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How to Be a Commercial Photographer

Lesson 19 of 34

Shoot: Beer Bottle Ad

Rob Grimm, Gary Martin, Aaron Nace

How to Be a Commercial Photographer

Rob Grimm, Gary Martin, Aaron Nace

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Lesson Info

19. Shoot: Beer Bottle Ad

Lesson Info

Shoot: Beer Bottle Ad

So we're gonna shoot a bud light platinum image today we're going to do this with two bottles and basically two beer pours we only have one glass, so we're going we're going to use it twice in two different positions we have not put had time to put the set up yet I have an idea in my mind of what we're gonna do and we're just gonna go in we're gonna build that, so you're going to see it live uh hopefully they'll go ok let's get it done well, we've only got three hours to do this usually takes us the six way better hurry we'd better do let's go so first thing was under old the background a little bit let's get it up a little bit high so we can have it look good, we have some pony clamps, a couple of ponies to keep it from a run in wait so what we're going to do now we're going to create a set start unrolling the police were going to create a set that is going to be to bud light platinum bottles and two beers we're talking about sociability, people drinking together that time stuff we wa...

nted to be in a very dark environment, we want it to feel like it's going to be go ahead and clean up that I think, um kind of nightclub type scene so we're going to set up a back, a black background? Do you have a claim on it? Not yet. Go ahead and put one on because it's going to run like crazy. Um, that's going to prevent it from running off us and let's go up with it. Okay, so we're starting this. We want this thing actually to be pretty high. We're gonna go a little bit higher, gary, just in case we got some footprints down there. Hopefully we won't see those. All right? So back, blackground. We're gonna have this thing it's gonna have flares coming into. We're going to go intentionally bare bulb, which means we're not gonna have any light wildfire on light whatsoever. We're gonna have two lights that are going to be flaring right into the lens. I want to give it kind of this, you know, nightclub eglow. Thes bottles are really very difficult to shoot because they're very dark there. Cobalt blue. They're also extremely reflective, and right now you can see that they don't have any appetit appeal on them. They're just regular bottles, a couple things that we've done to them first and foremost, we these air production bottles, so the labels aren't going to be again perfectly straight. You can see how the platinum is a little bit crooked but we're going to straighten that out in post with our boy aaron uh this's what the bottle looks like this kind of straight out right we took off the back label we completely cleaned it off and then I have sprayed it you can see the back of that bottle is a little bit dull and the reason it is's because I used this mat spray on the back of it um basically we prep these bottles by stripping them completely cleaning them all up then we spray the back with mat spray that allows light to be diffuse as it comes through and it gives the bottle better beer glow also in orderto allow our spritz and slush to stick to the front of it it needs a little bit of tooth so we use a gloss on the front we want the bottle toe look glossy again so we go ahead and we put mat on the back and gloss on the front so you gotta give each one three coats this is something you want to do well ahead of time I honestly like to have a full day just to spray bottles I'll spray one code on the back we rushed a little bit yesterday but osprey one cut on the back wait an hour spray another one wait an hour spring another one turn it and then do the front same thing and then I usually like to let him cure overnight the longer they cure, the better they stay on set without question so those are going to be two of my hero bottles and I'm gonna pull those out here and start to put myself together a little bit and we also need to get our glass out somebody wanna unwrap this for me because I don't wanna do it don't do that for me well I get a couple lights together so right now we're going to get ahead on this thing and we're gonna bearable but we're gonna hang it kind of right over our set I want to get it to flare intentionally some intentional gonna tweak out the center a little bit on this camera and hopefully get a really nice flare one thing that you'll notice about this moving the light just a skosh is going to make a huge difference in the way the flare looks let's grab a head okay so take any you know you know light head I'm gonna get rid of the reflector with grit in it and you can tell moving a little bit faster than yesterday I'm also going to remove the protective cap when I do a flare I tend to see a little bit of the bulb and if I've got this protective cap on it which by the way I always want to have on it cause I wantto protect that flash to it does light up and it creates a big white spot. So I want to avoid that at all costs to tell you the truth. So I take that off and I'm gonna put my head up here. So, uh, I have a tendency to always hang lights over my set. Um, makes some people nervous, doesn't really making me nervous because that's where they go makes everything work a whole lot better. So let's put it in number one, which is the right way to do it. Okay, if there's another sandbag in the studio, I would absolutely love to see that work its way out here so that this light isn't so bouncy. Yeah, a couple is not a bad idea. Thank you, sir. I think it's really well wrapped. Don't touch it, it's cool. We're gonna do a lot. Thank you. Okay, so this is gonna be our hero glass and we're gonna take one bottle. The first thing I'm gonna do is I'm going to figure out my composition, right? So, patent I talked a little bit about this what we wanted to accomplish, um, number one, when we're working with beverages, we like to do multiples sometimes we shoot just a single bottle, but often, when it comes to beer and other spirits we're showing multiple because we want to show the social ability of drinking that is that usually not something you do by yourself um sometimes you can but we like to show that you're doing it together so we're gonna have a couple bottles awesome thank you I appreciate the way you put this on the pan had for me okay, so I'm going to start to rough out my composition here so first thing I'm gonna do is I'm gonna switch this because today I'm shooting vertically no let's go ahead and turn it on and I want to bring it in actually fairly close to this other guy if you wouldn't mind so I want a really low heroic angle on this one because the low is the table will allow me, which means I'm probably gonna run out of room on my background that's probably pretty good that's so yeah, uh I don't know let's start there and we'll go from there, man. So right now what I'm doing is I'm firming up my composition and take a look at it and I am too close for this particular land so I'm gonna have to roll back ever so slightly we're gonna have to go quite a ways with that background I think yeah take care unit someone help me anyone that would be great to gary unfortunately, you may need to give it it's well, no, you can go up with it I'm sorry. You don't need to give it a more slack right now. It's probably all right, do you anticipate all these footprints being annexed? They might I don't anticipate it. I think you're going to be far enough back and and it's going to be backlit enough just given more things for erin to do you know aaron needs stuff to deal with questions? Is that all the way up? Let me call right bottom keep going so I want to create an angle almost like you're really low looking up at this bottle kind of like it's on a heroic bar I want to give the bottles are heroic field if you look at my work, I tend to do that the bottles are shot from a little bit low to make them seem a little bit monolithic that helps elevate the brand that helps sell the sell the brand a little bit better. It just puts them more of a kind of an iconic position that if I'm coming straight at an angle or straight on it that looks straight rub uh, right side up a little bit do you now down a little bit on the right side sorry, okay first frame it's going it's going to absolutely without question look terrible because that's where we start from okay so first and foremost there's kind of an interesting flair already going on high really like what's happening with this boca coming right down the middle that's actually not bad at all my glass is horrific lee spotted which you can tell because it's been packed away so actually I'm really encouraged about this this is this is going to go in the right direction hopefully fairly quickly so now they say that I'm probably jinx myself and I am a little bit superstitious when it comes to photography without question so I'm gonna raise this guy up a little bit gary, I think today we might get to the point where we're gonna want some camera whole diffusion right o the pan had did fire correctly correct I think it did yeah, ok turn that up a little bit let's get it on a c arm and get it at the ready so all my sets can actually wind up being fairly complicated and fairly tight. I do spend a good amount of time thinking about where I'm putting my stuff because the more complicated of a scent I make, the harder it is to get around and you want you want to think about that when you're building your sets if you make a really tight set that's impossible to move in you're gonna have a problem okay? We're gonna start with this up just a little bit so what we're gonna wind up doing, I can almost guarantee it is we're gonna wind up cutting a hole in this diffusion, dropping it in front of the lens and putting a light behind it in order to light the front of those bottles. I still need going to need to get bottled, the bottles to glow. Uh, we're going to do that with cards. And, uh, we're gonna add some more interest in the background because that ain't very that either pop another one. See what we look like. That's. Kind of cool. What do you think of that initial flare? That's coming now go back one encore. Cary, do me a favor. Would you go side by side with those? And so you see if you can crop him down side by side. I'd love to see what the one on the right looks like. If we pull some of that, uh, that top off and go and put it on eleven by fourteen crop on it so immediately what I want to do. I like that very first shot. Surprisingly, that usually never happens. But I liked where that first one was going and I want to put in eleven by fourteen crop on it again that's going to my portfolio that's going to how it's going to be printed in ads when it winds up as an ad so I'm gonna put that on now and I'm going to get rid of the extraneous stuff that's on the outside that allows me to really think about this entire frame the total composition which is what I'm going for so if I want to bring that first light down again when I raised it up and you could see it if I want to bring it down to get more that flare hopefully I can just crop out that white part and I won't have to worry about actually removing it in post I'll have enough room to crop it how's that look that's not bad I'd actually widen it just a little bit if you wouldn't mind okay uh right there that's the second frame right that's the last image ok yeah that's not bad let's go ahead I'm gonna lower this just a bit okay pop it okay pop it again so what I'm doing again I apologize for turning my back to you I'm not meaning to but what I'm doing is slowly I've loosen this guy and I'm just holding that c arm with my with my hand and I just want to make incremental movements pop another and I want to see what it looks like again let's take a look at those last few because it's I'm just doing a subtle movement with it I want to see if that glare is getting in a better spot would you like it, man that's cool only on the earlier ones only thing this tangent was a lot harder like that was bothering me that's all dreamy like there was if you go back to some of the earlier yeah yeah go individually like I just think that's too much yeah okay what is it still in the new orleans like this it's this side's like fading off now in the new orleans like the new orleans I like let's just have a side with this and the very last one I like this idea dropping off a lot, man, which is all right I was trying to swing that even mawr in the corner yeah it's really close. I mean, I think I want to go just a little bit more I think it would feel good if it's coming because right now it's it's too much on top of that everything's very so just tea go over what pat and I have talked about this earlier shot that was kind of interesting but one it was hanging right on top and it was just a little too much and it didn't fade quite well enough as we slowly started to lower and swing that that flare around it's still kind of hovering a little bit over the bottle too much, but it's gotten a nice kind of fade into it, it's just a little hit of it. I'm gonna have that bottle there, that glass here, which I think we don't have enough room for him after accommodate that when it comes back, but I'm the swing, that guy over a little more? No, okay, I think I'm really gonna have to drag you further, starting to lose it. So what I'm doing right now is I'm looking at the lens, and I'm seeing where this thing is, where this light is hitting remember, I'm intentionally bringing flare into it, so I just made a couple moves, and I'm gonna I'm gonna pause for a second. I'm going to take a look in that lens, and I'm going to see where that that modeling light is hitting the lens, so if I don't like it and I want to make an adjustment, I'll have that in my memory, so I know, ok? That's, where it hit, I'm gonna make a move. If my move winds up being worse, I want to go back in a one of a kind of remember where things where like that's a little too far is kind of cool though. I like the way it's even it's coming in front of the bottle. You like it? My only problem with the other one. I just have I'm having a hard time with the two angles coming together, like on the one on the yeah, this this guy with that? Okay, well, we're here now, which is better it's kind of funky. Yeah. Uh, I think we should turn up the power a little bit to see what happens. Those air weird. I don't know what those little ufo's are there you can see there is so little light out here you can see how this is just breaking up like crazy it's just dark is plugged up. It's really kind of gross but that's okay, we're not we're not done yet. And remember, I build things up one light at a time, right? So I'm starting with with my two main lights. I know what the panhead is going to give me that little bit of light that's coming down with his hop. I want to light up the ellipses it's also going to be the main light that I used to catch for the silver card when I want to get light to push through the bottles um I'm just going to build this up systematically I'm going to start here and then I'm going to add another white I'm gonna add another white until I feel like I've crafted this thing the right way keep in mind none of these bottles or dressed either meaning they don't have the all their spread since wash on it yet I'm going to get the composition where I wanted to be a hotel like that a lot nice that's money I like it I like it man that were this weird thing is now doubled in the bottle but I don't I don't even know if I mind it I don't know what it is well I don't know what it is is actually it's actually the direct reflection of the ring itself so and looking at it I know what it is they're two things is happening one this flash is going and it's hitting the lens and it's causing the flare we're also actually seeing that shape this is the flash tube itself and it's just happens to be how it's showing up that's the roundness of the flash tube so this is a highlight that's being created by the flash tube that's actually the flash to being reflected in the glass and probably we're seeing it in a place here that's in triplicate because we're seeing it on the multiple lenses keep in mind the inside of the lens is comprised of a siri's of different pieces of glass that are all stacked together each one political pieces of glass has a surface that's going to reflect so it's hitting that and it's reflecting on each one of those that make sense all right how's that thing looking okay you're cleaning glass just hold it up like it's never ending so it's it's almost never going to be perfect um we go through a lot of beer who is that without question go through a lot of your uh sorry to walk off set guys I don't mean to but something I need to find hey carrie do you have any idea what we do with the chopsticks oh sweet thank you. Thanks chopsticks or interesting I'm going to tell you about these in a bit um I use chopsticks with beer all the time uh it probably will make no sense to you but uh that's what we do that's how precise rob can eat beer he doesn't chop sticks uh paper towels too I forgot to ask for a roll of paper tells them to keep asking for stuff this is so sweet thanks, pat um uh there's also I think that there's a uh a paper bag over there that we can use for trash can because I'll go through this stuff so all right I'll give you a little clue about this uh chopsticks there is a enzyme in would that reacts with the carbonation in the beer and it's how I make my beer go um I actually stir up the beer in order to get the beer head toe look the way at once and I do that with a chopstick I just put this in here because I want to kill a little of carbonation because I'm gonna pour it into this glass is gonna act as my dummy beer and I'm going to try to kill some of it so it's not hugely going everywhere of course that's probably not going to be what actually happens, but we're gonna add some in here and rob you'd normally do all this yourself I do and pretty photo had ass are is everything usually assembled when the client gets here? Or is someone like pat usually watching you do all of this? Uh that depends what I usually have going on is I got the set pretty roughed in what I do a pre light day before every shoot meaning we go through production and we sit down and we build the set and we put it all together beforehand, so when he walks in, I've got something to show him I'm not just like, okay, I'm going to start building the set if I do that, I've wasted his entire morning he's a busy guy he's got way too much to do so he's gotta come in and see something it's not necessarily final, but it may be I may have gotten to the point where it's really pretty damn good and it just needs a little bit of fine tuning that's actually the place where I like to be I like to get so much of my pre light done and out of the way the clients come in and we're so close that it's just a matter of fine tuning and tweaking makes the day go a lot faster and it makes you get into the next set of shots, which is which is coming next so looks like I could tweak stuff all day if I wanted to do it I mean, that's that's the nature of what we dio I mean, you're getting a bunch of, you know, artsy fartsy and over ten, people together in one room and you're over analyzing everything all day long like normal people who look at this stuff well, I mean, it was like there will be little things in every little final project I do that will bother the hell out of me absolutely, but ninety five percent of people are never going to realise that stuff you were in here yesterday, but one thing I said is true about photographers we absolutely fall in love with with the images that we make and then the next day we hate them because you see all the stuff that you didn't do right that you want to go back and change and that's very true for art directors to mean we worked really hard on this stuff and I think it's just the nature of who artists working artist you know, commercial artists are even well any artist you just never satisfy you always want it more but so to answer your question a very long way I tried to get as much done beforehand as I can all right so this is gonna take a lot of beer this is a huge glass so we are going to go through lots I'll get that pretty full I will tell you what uh what looks good on camera it doesn't necessarily look good sunset it's kind of like a model here let's just go to uh that's kind of cool let's go teo just a single view please is that bottle is that glass gonna be hero enough? Does anything come forward? I think so so I'm moving this glass I'm just trying to do so in a gentle way where I'm not going to really be adding fingerprints that I'm going to see so I was doing it very low in the back and just pushing it around very slightly no that's way better it lost some of its life in terms of light but that's okay that's okay no it's good all right like that all right let's talk about bottle number two bottle on the left side how's that how's that position come forward a little bit more I kind of like the I mean maybe a little but I thought you know I mean that was a death I mean if you say I think the client will have a problem with that little spot only I don't I mean maybe not it's just I mean when you like everything else you're a mean like I could just imagine them saying that's over my little girl it is over their logo so okay, let me ask you uh uh let me ask you a question because if I could move that bottle in and put that thing on the other side it's going to bring some that boca though on the body could be fine. Okay? That's good. I just think that I think that little spots just I mean it's hard yeah it's a little funky I like it but it's a little funky actually I don't have to be so crazy with this because I'm gonna go ahead and address these bottles in a minute it's got a ways to go down that way and again I'm slow methodical I take my time I really wanted to be sure that I'm doing that's good uh two questions I like having this guy like having this guy rotated in should we rotate that guy a little bit more that way is just in too much we're taking in too much uh I don't know maybe I mean it might look that way but if you really take this one of my balance it out a little more so I kind of like it's like you're a mean like yeah you look a little sweet what's gary doing he's anticipating he's anticipating my needs he knows that pretty soon I'm gonna want to start to pull stuff off set and I'm going to want to mark this up again that is so hugely helpful for me I don't have to ask him to do it it's gonna happen all right, that is getting pretty good I do that with chinese food too I just know when he wants strange food well, it's usually because I have child sixteen months that'd be awesome of chinese who showed up whenever you wanted it too just like your mind start in the world it does chinese food what in my world it does we go back one for me sure. Oh yeah it's much better going you so watch the change in this bottle yeah, yeah much, much better all right that's where we are doesn't feel like it's turned too much now but on the left just a little bit of bringing stranger uh yeah okay do you think about that I'm fine with the way I'm finally know what I kind of like that boca is really like doing that kind of fun I think that works that's my pan hand isn't it all right so let's get that a little bit better here you want to just raise that for me just to here and that's good maybe go ahead and make it a little bit more flat and see if we can eke it in just a bit more no I'm sorry flatten it this way I wanted to still no let's do this because that's gonna that's gonna lower it let's go ahead and flying out here not go back up with it okay and I want to rotate it this way so loosen that guy for me one second I'm being very conscious of where my body is right now I do not want to hit this stuff okay that's good straight up twelve o'clock okay one one other thing that I'm noting right now um is where my polarizer is keep in mind I've always got a polarizer on the front of my camera and if I bump this I want to know where it wass and it's right now it's straight up coming off the top of the barrel of the lines of twelve o'clock so you can see where it is here if I move it it should have a pretty solid effect on the background what you did I like that better too now it's lightened stuff up quite a bit the left side of the I'm seeing the left side of the bud light bottle I can kind of come to life yeah that's good I think the book is even better yeah because yeah likes a little girl here would you do me a favor please just come a wound that's so trippy looking that is dead on the flash go back one ok go back and forth for me give me a light okay now slower actual glass feels very heroic there so I'm going in between who is creating a nasty highlight though go back one more all the way back three so all right it was still there too thank you go forward police away yeah okay that feels better that's kind of splitting the difference actually like what's going on with that flare carrie we blow up on the flare that's on the left side there's actually a natural star bottom clear I'm sorry the one on the shoulder no bottle and left right there yeah you can already see how that's going and that's giving us that little star effect that's really pretty cool we've got that occurring naturally which means we can exploit that a little bit in photo shop when it when it comes around the only thing that makes me a little bit concerned is what's gonna happen when I changed the bottle and I dress sit which maybe we should do that right now. What do you think? Should we go ahead and dress the bottles? Um do we have a bowl that I can use to mix up my stuff we talked about that earlier. Yeah, okay. All right until that gets here let's go ahead, gary shrink down uh please let's go ahead and add another life and, um do you want to do some light maybe come through the background on the right side? Yes. All right, good do a couple of things so again I'm gonna use the apple box right here she's just like her mommy all right, does anybody have any questions so far? Yes shut him out. So so far we've watched you shoot stationary objects we can see all the time that it takes and you tweet something and you come back tio how does this work when you're dealing with models who are clearly going to move you know, your martini shot for instance like that glass was very well lit up and she's holding it you know, like that work well, in order to do that glass with them are training wait, we had you can't see it, but there is an arm rest offset so she's got something that that she's going back to him position so we're making her hold that and she was you know, muscle memory was killed her by the end of that day. Uh, but we've got, you know, something that's putting her in the right place, that she could go back to time and time again so that we can craft the light, you know, again, we're sitting there really trying to sculpt that whole thing if she's moving around like this and we're using a big camera that's in pretty tight, so we're going ahead and we're giving her a framework. We had a c stand, we took floral foam and we cut a little kind of elbow shape in denton for her that she could put her elbow into and then we knew we could come back time and time again to that. So when she needed a break when it was too much, we pull or upset or when we if we had to change the the drink out, which we did, we could bring him back in and put it in there, and she would go back to the same spot I could just give her a little direction, like, up down, but models are pretty good about knowing where to go. Thank you. Sure, do you mind if we ask a couple questions from online? I don't mind in the least I'm happy to entertain some questions online there was a question that came in from philly photo who wanted to know if you're thinking about ad copy when you're shooting like allowing room and you're absolutely we are so we're thinking about that in terms of what's up above the bottle if you notice there is a good not quite quarter of the frame but there's a good amount of the frame that's up here maybe it's it's probably a quarter so pat you've got pointed room that run a headline and they'll be and the other thing is uh usually smoke most alcohol advertisements or liquor advertisements there's legal copy that has to go at the bottom so I like to make sure there's plenty of room at the bottom too now that goes over the actual nice part of the you know I mean the important part of the image and if you look yeah right there which do you have enough down there doing that brought that uh the one thing we can also do is we can just take this and we can stretch it that's just a simple surface and if we need more room for his legal type we can take that we can stretch it and he's got a bigger band to put his type that's a great question were absolutely thinking that and you know what? I should have covered that beforehand because uh, that's, just so second nature for me, I'm always thinking about headlines there in every single ad that we do. So we've gotta have, for the most part, they're never single out that we do. Um, a lot of the times director will actually bring in, um, a png of that graphic. Give it to me, and as we did yesterday, I'm ableto overlay that so we can put it, and we can really get down to the absolute centimeter of where that's going to go. So there's, no there's, no guesswork involved, and you do that every time, just about okay.

Class Description

Ready to break into the commercial photography business, but unsure of where to start? Rob Grimm and Gary Martin will help you navigate the ins and outs of the industry by delivering expert advice on an entire gamut of subjects –– from marketing, to shooting, to branding, and location scouting.

Rob and Gary’s workshop will be your personal guide to every single aspect of commercial photography. You'll learn how to set a budget, advertise your brand, and build your portfolio and client base. These two seasoned pros will also share invaluable technical tips on shooting and retouching.

This course is a one-stop shop for all the tools and skills needed to build a commercial photography portfolio and find your niche in the industry!

Class Materials

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Free Bonus Materials

Digital Swag Bag.pdf

Day 1 Presentation Slides.pdf

Day 2 Presentation Slides.pdf

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I have gratefully been watching this tutorial for free online, and as always CreativeLIVE has done an awesome job in bringing one of the best instructors of the trade and his creative team to help us improve and enjoy a higher level of understanding and performance in the skills we would like to achieve. I am humbled as always and ever so grateful. I would love to purchase the course myself, but since I live abroad, it is practically impossible, I hope those who can, would. I would just like to add one of the most interesting things I have learnt from this course is the careful attention these guys are paying to minute details and the amount of patience it takes to achieve their goals in each project. Stay inspiring, Totoo in China


Outstanding course! I'm a former creative director, now photographer full time and have had the unique experience working with studio photographers for commercial products in the past. This course is right on and very close to my experiences, and now that I'm behind the camera, it's nice to see some of those trade secrets revealed. Commercial work is fussy and you often have to sweat the details, but the results can be astonishing and rewarding. Rob and Gary do an excellent job explaining the ins and outs, without any pretention or hold-back on secrets. Something that's always annoyed me in the past, photographers never liked revealing their process. It's great fun watching Rob and Gary work a shoot, and Aaron Nace is beyond amazing in his retouching skills. I don't expect to break into this field, but I wanted to learn how things are done, for my own personal projects. I particularly enjoyed learning how they get the look of ice, ice crystals, and frost on the sides of glass bottles. I purchased several items from Trengrove, as they suggested. Their acrylic products are not cheap, but the quality is amazing and I'm very pleased and looking forward to experimenting. Thanks to all at Creative Live, RGG studios and Aaron Nace for this presentation.

Doors of Imagination Photography

This course is outstanding. I would consider it an advanced level. Having a good understanding of the technical aspects of photography and lighting is recommended. Rob Grimm takes you into two real product shoots. These were not canned demonstrations, but the real thing including working to get the lighting setup just right. The postproduction section with Aaron Nace was enlightening. This does require a good preliminary understanding of Photoshop. It was amazing to watch them build the final images for the client in real time. This is by far my favorite course to date.