(Really) Stunning Pictures and Photos

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Photography is a very powerful medium and a very difficult craft. Excellent photos don’t only display some facts — they tell stories, awake feelings and manage to share with the audience the emotions a photographer experienced when clicking the shot button. Taking excellent pictures is damn hard as you need to find a perfect perspective and consider the perfect timing. To achieve brilliant photography you need practice and patience. However, it is worth it: the results can be truly stunning.

Below you’ll find 50 brilliant photos and stunning pictures — some pictures tell stories, some are incredibly beautiful, some are funny and some are very sad.

All pictures are copyright of their respective owners. Please explore the further work of the photographers by browsing through their work. We’ve tried to cover different themes so that everybody will find something interesting and spectacular for himself / herself. All screenshots are linked und lead to the pages from which they’ve been taken.

You may also want to take a look at the following posts:

(Really) Stunning Pictures and Photos

Water and a Girl3
Beautiful composition, excellent scenery, amazing play of colors.

Mind-Blowing Photos - water4

The Ball is Coming!5
Analogue shot with Seagull 6×6 (Chinese clone of Rolleiflex), made in 1983. “The gulfball is suspended on a fishing line in front of the camera. It was a stormy day. So I had to shoot 5 or 6 films for getting one image with the ball in the center position AND a light reflection on the golf club.”

Mind-Blowing Photos - Hey Tina! When you see this: Call me! I'm not angry with you any longer ....6

Sky7
The sky is reflected in a drop of water. Beautiful scenery.

Mind-Blowing Photos - : Sky8

Returning to the same ocean9
Beautiful sand textures, beautiful composition and somehow a very sad story hidden behind the image.

Mind-Blowing Photos - Returning to the same ocean.10

Tree11
A colorful tree from a different perspective.

Mind-Blowing Photos - FFFFOUND!12

Gizmo13
How adorable is that?

Mind-Blowing Photos - Gizmo14

Glittery Ball15
“The reflection in this water droplet, it looks like the glitter is stuck to the water, but NO, it is reflections from the glitter on the feather.”

Mind-Blowing Photos - Glittery Ball16

Yaw? Weeeee17
You probably shouldn’t try this in your local trains. Such pictures are unforgettable.

Mind-Blowing Photos - Yaw? Weeeee18

Leap of Faith19
What does being one step away from falling into the abyss feel like? The photo is taken by Paul Perton.

Mind-Blowing Photos - Leap of Faith20

Astronaut Self-shot Over Earth21
Could this be the best self-shot ever? It’s truly out of this world.

Mind-Blowing Photos - Astronaut Self-shot Over Earth22

Autumn in red23
Pure beauty. No words are necessary.

Mind-Blowing Photos - Autumn in red24

FlickrMeeting – Genova – G325
Blue baloon, a small detail, gives the picture an incredible power.

Mind-Blowing Photos - FlickrMeeting - Genova - G3 - [Ghe semmu + DieciCento + Milanoue!!W ]26

Sea in the sea27
Incredible scenery. Apparently, the shot was made on the boat in the middle of the sea.

Mind-Blowing Photos - FFFFOUND!28

If I was an old building…29
“If I was an old building I would want to be by the ocean. Till’ the end of times”. Photographed at the old fishing piers of the Texas Bolivar Peninsula.

Mind-Blowing Photos - If I was an old building..... by `foureyes on deviantART30

Bee the Cat31
“It’s hard to get the right exposure, with them being white, and with the fact they don’t stay still unless they’re sleeping.”

Mind-Blowing Photos - bee32

Passing the Golden Gate Bridge33

Mind-Blowing Photos - Passing the Golden Gate Bridge34

Glow35
Smoke from a leaf pile.

Mind-Blowing Photos - g l o w by Haneck - DPChallenge36

Swimming pool37
Taking a look at the swimming pool. From a quite different perspective.

Mind-Blowing Photos - FFFFOUND!38

Reflect39
A reflection from the louvre’s pyramid.

Mind-Blowing Photos - reflect40

Time To Go Home…41
“Tthe way the birds are lined up makes the composition extraordinary fantastic.”

Mind-Blowing Photos - Time To Go Home...42

Seagull on a sign43
This seagull seems to have its own personal understanding of human’s rules.

Mind-Blowing Photos - Seagull on a sign44

Marshmellow girl45
A beautiful composition.

Mind-Blowing Photos - Photo46

Refashioned Dahlia47
Photo taken at Duncan Garden in Spokane, WA.

Mind-Blowing Photos - Refashioned Dahlia48

Bird and Meat49

Mind-Blowing Photos - Photo50

Water drop51
A photo taken at the exact right time. Available as a desktop wallpaper in various resolutions.

Mind-Blowing Photos - Another 17 Fantastic Free Wallpaper Images | Crestock.com Blog52

Mt. Fuji53

Mind-Blowing Photos - Mt. Fuji54

Two ways at looking at a fish55

Mind-Blowing Photos - Photo56

Blessed fog57
A shot of Grande Madre di Dio in Torino, Italy.

Mind-Blowing Photos - blessed fog58

Family of bugs59

Mind-Blowing Photos - Photo60

Pigeon Point Lighthouse61
“Once per year at the Pigeon Point Lighthouse they shut down the weak insipid modern (presumably electric) light and switch over the the 5 kerosene lamps and fresnel lens of the original, as it was 135 years ago.”

Mind-Blowing Photos - Pigeon Point Lighthouse62

Fire Shot63
Location: Changa Beach, Coquimbo.

Mind-Blowing Photos - FIRE SHOT64

A conversation65
Fox, bird and snow. This picture is titled “Good afternoon, my name is chikiricuatro”.

Mind-Blowing Photos - Photo66

Shanghai – Acrobatic67
Picture taken during an acrobatic show in a Shanghainese theatre.

Mind-Blowing Photos - CHINA - Shanghai - Acrobatic68

Northern lights as seen from space69

Mind-Blowing Photos - Digg - Northern lights as seen from space (Pic)70

Crystal clarity71

Mind-Blowing Photos - Photo72

Skier’s Paradise73
“Climbing partner at 17,000′ on Denali carrying his skis down to around 16,200′ where he will be able to ski down the rest of the way to base camp at 7200′.”

Mind-Blowing Photos - Skier's Paradise74

Bird and Water75

Mind-Blowing Photos - Photo76

Photograph Taken at the Exact Right Time77

Mind-Blowing Photos - Sawse - Stir it Up! » Blog Archive » 25 Photographs Taken at the Exact Right Time78

All alone.79
This shot is taken on a Norway’s cliff Prekestolen (also known as Preacher’s Pulpit).

Mind-Blowing Photos - Photo80

Looking out of the window81

Mind-Blowing Photos - Photo82

Above the clouds83
The shot taken during the flight from Vienna to Frankfurt, approaching Frankfurt.

Mind-Blowing Photos - above the clouds84

The Waves85

Mind-Blowing Photos - teahupoo_1.jpg (JPEG-Grafik, 1280x821 Pixel)86

The Waves. One more time.87

Mind-Blowing Photos - FFFFOUND!88

Cockfight89
Taken by Jan Sochor.

Mind-Blowing Photos - Cockfight – Photo Essay – Jan Sochor90

Polar lights91
Öxarárfoss in Iceland – Aurora Borealis taken by Arnar Valdimarsson.

Mind-Blowing Photos - Photo92

Concentration93

Mind-Blowing Photos - Photo94

Cat and deer95

Mind-Blowing Photos - Photo96

Here floats a bubble in the air…97

Mind-Blowing Photos - he floats a bubble in the air...98

A girl portrait99

Mind-Blowing Photos - Photo100

Sources and Resources

You’ll find many more excellent photos, illustrations and pictures on the following sites:

  • Pixdaus.com101
    A social community dedicated to sharing photos. Pixdaus is a place where anyone can post his pictures, photos and others rate it. If it’s cool it gets to the main page and more people can enjoy it.
  • Ffffound.com102
    Image bookmarking. An invitation-based service.

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Footnotes

  1. 1 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/02/12/really-stunning-desktop-wallpapers/
  2. 2 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/03/10/35-fantastic-hdr-pictures/
  3. 3 http://www.flickr.com/photos/quizz/2305516912/
  4. 4 http://www.flickr.com/photos/quizz/2305516912/
  5. 5 http://www.flickr.com/photos/konderminator/1352838736/
  6. 6 http://www.flickr.com/photos/konderminator/1352838736/
  7. 7 http://www.flickr.com/photos/7241355@N04/2443637808/sizes/l/
  8. 8 http://www.flickr.com/photos/7241355@N04/2443637808/sizes/l/
  9. 9 http://www.flickr.com/photos/alikhurshid/496143156/
  10. 10 http://www.flickr.com/photos/alikhurshid/496143156/
  11. 11 http://ffffound.com/image/656fae7f58bd143f7f8dfc67e1b42299ac8d8257?c=800688
  12. 12 http://ffffound.com/image/656fae7f58bd143f7f8dfc67e1b42299ac8d8257?c=800688
  13. 13 http://www.flickr.com/photos/todorrovic/2287792473/
  14. 14 http://www.flickr.com/photos/todorrovic/2287792473/
  15. 15 http://ninazdesign.deviantart.com/art/Glittery-Ball-II-43430022
  16. 16 http://ninazdesign.deviantart.com/art/Glittery-Ball-II-43430022
  17. 17 http://incredimazing.com/page/Yaw_Weeeee
  18. 18 http://incredimazing.com/page/Yaw_Weeeee
  19. 19 http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulperton/
  20. 20 http://www.flickr.com/photos/paulperton/
  21. 21 http://www.flickr.com/photos/22116941@N06/2207918764/
  22. 22 http://www.flickr.com/photos/22116941@N06/2207918764/
  23. 23 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=16483
  24. 24 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=16483
  25. 25 http://www.flickr.com/photos/jody_art/1433425995/
  26. 26 http://www.flickr.com/photos/jody_art/1433425995/
  27. 27 http://ffffound.com/image/d0bfcaa674f91ba195e37e2ac2bbe59ad73ce1b2?c=825271
  28. 28 http://ffffound.com/image/d0bfcaa674f91ba195e37e2ac2bbe59ad73ce1b2?c=825271
  29. 29 http://foureyes.deviantart.com/art/If-I-was-an-old-building-33538946
  30. 30 http://foureyes.deviantart.com/art/If-I-was-an-old-building-33538946
  31. 31 http://www.flickr.com/photos/lutty/2258884774/
  32. 32 http://www.flickr.com/photos/lutty/2258884774/
  33. 33 http://incredimazing.com/page/Passing_the_Golden_Gate_Bridge
  34. 34 http://incredimazing.com/page/Passing_the_Golden_Gate_Bridge
  35. 35 http://dpchallenge.com/image.php?IMAGE_ID=621334
  36. 36 http://dpchallenge.com/image.php?IMAGE_ID=621334
  37. 37 http://ffffound.com/image/fc0cf35defd734d487da86d69d65facd1674baed?c=837090
  38. 38 http://ffffound.com/image/fc0cf35defd734d487da86d69d65facd1674baed?c=837090
  39. 39 http://www.flickr.com/photos/franklumix/134418433/
  40. 40 http://www.flickr.com/photos/franklumix/134418433/
  41. 41 http://www.flickr.com/photos/brncos3/2270202145/
  42. 42 http://www.flickr.com/photos/brncos3/2270202145/
  43. 43 http://www.flickr.com/photos/sameli/1898511953/
  44. 44 http://www.flickr.com/photos/sameli/1898511953/
  45. 45 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=14245
  46. 46 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=14245
  47. 47 http://www.flickr.com/photos/my_planet_by_jim/1397633226/
  48. 48 http://www.flickr.com/photos/my_planet_by_jim/1397633226/
  49. 49 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=11942
  50. 50 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=11942
  51. 51 http://www.crestock.com/blog/photography/another-17-fantastic-free-wallpaper-images-96.aspx
  52. 52 http://www.crestock.com/blog/photography/another-17-fantastic-free-wallpaper-images-96.aspx
  53. 53 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=6528
  54. 54 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=6528
  55. 55 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=22790
  56. 56 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=22790
  57. 57 http://www.flickr.com/photos/regolare/2210994807/
  58. 58 http://www.flickr.com/photos/regolare/2210994807/
  59. 59 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=8402
  60. 60 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=8402
  61. 61 http://www.flickr.com/photos/mumbleyjoe/2043508173/
  62. 62 http://www.flickr.com/photos/mumbleyjoe/2043508173/
  63. 63 http://www.flickr.com/photos/julio_salinas/215778708/
  64. 64 http://www.flickr.com/photos/julio_salinas/215778708/
  65. 65 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=32810
  66. 66 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=32810
  67. 67 http://www.flickr.com/photos/92706698@N00/517330477/
  68. 68 http://www.flickr.com/photos/92706698@N00/517330477/
  69. 69 http://digg.com/space/Northern_lights_as_seen_from_space_Pic
  70. 70 http://digg.com/space/Northern_lights_as_seen_from_space_Pic
  71. 71 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=17713
  72. 72 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=17713
  73. 73 http://www.flickr.com/photos/52756285@N00/1390662667/
  74. 74 http://www.flickr.com/photos/52756285@N00/1390662667/
  75. 75 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=1935
  76. 76 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=1935
  77. 77 http://www.sawse.com/2007/11/02/25-photographs-taken-at-the-exact-right-time/
  78. 78 http://www.sawse.com/2007/11/02/25-photographs-taken-at-the-exact-right-time/
  79. 79 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=1559
  80. 80 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=1559
  81. 81 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=33451
  82. 82 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=33451
  83. 83 http://www.flickr.com/photos/michi_p/1543561453/
  84. 84 http://www.flickr.com/photos/michi_p/1543561453/
  85. 85 http://www.ferket.com/jvlt/images/teahupoo_1.jpg
  86. 86 http://www.ferket.com/jvlt/images/teahupoo_1.jpg
  87. 87 http://ffffound.com/image/490122709f47a7c2198a02eb691d7e9560419140
  88. 88 http://ffffound.com/image/490122709f47a7c2198a02eb691d7e9560419140
  89. 89 http://www.jansochor.com/photo-essay/cockfight.html
  90. 90 http://www.jansochor.com/photo-essay/cockfight.html
  91. 91 http://flickr.com/photos/arnar
  92. 92 http://flickr.com/photos/arnar
  93. 93 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=12890
  94. 94 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=12890
  95. 95 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=19788
  96. 96 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=19788
  97. 97 http://www.flickr.com/photos/d_oracle/253625459/
  98. 98 http://www.flickr.com/photos/d_oracle/253625459/
  99. 99 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=26615
  100. 100 http://pixdaus.com/single.php?id=26615
  101. 101 http://www.pixdaus.com
  102. 102 http://www.ffffound.com
  103. 103 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/02/12/really-stunning-desktop-wallpapers/
  104. 104 http://www.smashingmagazine.com/2008/03/10/35-fantastic-hdr-pictures/

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Vitaly Friedman loves beautiful content and doesn’t like to give in easily. Vitaly is writer, speaker, author and editor-in-chief of Smashing Magazine. He runs responsive Web design workshops, online workshops and loves solving complex performance problems in large companies. Get in touch.

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  1. 1

    Wow
    these are breath taking
    i have to wonder though, are they all real? like seriously?
    because i didn’t think the world could be that beautiful…

    0
  2. 102

    Absolutely Amazing!

    #3, #29 and #30 are fantastic work.

    0
  3. 203

    It is awesome

    0
  4. 304

    awesome pictures…. pure beauty.

    0
  5. 405

    As a photographer, I love posts like this. From a design vs. bandwidth standpoint I am encourage that you included so many images in your post. I tend to stay away from including more than 5 images that size. I’m probably living in a time years ago before high speed internet was around.

    I might start listing my individual portfolio pages` with the full size images in line. I’m just thinking.

    Great photography and very inspiring. The world is an amazing place and it’s the photographer’s job to interpret and express it.

    0
  6. 506

    @Sylvia
    The image of the cockfight I think is a truly amazing image. The subject matter may be morally reprehensible, but sometimes photographers and photo editors must side on presenting truth and reality. Think of the images that real combat / war photographers present to us. Think of the images burned into our minds from the holocaust. Evocative, powerful, and instructive.

    0
  7. 607

    All alone.
    This shot is taken on a Norway’s cliff Prekestolen (also known as Preacher’s Pulpit).
    this will make you piss in your pants.

    0
  8. 708

    really superb!!!

    0
  9. 809

    fanfuckintastic

    0
  10. 910

    Those of you that think you are all high and mighty and come here and slam this post with your demeaning comments and think you know all there is to know about photography need to get off your computers and go back to school and take a pre-photography 101 class. You need to go find out what real photography is all about. It’s not about perfect this or perfect that or something being completely free of post camera tricks. It’s what’s in the photographers eye and it’s what the photographers brain interprets as that image in the eye as it should be on paper and if that image on paper is a quality representation of what the photographer was attempting to convey then who are you to tell us or the photographer that these images on this post are worthless dribble? Start all over with your photography education my friends and dump those expensive fancy overpriced digital cameras that you think make you great photographers. Go build your own little darkroom and spend about five years making images with a homemade shoe box pin hole camera. Then bring your results here and let US critique them. Until then learn to be nice and offer positive criticism. I for one find many of these images quite stunning and I have been studying photography and taking pictures for forty years. I have many awards for pictures much less stunning an impressive than most of these. Kudos to you smashing for rising above those that choose to be close minded and view the world with blinders on.

    0
  11. 1011

    very beautiful pictures.

    0
  12. 1112

    Mind Blowing ………………………………………………………….!

    0
  13. 1213

    hmmm. it has a mesmeric charm.. i was spell bound.

    0
  14. 1314

    cannot single out the best. they are all exquisite!!!

    0
  15. 1415

    awesome pics… ive been to the show in shanghai… and i must agree it was a really great show…

    0
  16. 1516

    Is it just me, or is “Seagull on a Sign” a fake? The bird on the sign and the bird on top of the sign have the EXACT SAME OUTLINE. That’d be just shy of impossible, if not completely impossible.

    0
  17. 1617

    simply Superb..

    0
  18. 1718

    saravanakumar.R

    April 30, 2008 2:47 am

    Simply Marvlous

    0
  19. 1819

    What do you lamers always say “photoshop”?? You’re idiots.

    0
  20. 1920

    Amazing photos. The caption of photo number 3 is inaccurate. The sky is not “reflected,” simply, the drop acts as a simple lens, inverting the image. Great work thought!

    0
  21. 2021

    no puedo dejar de admirarme con estas fotografías, esto es arte puro… gracias!

    0
  22. 2122

    im pretty sure the bird one is fake. the outlines are identical.

    still rad though.

    0
  23. 2223

    You’re right, the one with the seagull is a photoshop. Why would there be a no seagulls sign? Do they really expect them to obey? Unless it means, ‘don’t feed the seagulls’. In any case, it’s fake, because the silohuette is exactly the same.

    This picture is as old as the internet.

    0
  24. 2324

    Oh my gosh, the bubble one was so pretty, … I also really liked the water droplet and the glitter.

    0
  25. 2425

    Fantastic…

    0
  26. 2526

    The best advert for eyes I’ve seen recently.

    0
  27. 2627

    Oh my god! Amazing photographs.

    0
  28. 2728

    Excelentes excelentes

    0
  29. 2829

    superbbb… no words to express…each n every shot is taken with mind blowing perception… great themes… hats off……..

    0
  30. 2930

    jovianjokerjoe

    May 1, 2008 10:20 pm

    these photographs are awesome, but the short description/comment on them is irritating. before i can see the photograph, i’m confronted by someone else’s opinion on it. it doesnt allow me to appreciate the photo or form my own opinion on it. instead of putting it before the photograph, you could put it afterwards with a couple of linebreaks in between, or better still, put it as an alternate text so that a mouseover brings it up.
    i hope you’ll keep this in mind in future posts.

    0
  31. 3031

    Really Awesome .!!!
    Great Work….

    0
  32. 3132

    Great!! Simply Great Photographs!

    0
  33. 3233

    I’m with you, no further comment necessary. They are SO striking!

    0
  34. 3334

    Very nice photos!
    Veoma lepe slike!

    0
  35. 3435

    Whether these were done by “artsists” or “amateurs” where are the photocredits? Have you asked permission from the photographers to make money from their work in this way? This type of image rip-off has become all too common – I am curious how you justify it?

    0
  36. 3536

    I agree with the previous post by Red Cedar. How do you justify displaying people’s without asking permission from the photographers?

    0
  37. 3637

    Although I love most of the pictures displayed, I don’t like them all. Not all of them are as good as I expect them to be at Smashing Magazines. “Cat and deer”, “Leap of Faith” and “Photograph Taken at the Exact Right Time” are funny, and I would be very proud if they were my vacation pictures, but great timing doesn’t make a picture great. And we’ve seen the water drops falling a thousand times before. Furthermore, I agree with Red Cedar and jovianjokerjoe. This is not a bad post, its a bad Smashing Magazine post. It’s not as good as others at Smashing Magazine, and that’s a shame. I hope next posts will be as good as the ones before this one.

    0
  38. 3738

    Kaustubh Joshi

    May 3, 2008 4:16 am

    ‘Nature’ the loving living God!!! Thought provoking for sure.Human element just tries to improve upon the natural SILENCE.Thank you guys.

    0
  39. 3839

    awesome……………….

    0
  40. 3940

    webpixelkonsum

    May 3, 2008 7:33 am

    fantastic

    0
  41. 4041

    The one of the cock fight makes me sick. What’s so great about an image depicting something so senseless and wrong (and illegal)?

    0
  42. 4142

    Stuning and Great!!

    0
  43. 4243

    fantastic pictures of moments that can happen only ones in a life time.. the right time at the right moment…. congratulations

    0
  44. 4344

    morvelous….beautiful colors,unique angles!

    0
  45. 4445

    This is at Scott, who seems to dislike critics from non-photo-veterans. Scott, our (speaking for those who feel just as attacked by you as I do) lack of experience with photography, doesn’t make us incapable of judging an image. Although we probably won’t be able to explain why we feel about a picture as we do, as you could, we still feel something when we look at it. And that is, I think, the essence of a good photo. Let me explain.

    I don’t believe photography is about “what’s in the photographers eye and what the photographers brain interprets as that image in the eye as it should be on paper and if that image on paper is a quality representation of what the photographer was attempting to convey then who are we and so on“. Because art (photography is art, I’m sure you agree) is about feelings. Art creates feelings, feelings create art. Art creates fashion, fashion creates feelings, feelings creates art.

    What a photographer sees, what image he creates in his head, if this image is formed by the artists feeling, and how successful he is in enrapturing that feeling in his final picture (with or without photoshop), will in the end determine if the result is a photo, or a snapshot. And whoever you are, experienced or not, looking at a real photo, you can understand, you live trough his moment, you feel that feeling.

    There are photo’s in this post, that lack that experience. Snapshots. Photo’s that don’t make me feel. They make me think, maybe, but not feel. I don’t get connected with the photographer. I don’t need 40 years of holding a camera for that. I just have to be human.

    Some of these photo’s are snapshots.

    0
  46. 4546

    Makes me want to get out with my camera again!

    0
  47. 4647

    Can’t you make some effort to identify the animals, e.g.a ladybird, blue-tit a sparrow and a magpie. What kind of deer/cockerel are they?

    Reminds me of a supermarket selling “curved yellow fruit”

    0
  48. 4748

    REALLY SUPERB

    0
  49. 4849

    kool pics…….very interesting……Really Like !!!!!!!

    0
  50. 4950

    The images make me throw my camera away.

    0

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