;-)

  • Oh Panos, that last one, don’t tell me it was a hit (anywhere!)?

    Let me wash it down with this:

  • Herve… where the hell is everybody…
    I know it’s “PASHA” for the greeks… but where the hell are the rest!!!!!????

  • oh… i see … everybody’s drunk… but…
    no balls.. to admit…

  • @panos: for you, some more proper industrial stuff (a pigface cover by NIN) – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnSyyYoBkp0

  • In the last few years a number of world class photographers have published work that has taken thirty to forty years to ‘find’ an audience: Bruce Davidson, Robert Frank (London/Wales), Colin Jones’ marvellous GRAFTERS, some recent McCullin that hasn’t previously been widely seen (IN ENGALND) — these are just some that come to mind. And now Koudelka’s wonderful INVASION 1968.

    What makes these belated publications possible? What is it that creates an audience that wasn’t previously there? The ‘accretion’ of history onto (into?) a set of pictures? Economics? Social climate? All of these. I’m just wondering, because whatever it is, for me, it has produced some of the most satisfying publications in recent years…

    — alun

  • david alan harvey


    if you read Magnum, Magnum carefully, you will see and realize that the photographs in this book were all chosen by a photographer other than the photographer whose work is presented..for example, i edited and chose the work of Costa Manos….i do not know if this was all a good idea or not…anyway, you are right, the book could do serious physical damage if dropped…i do not remember right now who edited Elliott…obviously not a dog lover…

  • david alan harvey


    i am not sure which Bruce Davidson work you to which you refer….his work, at least all that i know, has always been published more or less soon after he was finished shooting…McCullin has just been working and working, so i do not see his as “delayed” either…he just wasn’t finished….and , as i said, Koudelka told me straight up that he just had never been interested in publishing his Invasion work before now…you can never underestimate photographer procrastination either!!…and, of course, now there are just so many more book publishers and opportunities than there were even 10 years ago…AND, the world is just craving craving new work now…there is a photorevolution happening now that is totally unparalleled in the short history of photography…

  • “the world is just craving craving new work now…there is a photorevolution happening now that is totally unparalleled in the short history of photography…”

    Could you elaborate on the notion of the photorevolution, David? That’s an interesting statement.

  • david-preston-all

    the new paradigm for photo books is indeed switching…and i~d love it even more if europe-n.america switched to an idea that has long been alive in Japan….small, inexpensive books…japan, for years and years, as been at the forefront ot this…and now with digital printing being (relatively speaking) inexpensive, i~d love for publishers to do more…the question, of course, is about buying;buyers….who buys ^photo^ books….

    though i look at lots and lots of websites as if they were ^books^…only loss–curling up in bed or on a patch of grass dreaming upon them….


  • How do we square the craving of new work, with the realization that the photo publishing business (dailies, weeklies, P.books) is rather struggling or re-assessing needs that leave more professionally minded P-ers struggling.

    probably all phrased wrong, but yes, I’d love to hear David expand on what that means.

    David, joining the ever-growing number of people who “have sent you an e-mail”, mine about your June dates in Paris…

  • David — I wasn’t altogether clear. Bruce Davidson: I specifically meant ENGLAND/SCOTLAND 1960 (Steidl Verlag, Feb 2006). This may include previously published work but little-seen. McCullin’s IN ENGLAND I think includes work that again may have been previously published but rarely or only to a limited extent in book form.

    While on the subject of McCullin, it is rather sad that he says in his introduction: “…I know I have to make this book now because of my age. I don’t have the tolerance or stamina to continue much longer. I am not at the end of my work, but I’m close to the limits of what I can accomplish.” A typically unflinching self-assessment from one of the great documentary masters.


  • david alan harvey


    ok, yes, now i understand….good idea on the next trivia question…i will wait just a bit , because i think almost everyone knows where i am right now….


    i would have to think some on the best exhibit i ever saw…hmmmm, well, “Ashes and Snow” certainly had to be the most unique..

    yes, i am using the Fuji 6×9 on this project…

    cheers, david

  • david alan harvey


    quite simply a revolution in both photo book publishing and in fine collector print buying..who knows how long these “trends” will last however..and we cannot forget the “off the charts” consumer fascination with taking pictures as never before…interest in the still image seems to be growing by the minute, but i have no “official figures”, only a sense of it…


    thanks for clarifying about Bruce and Don…Don McCullin in person has such a sense of humor and always has everyone laughing…but, when i read his words, he seems a bit “dark”…strange, or is it just Irish????

    cheers, david

  • thanks for your comment David.
    take your time thinking about the best exhibit, but please do get back to me on the question. the ashes and snow exhibition was shown in La when i lived in santa barbara, but unfortunately, i never ended up seeing the exhibition…and the line each time i went to La…was too long…at times no patience.

  • Will there (and where?) be a book signing upon the official release of the book?

    P.S. I haven’t been here for a while but it’s good to see Stupid here for the second time ;-)

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