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Art Theory: Idea workshop. Warning, not the truth here, just a venture. Examining what makes an image worthy of saving and what it does for us.

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  #31  
Old December 22nd, 2013, 03:02 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Originally Posted by Cem_Usakligil View Post
I apologize but I really don't get what's been said so far. That's why I've been a bit recalcitrant about the bloody standard. Alain has announced in another thread that he wanted to talk about raising our standards. Asher has created this thread and gave us an extensive intro and a couple of in depth posts about the subject matter. Alain has only said a few one-liners. And the discussion has kind of derailed in a pool of miscommunication. No wonder I'm confused.

Cem,

I don't think it's derailed. Just remember exactly what Doug says. When there are several meanings, he intends them to be applied, all of them and i've explained pretty well the options of the standard.

We are quite capable of addressing the subject of improving standards, up until the part of marketing where Alain is so adept and can teach us a lot. I'm quite happy to be asked to write down what I think is important in this context. for me it's the connection with the past art and then creating goals for one self, but first getting orientated. That requires a cut out frame or a rectangle made of the fingers of both hands to visualize or else a little viewing loupe with a frame on it like movie makers use.

After that one needs to be open to new experience. That's why I like to follow impulse and that way
I'm not limited to preconceived notions, yet I'm rooted in the great works of the past I admire.

After that improving requires killing of those images that do not meet one's hopes and dreams. Leave the one's that are closest to one's intent. Make copies, draw on them and start all over again. That's how I personally work to improve my own standards.

Now what do others' do?

I know we can learn from the various approaches each of us has in getting the most fun and satisfaction out of one's work.

It might just be making sure one gives copies to folk and spread some happiness. That increases the standards in photography and brings it back to impact folks lives as opposed to sitting o hard drives.

I know Bob Watcher gives out prints when he revisits villages in Nicaragua.

Asher
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  #32  
Old December 22nd, 2013, 03:09 PM
Cem_Usakligil Cem_Usakligil is offline
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Asher you're proving my point with your answer. The confusion is about Alain not doing what he's announced that he'd be doing and you putting on your professor cap and teaching us in bold red letters. I suspect that Doug's bloody standard had a double meaning also in that area.
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  #33  
Old December 22nd, 2013, 03:24 PM
Alain Briot Alain Briot is offline
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Originally Posted by Cem_Usakligil View Post
The confusion is about Alain not doing what he's announced that he'd be doing
?
I don't see what I didn't do.

This is my original post: "I'd like to start a discussion on the forum about how forum members raise their standards." Here is the link to it:

http://www.openphotographyforums.com...585#post149585

Asher asked the question for me. I thought doing it a second time myself would be redundant since I agree with the way he phrased it. However, since the issue has been raised, here goes. Hopefully this will clarify what my intent is:


Raising your standards is important in order to compete on the basis of quality instead of quantity (or price if you sell your work). How do you raise your standards in your work?
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  #34  
Old December 22nd, 2013, 03:34 PM
Cem_Usakligil Cem_Usakligil is offline
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I see. So you weren't planning on telling us how to raise our standards Alain, in a similar way you do these things over at luminous landscape? I was kind of expecting an essay on this matter from you, it seems that I was mistaken. You just wanted to ask the question, nothing more.
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  #35  
Old December 22nd, 2013, 03:37 PM
Alain Briot Alain Briot is offline
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Exactly. I never mentioned publishing an essay on raising standards on this forum. I just asked Asher, in the post I linked to above, where was the best location to ask this question. Notice I am not opposed to publishing an essay on the subject here, or publishing essays on other subjects either.
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  #36  
Old December 22nd, 2013, 03:41 PM
Cem_Usakligil Cem_Usakligil is offline
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Originally Posted by Alain Briot View Post
Exactly. I never mentioned publishing an essay on raising standards on this forum. I just asked Asher, in the post I linked to above, where was the best location to ask this question. Notice I am not opposed to publishing an essay on the subject here, or publishing essays on other subjects either.
Thanks for the clarification Alain. I'm looking forward to reading the responses.
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  #37  
Old December 22nd, 2013, 03:49 PM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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Raising your standards is important in order to compete on the basis of quality instead of quantity (or price if you sell your work).
I am not really sure that competition takes places on the basis of quality or raised standards, especially for the photographers who do not sell their work. Actually, I am not even sure that the photographs who do not sell their work compete at all.
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  #38  
Old December 22nd, 2013, 04:11 PM
Alain Briot Alain Briot is offline
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Originally Posted by Jerome Marot View Post
I am not really sure that competition takes places on the basis of quality or raised standards, especially for the photographers who do not sell their work. Actually, I am not even sure that the photographs who do not sell their work compete at all.
What about competing with yourself, with your previous work, and trying to do better than you did before?

What about photographers who enter photo contests ?

What about photographers who ask 'how can I improve this photograph?' on this forum or elsewhere?

What about photographers whose goal is to be listed in the 'top 10' or 'top 100' or other ranking?

Maybe you are not competing with yourself or with others and that is perfectly fine. But there are photographers whose goal is to compete with themselves by improving their previous work and to compete with other photographers for the reasons mentioned above. Those are the photographers I am interested in hearing from.
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  #39  
Old December 22nd, 2013, 04:35 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Originally Posted by Cem_Usakligil View Post
Asher you're proving my point with your answer. The confusion is about Alain not doing what he's announced that he'd be doing and you putting on your professor cap and teaching us in bold red letters. I suspect that Doug's bloody standard had a double meaning also in that area.

Cem,

I just say what I do and think is valid and significant for this discussion. That's my contribution. Take it as a foil to argue against or put forward other thrusts of experience, reason and judgement.

In RED? That's to get the banner bloodied and trigger discussion. Alain will contribute substantially, I have no doubt! It's his idea in the first place and I think it's a great topic. I for one would love to know how others, like you, especially, do their best to express, (in finished photographs to share with the world), what they imagine, wish for, and then present: in the most beautiful and effective way.

The latter includes marketing of which all of us could benefit from Alain's own expertise, to some degree.

I'm open to learning from everyone here!

Asher
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  #40  
Old December 22nd, 2013, 04:58 PM
Alain Briot Alain Briot is offline
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To me the concept of raising my standards is tied with the goal of reaching my full potential. One fosters the other. I have to raise my standards in order to reach my full potential. I'm not saying everyone has to do so, I'm just saying that I do. I am not the only one.
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  #41  
Old December 22nd, 2013, 06:07 PM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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By the way, part of the joke (it has several levels) is that "bloody" is of course a Cockney corruption of "by our Lady", and as such is a Cockney term of emphasis. In fact, it then takes on a life of itself, being inflected as if it were that actual word, as in "I don't need no bleedin' bicycle helmet."

I'm reminded of that old Navy saying, "At the mess table, you never ask for the salt without saying what kind of salt."

Best regards,

Doug
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  #42  
Old December 22nd, 2013, 11:22 PM
Alain Briot Alain Briot is offline
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I'm reminded of that old Navy saying, "At the mess table, you never ask for the salt without saying what kind of salt." Doug
Why is that? What are the different kinds of salt?
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  #43  
Old December 23rd, 2013, 01:14 AM
Tom dinning Tom dinning is offline
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Why is that? What are the different kinds of salt?
It might be Epsom salt, Alain. Caution always needs to prevail when in the company of friends.
Although salt usually refers to that which is sodium chloride or that which has the taste of, in chemistry it can any number of compounds which are derived fro acid/base reactions. Sodium chloride is only one such member of that group. Magnesium sulphate is another member and is not to be consumed without a clear passage in mind.
There's another one of those words which have 2 meanings and I mean both.
So, Doug, when you told me to get ****ed some days back, did you mean it both ways? If you didn't, I have, once again, misread you and tried for both.
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  #44  
Old December 23rd, 2013, 01:28 AM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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Originally Posted by Alain Briot View Post
What about competing with yourself, with your previous work, and trying to do better than you did before?

What about photographers who enter photo contests ?

What about photographers who ask 'how can I improve this photograph?' on this forum or elsewhere?

What about photographers whose goal is to be listed in the 'top 10' or 'top 100' or other ranking?
We don't seem to understand each other. I did not say that amateurs never compete, I said that I am not really sure that competition takes places on the basis of raised standards.

As to your examples, photographers trying to do better than they did before or asking how they can improve their photograph (they are the same) are probably simply trying to learn how to express their ideas. I don't perceive that as competition. Winning a contest or attaining a ranking (which is the same thing) do compete, but not really on the quality of their work. In my experience, contests are won on the basis of adapting one's photographs to the untold desires of the jury or, for prizes given by public voting, on the size of one's network of friends.

In any case, we seem to entertain very different ideas about the reason why people make images. That will not make the discussion easier.
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  #45  
Old December 23rd, 2013, 02:46 AM
Alain Briot Alain Briot is offline
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Originally Posted by Jerome Marot View Post
In any case, we seem to entertain very different ideas about the reason why people make images.
So what is your reason for making images?
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  #46  
Old December 23rd, 2013, 04:11 AM
Tom dinning Tom dinning is offline
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So what is your reason for making images?
Is this conversation private or can I comment?
I won't wait for an answer.
Alain, you have probably hit the nail on the head here. If we were to do a survey to answer this question we will find as many answers as people we ask. You know that already. It's a worthwhile exercise to listen to what others have to say. We don't have to learn anything from it beyond acknowledging the differences.
This difference also applies to our understanding of what we consider a standard and how it applies to our photos. You probably also know that. I started photographing out of interest in the process. As my interests grew so did my reasons and standards. The interests included commercial, application to my other job, chemistry and physics, technology and history. My standards were different for each application. The standards I chose were often loosely defined and loosely based. Often the standards were worked around concepts like "I'd like to be able to do that" " I can do that" " I can't do that - yet" "I'll never be able to do that" and a few others I can't remember. There never seemed to be a "bar" being raised or reached. It was more about understanding my own abilities at the time and seeing if I could do something different, not necessarily better.
Because I was trained as a teacher and not a photographer I have always tried to balance the standards set by others and the standards achieved by each individual. Internalizing satisfaction is paramount. Competition can be destructive. Setting the bar too high can be equally destructive. It's a juggling act. Ultimately, it's not up to me to set standards others should achieve. Nor is it necessary for any individual to constantly improve to be satisfied with their own work, be it for recreation or for sale.
At the end of my career ( which, by the way, has been as a teacher, not a photographer, although people call me a photographer and not a teacher which indicated to me it is easier for them to see the product of my skills with pictures than it is with the people I have taught) I find myself lowering my standards somewhat, if that's possible. What I mean by that is to be less emphatic about getting it 'right' in any particular way and just enjoying the process once more.
As the Sensei says " as your belt changes from white (beginner) through the colors to black you will become more proficient. Finally, after many years of demonstrating your proficiency your belt will become old and grey and eventually return to white. Then you will begin to learn all over again. And it will be new and exciting because it will be different."
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  #47  
Old December 23rd, 2013, 05:07 AM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Hi, Alain,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alain Briot View Post
Why is that? What are the different kinds of salt?
No, it's a joke, and it refers to the fact that, when a sailor asks for the salt at the mess table, he will almost invariably say, "Pass the fu​cking salt". Thus a particular kind of salt has seemingly been asked for.

Best regards,

Doug
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  #48  
Old December 23rd, 2013, 08:48 AM
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I think Asher's original question here was well put, and we have received (buried among the flurry of rhetoric) some insightful answers.

One layer of the process is that each artist (in whatever field) must develop a framework of "what do I want my work to exhibit". Unless we know that, we can hardly strive rationally to improve the degree to which we attain that.

To some it might be fetching the best price in galleries, or in an online store. Fair enough. But often it is something quite different. It may be some attribute as scored by the "fans", or it might be wholly internal.

With an awareness of that in hand, the rest of the process means giving attention to the all the activities—looking, recognizing, aiming, framing, setting the camera, using raw output and best tweaking the processing (if appropriate), using various postprocessing tools "skillfully"—or not at all, if that fulfills part of your objectives, cropping, and (if pertinent) printing.
"Excuse me, mister, how do you get to Carnegie Hall?

"Practice, my son, practice."
Best regards,

Doug
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  #49  
Old December 23rd, 2013, 08:52 AM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Hi, Tom,
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom dinning View Post
As the Sensei says " as your belt changes from white (beginner) through the colors to black you will become more proficient. Finally, after many years of demonstrating your proficiency your belt will become old and grey and eventually return to white. Then you will begin to learn all over again. And it will be new and exciting because it will be different."
Well said, O-Sensei!

Best regards,

Doug
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  #50  
Old December 23rd, 2013, 02:29 PM
Andy brown Andy brown is offline
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" as your belt changes from white (beginner) through the colors to black you will become more proficient. Finally, after many years of demonstrating your proficiency your belt will become old and grey and eventually return to white. Then you will begin to learn all over again. And it will be new and exciting because it will be different."


Since you say so sensei.
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  #51  
Old December 23rd, 2013, 03:23 PM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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Originally Posted by Alain Briot View Post
So what is your reason for making images?
I think that Tom already answered that one. We may not need any other reason for making images that it pleases us.
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  #52  
Old December 23rd, 2013, 03:39 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Originally Posted by Alain Briot View Post
So what is your reason for making images?

Alain,

This was addressed to Jerome. If I may answer too, (outside of special specifications by request):

For me, there's a drive to sample beauty, happenings and contrasts. After I take the image, it's the further thrill of seeing materialize "likenesses" I merely imagined, and then finally discovering the special form each requires to get a richer life of its own.

Asher
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  #53  
Old December 23rd, 2013, 04:24 PM
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Thank you Asher. My question was originally for Jerome but everyone is welcome to answer it. These are great answers.
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  #54  
Old December 23rd, 2013, 04:30 PM
Tom dinning Tom dinning is offline
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Hi, Tom,

Well said, O-Sensei!

Best regards,

Doug
At last! A bit of respect.

Just in case you thought I was joking, Doug, I was told this story by my Sensei back in 1986 when, after a hard slog and much pain, I was given my Black Belt. The Sensei wasn't any sort of guru, he was the postman by day and the most serene man I have ever met. He was strong, fast, always smiling, smart as a whip, well read, degrees in psychology and sociology and could ride a horse like he was glued to it. Yet he chose to be a postman. When asked why he would say: "why would I want to be anything else?"
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  #55  
Old December 23rd, 2013, 05:58 PM
Cem_Usakligil Cem_Usakligil is offline
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At last! A bit of respect.

Just in case you thought I was joking, Doug, I was told this story by my Sensei back in 1986 when, after a hard slog and much pain, I was given my Black Belt. The Sensei wasn't any sort of guru, he was the postman by day and the most serene man I have ever met. He was strong, fast, always smiling, smart as a whip, well read, degrees in psychology and sociology and could ride a horse like he was glued to it. Yet he chose to be a postman. When asked why he would say: "why would I want to be anything else?"
This was already a great anecdote but with this background info it just became priceless.
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  #56  
Old December 23rd, 2013, 05:59 PM
Cem_Usakligil Cem_Usakligil is offline
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Originally Posted by Jerome Marot View Post
I think that Tom already answered that one. We may not need any other reason for making images than that it pleases us.
Fully agreed. In case one is not a pro photographer, of course.
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  #57  
Old December 23rd, 2013, 11:19 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Originally Posted by Tom dinning View Post
At last! A bit of respect.

Just in case you thought I was joking, Doug, I was told this story by my Sensei back in 1986 when, after a hard slog and much pain, I was given my Black Belt. The Sensei wasn't any sort of guru, he was the postman by day and the most serene man I have ever met. He was strong, fast, always smiling, smart as a whip, well read, degrees in psychology and sociology and could ride a horse like he was glued to it. Yet he chose to be a postman. When asked why he would say: "why would I want to be anything else?"

I was led to believe I needed better sensels to improve my photography, but I can see that all I needed was a sense of where I was going and one Sensei to point the way.

Here, folk tell me they have financial advisors, sports medicine doctors, personal trainers, decorators and life coaches. Never a Sensei.

So it's the mailman, after all! I knew he was charming, but not about his sensei-bilities?! That explains why the women he indulges favor him so with gifts for his gracious visits as soon as all their prosperous men leave to crush the opposition for the day!

Asher
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  #58  
Old December 24th, 2013, 01:12 AM
Tom dinning Tom dinning is offline
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I was led to believe I needed better sensels to improve my photography, but I can see that all I needed was a sense of where I was going and one Sensei to point the way.

Here, folk tell me they have financial advisors, sports medicine doctors, personal trainers, decorators and life coaches. Never a Sensei.

So it's the mailman, after all! I knew he was charming, but not about his sensei-bilities?! That explains why the women he indulges favor him so with gifts for his gracious visits as soon as all their prosperous husbands men leave to crush the opposition for the day!

Asher
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  #59  
Old December 24th, 2013, 03:59 AM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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' standard '..noun, or/and adjective. Here, I guess, it is meant as a noun. And not as a past or present day Roman banner.

So to me, ' standard ' here is used as a noun. And such signifies an objectively measurable quantity, performance, output etc. Also ' standard ' is generally something agreed to by ( approved body, committee etc. )

The end result of. Photography is a visual product. Something that appeals to one's visual senses by triggering an emotional response in the viewer. Or, as is common nowadays, a response can be extracted through the virtue of marketing.

In the end it is the human emotion that is being exited. Fear, sex, happiness, gloom,friendship etc...the emotions of humans ( color is used extensively..white is pure; black is evil ).

When one does not have a clear cut answer, one resorts to the refuge of the ' it means whatever you want it to mean ' syndrome or ploy.

So what is the standard of ' human emotions '.? How does one ' raise ' their photographic standards could be asked by saying ' how does one improve upon the emotional response of a viewer generated by a previous photographic output that one made '?.

For me the answer is simple, unambiguous ( in my own mind ), and straightforward. Feel sincerely for the subject being photographed. Others will feel with you.

Easy to say..difficult to do. I have fallen into a hypocrisy trap many times trying to follow my own belief.
At times like these, I have put the camera away. I would have only been lowering my standards.

And I, for one, find it difficult if not impossible to define a 'standard 'for human emotions and feelings.

p.s I was often used sildenafil to raise my standard, but of arterial dilation of the coronaries.
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  #60  
Old December 24th, 2013, 08:04 AM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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This discussion has zigged and zagged, caromed off the walls as if in some bizarre handball court, occasionally striking a glancing blow to the players' egos. Its propulsive energy comes from the many paradoxes and conundrums of the topic, which inflame our mortal minds.

But now, perhaps as is expected in this season of Christmas (I refer both the the religious and secular holidays), it has settled into the warm and compatible (if not wholly harmonized) reflections of a group of fine and thoughtful people.

Merry Christmas, my friends.

Doug
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