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Paramount

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Posts posted by Paramount


  1. I spent last night at Swinsty Reservoir, about 10 miles from where I live shooting some time lapse and animated star trails. Although the weather forecast was for clear skies for the whole night the sky was very milky towards the horizon and despite no moon the sky didn't appear that dark (probably due to nearby lights). I shot 4 time lapse clips from which I also made some animated star trails. Just after 12 midnight two cars pulled up on the road that bisects the reservoir about half a mile from where I was and some people got out and proceeded to let off some very loud fireworks for a period of about half an hour (these appear in one of the clips). My friend Bob Moore in America reported recently that he was trapped in his observatory by a bear that was wandering around, luckily we don't have that problem over here, but those geese and ducks on the reservoir, what a noise! Honking and quacking most of the night. I started about 8pm and finished just before 6am this morning. I have included a link to the full resolution video which is in HD and 4K (please be patient as it takes a while for the full resolution 4K to appear after posting to YouTube) as Facebook compresses the video and spoils the quality
    All the clips were shot on my Sony A7Sii with Samyang 12mm f2.8 fisheye lens with exposures of 20 seconds at f2.8 and ISO 2500 and my Sony A7iii with Samyang 24mm f1.4 lens with exposures of 20 seconds at f2.8 and ISO 1600
     

  2. Next month, the Herefordshire Astronomical Society is holding a public open day to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing. I have been invited to do a couple of talks on astrophotography and time lapse imaging. As part of the time lapse talk I have put together a video of my time lapse clips, animated star trails and holy grail time lapses that I have taken over the last 3 years. I have done a few calculations and the movie which lasts about 21 minutes was shot using over 31,000 images taken over a total period of 11 full 24 hour days which is then condensed into a total of 21 minutes. The time lapses were shot at several locations including
    Hereford
    Eardisley
    Hergest Ridge, Kington
    British Camp, Malvern Hills
    Grwyn Fawr Reservoir, Brecon Beacons National Park
    Nidd Gorge, Harrogate
    Brimham Rocks, North Yorkshire
    Fewston Reservoir, North Yorkshire
    Ribblehead, Yorkshire Dales
    Thornwick Bay, Yorkshire Coast
     
    The video can be seen at the link below in HD and 4K
     

  3. Last week I went to a place called Thornwick Bay in Flamborough on the East Yorkshire Coast to shoot some time lapse and star trails. It wasn't the perfect night for it although the sky was clear as the moon was quite bright and high in the sky for the whole night. I set up two cameras, my Sony A7Sii and Samyang 24mm f1.4 lens to do a Holy Grail Time lapse and my Sony A7iii and Samyang 12mm f2.8 fisheye lens to do an ordinary time lapse and some star trails. I set both tripods up about 15 yards further in than the tide would go (worked out by deposited seaweed on the shore). I had a few people who showed interest and asked about what I was doing and there was also a couple of families out of camera shot on the right of the beach having a BBQ, they packed up just as the sun was sinking behind the cliff tops when it got quite chilly. Due to the moon being quite bright I had to use a much lower ISO than normal and even with this it looked as though the beach was bathed in sunlight even though it was midnight. Out of all the data I have done a selfie, a star trail image an animated star trail video, a normal time lapse and a holy grail time lapse so I still managed to get a fair bit done in the 4 hours of darkness. I have incorporated all this in the video clip below which can be seen in HD and 4K
     
    • Like 1

  4. On Tuesday of this week I spent the whole night up by Gayle Beck Lodge near Ribblehead in the Yorkshire Dales shooting some time lapse clips and single shot frames. The lodge is an old ruined hunting lodge which sadly has fallen into a very dilapidated condition, but it has a history behind it which can be found by entering it on Google. While I was there (from 3:30pm Tuesday to 8am Wednesday) I shot a "Holy Grail" time lapse with my Sony A7Sii and Samyang 24mm f1.4 lens and my Timelapse+ view. Over 2,000 images were taken with exposures ranging from 1/6400 second at f1.4 and ISO 100 to 20 seconds at f1.4 and ISO 1250, while doing this a motorised pan and tilt head was moving the camera.
    With my Sony A7iii and Samyang 12mm f2.8 fisheye lens I shot some static time lapses, selfies and just to be a bit different I was experimenting with a lens ball! (this can be seen in the clip below). Exposures for these were all 30 seconds at f2.8 and ISO 6400. The only downside to the trip was that I didn't realise just how many cars use that road and there are quite a few headlight flashes but it just adds to what I experienced during the night. I will be having another go with the lens ball but hopefully away from so much traffic
    The full video which includes all the clips plus some still frames can be seen at the following link, it is in HD and 4K and does look better on a larger screen
     
     
    Best wishes
    Gordon
     

  5. On ‎05‎/‎02‎/‎2019 at 12:26 PM, Radar said:

    Stunning stunning work my friend. Are you defocusing it at 27 seconds? And again at 120 seconds? Looks epic Gordon. And where is the C14 these days? 

    Ray

    No defocusing, that is animated star trails effect using starstax and Premier Pro. I only use my Sony cameras now. I sold all my telescope kit as I had nowhere to set it up to use it

    Best wishes

    Gordon

    • Like 1

  6. "A night under the arches"
    I went back to Ribblehead Viaduct last night to shoot some time lapse, animated star trails and some slightly different views of the viaduct, I didn't attempt any Holy Grail time lapse as I only had time to be there for the hours of darkness. It was clouded over and very windy when I got there but an hour later the skies started to clear and it stayed that way for the night. Apart from the noise the odd train, the wind and the continual dripping noise from a drainpipe on one of the arches it was very peaceful, it's one of my favourite places to go at the moment. I took my Sony A7iii and A7Sii with a Samyang 12mm f2.8 fisheye and 24mm f1.4 lenses. In all I took about 2,000 images from which I made 4 time lapse clips and 4 animated star trails as well as the single frame and 5 frame panorama images below. The exposure times were 30 seconds at f2.8 and ISO 6400 for the A7Sii and 12mm lens and 20 seconds at f1.4 and ISO 4000 for the A7iii and 24mm f1.4 lens. The moon rose at about 2am and created some wonderful lighting effects in two of the clips making it look almost like daylight with the long exposures. All the puddles started freezing over in the early hours but thanks to my down suit I was nice and warm, the biggest problem I had was stopping my ground sheet and bed roll from blowing away, after the third retrieval I weighted it down with my hiking trailer and spare tripod. The images were processed in Adobe Lightroom and rendered to video in Premier Pro while the animated star trails were created using Starstax and Premier Pro. The time lapse video can be seen at the link below in HD and 4K. I used a wireless intervalometer to take the "selfies"
     

  7. I spent yesterday afternoon and all night at Fewston Reservoir in North Yorkshire shooting a Holy Grail time lapse, some star time lapse and star trail images. I used my Sony A7Sii and Samyang 24mm f1.4 lens and Dynamic Perception slider gear with my Timelapse+ view intervalometer for the Holy Grail time lapse and my Sony A7iii and Samyang 12mm f2.8 fisheye lens for the other work. The drone footage was shot with my Mavic Air.
    It was quite cold and within a few hours there was a thick layer of frost on my bags and the slider rails had ice on them by the morning but it carried on working ok.
    Altogether I took over 3,500 images with exposures ranging from 1/8000 second at f1.4 and ISO 100 to 30 seconds at f2.8 at ISO 6400. A friend of mine Simon Bennett mentioned about Comet 46P being in the sky and I didn't think I would catch it with a fisheye lens, but if you check very carefully in the third clip where Orion is already in the sky there is a very faint smudge in exactly the spot where Simon showed me so it looks like I managed to catch it, it is very faint though so it is difficult to see. I carried all my gear in my Benpacker hiking trailer. I processed all the data using a combination of Lightroom, Premier Pro, Photoshop and Starstax.
    The video can be seen at the link below in HD and 4K, as I've only just uploaded it the 4K version may not be available yet but it will later on
     
    • Like 1

  8. I spent the night at Brimham Rocks in North Yorkshire shooting another "Holy Grail" time lapse (day to night to day). Although it is a lovely area to shoot from scenery wise, it wasn't as dark as I was hoping and there was a fair bit of light pollution from Harrogate and the skies were a bit milky so the milky way didn't show that well, to top it all I accidentally tripped over one of the tripod legs when I was checking on batteries so there is a jolt in the time lapse. I've also included a couple of stills taken with my Fuji GFX50S and some drone footage from the morning taken with my Mavic Air. I used my Sony A7Sii and Samyang 24mm f1.4 lens on a Dynamic Perception slider and Pan and tilt head. In all I took about 2,200 images for the time lapse. The video can be seen at the link below in HD and 4K
     
    • Like 1

  9. A few days ago I did a 12 hour day to night to day time lapse at Ribblehead Viaduct in the Yorkshire Dales, in all I took 1,830 images. Below is one of the images which I've processed separately in Lightroom and Photoshop to show some of the clear sky and Milky Way showing through the clouds at the Viaduct. The exposure for this particular image was 20 seconds at f1.4 and ISO 6400 with my Sony A7Sii and Samyang 24mm f1.4
    This image was taken at 11:48pm and is image number 772 out of the 1,830 that I took

    The full video can be seen at the following link and this image comes just before half way of the actual time lapse clip

    Ribblehead Holy Grail small.jpg


  10. I spent last night at Ribblehead Viaduct in the Yorkshire Dales shooting another "Holy Grail" time lapse, this time I wanted to go all the way and shoot a time lapse that went from day to night and then back to day again. The weather forecast wasn't brilliant but sometimes you've just got to go out and do it and hope for the best. Although the majority of the night was cloud bound there were a few short clear spells and I managed to get the milky way crossing the sky albeit behind some clouds.

    I started at about 7pm (an hour before sunset) and finished at 7am (an hour after sunrise). I used my Sony A7Sii and Samyang 24mm f1.4 lens, my Dynamic Perception slider with Sapphire Pro pan and tilt head and NMX pro controller for the camera movement and my Timelapse+ view intervalometer for handling the ramping of the exposures needed during the night. As mentioned on a previous post you programme the camera movement into the NMX controller via a blue tooth phone app and then after taking a correctly exposed image at ISO 100 and f1.4 you set a few parameters into the intervalometer such as longest exposure and highest ISO and then the intervalometer makes the necessary exposure adjustments during the night and also moves the slider after each exposure so apart from periodically checking on batteries, cables, etc it is nicely automated, any flickering from the exposure changes is handled using a plug in for Lightroom from Timelapse+. In all I took 1,830 images with exposures ranging from 1/2500 of a second at f1.4 and ISO 100 to 20 seconds at f1.4 and ISO 6400. That is over 21 stops of exposure difference during the night and each exposure change is made in 1/3 stop increments so the intervalometer has a fairly busy time during the night. During the night the moon came up which added a bit of extra illumination to the landscape.

    Hope you like it, the video can be seen at the link below and is available in 4K

     

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=dmFglty2XT8&t=11s

     

    Best wishes

    Gordon

     


  11. I was out all last night by Nidd Gorge in Harrogate shooting a "Holy Grail" time lapse (time lapse that runs from day to night, night to day or day to night to day, etc). It is technically difficult to do because there are many exposure changes required during the period in order to take into account the huge difference in lighting over the period. There are several ways of doing this, some easy, some hard and different methods can yield different results, some good and some not so good. The method I used was a special intervalometer called a 'Timelapse+ view' where you set a few parameters and start off with a correctly exposed shot and it then takes care of the exposure changes during the period of the time lapse, there will be a degree of 'flicker' visible whenever the exposure is changed but this is easily taken care of using a plug-in in Lightroom or using the "Holy Grail" facility in LRTimelapse.
    This was taken with my Sony A7Sii and Samyang 24mm f1.4 lens and I took 1387 images altogether over about 9 hours. The exposures ranged between 1/320th of a second at f1.4 and ISO 100 to 20 seconds at f1.4 and ISO 500, I also used a Dynamic Perception Stage One slider with Sapphire Pro pan and tilt head for the movement. The intervalometer takes control of the slider and the camera, you program the move into the slider using a phone app, then programme the parameters for the exposure range into the intervalometer and then start the slider program and then the intervalometer, the intervalometer then triggers the camera and after the exposure has finished it triggers the slider to move before firing the camera again so it is nicely automated. It wasn't a perfect evening for my first outing with this gear what with the clouds and a full moon but the end result showed what the system is capable of, towards the end of the video clip you can make out the Pleiades and Hyades star clusters rising, unfortunately the moonlight washed out most of the sky when the clouds cleared. The changing brightness of the landscape isn't flicker, it is caused by shadows from the clouds and moon.
    The video clip can be seen at the link below in 4K
     

  12. I spent the night at Ribblehead Viaduct last night shooting some time lapse, star trails and an animated star trail. After selling my telescope gear (no space to use it since moving to Harrogate), I used some of the money to buy myself a hiking trailer and a drone. The trailer means that I can carry more kit with me without making my back and joints worse than they already are, after a bit of research online I got a Benpacker Trek from Benpacker in Germany and this was my first outing with it. I wanted to get to the viaduct before it was dark to shoot some drone footage of the area and while I was waiting for it to get dark a young couple (Ben and Sinead) and their dog came along and we got talking about cameras, drones and the night sky and before we knew it over an hour had passed. The time lapse and star trails were shot on my Sony A7Sii with a Samyang 12mm f2.8 fisheye lens with exposures of 30 seconds at ISO6400. For the drone footage I used some of the quick shot modes and active track (me leaving the site in the morning). This is a particularly nice dark site that is easy to get to by train although it never really got fully dark last night as it's still mid summer, I plan on coming back here in the autumn and winter months. The area is really scenic and apart from the occasional bleating of the sheep in the distance it was absolutely silent.
    The video can be seen at the following link on my YouTube channel and it is available in 4K
     
    • Like 1

  13. I have finished rendering the video for the time lapse clips that I shot last night on top of the old railway viaduct that spans Nidd Gorge in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. I set up at about 7pm last night and finished at 6am this morning. All the images were shot on my Sony A7Sii and Samyang 12mm f2.8 Fisheye lens, all exposures were 30 seconds at f2.8 with the first clip shot at ISO 12800 and the second clip at ISO 6400. Towards the end of the second clip a couple of insects decided to crawl on the lens!
    In the second clip the foreground and background movement was created by my Rhino Camera Gear Evo carbon slider with Motion and Arc, I also made a star trail image from the first clip and I have included this in the video. I took just over 980 images altogether.
    The video can be seen at the link below and is available in HD and 4K
     
     
    Best wishes
    Gordon

  14. Last night the weather was good so I decided to spend another night in the very beautiful area of Nidd Gorge. This time I wanted to take some pictures and a time lapse of the viaduct with the night sky. The moon was almost full and it was to the left of the scenes as you look at them. I started shooting at 7pm and finished about 5am today. I took over 900 pictures altogether.
    These were taken with my Sony A7Sii and Tamron 15-30mm f2.8 lens. For the second clip I used a Syrp G...enie panning motor.
    Exposures were all 30 seconds at f2.8 and ISO 4000
    During the night I heard an otter going for a swim, some owls calling to each other and one particularly loud pheasant that had a lot to say for itself.
    The video can be seen at the link below and is in HD and 4K
     

    Nidd Gorge Viaduct-225 large.jpg

    Nidd Gorge Viaduct-666 large.jpg

    viaduct star trail large.jpg

    • Like 2

  15. Hi
    As some of you may know, I have moved to Harrogate in North Yorkshire from Hereford. The last few weeks have been fairly hectic but on the 26th I managed to get out to shoot some time lapse and a star trail image. This site is about 2 miles from where we now live and it is a great place to walk our boys. I spent the night here from 7pm to 6am the following morning and shot 3 short clips. The area is Nidd Gorge in Harrogate and I set up at Scotton Weir for the night.
    Clip 1 - Looking directly at the Weir. Sony A7Sii and Tamron 15-30mm f2.8, 440x30 second exposures at f2.8 at 15mm setting and ISO 16000
    Clip 2 - Looking away from the weir. Sony A7Sii and Tamron 15-30mm f2.8, 280x30 second exposures at f2.8 at 15mm setting and ISO 25600
    Clip 3 - My view of the night sky from my bed roll. Sony A7Sii and Samyang 12mm fisheye f2.8, 280x30 second exposures at f2.8 and ISO 25600
    During the night there were two lots of mountain bikers with very bright lights came past and also the house on the other side of the weir had an outdoor light that came on periodically but I think these added nicely to the lighting effect of the video.
    There were some thin whispy clouds during the evening as can be seen on the videos, during processing I noticed that the last 40 frames of the first clip the sky was clear so I used these to create a star trail image. On the last two frames of this star trail section the light came on at the house but I left them in as the lighting effect and colours that came out on the right of the image was really pleasing.
    The RAW frames were processed in Adobe Lightroom and the video rendered in Adobe Premier Pro, the star trail image was done using layers in Adobe Photoshop.
    The video can be seen at the following link and is available in 4K
    Best wishes
    Gordon
     
     

    Nidd Gorge star trail med.jpg


  16. I spent the evening up on Hergest Ridge in Kington Herefordshire again last night as the weather was good. I knew that it had been raining up there earlier in the week and I was hopeful that there were going to be some pools of water to catch some reflections from the stars during the time lapse. I found one pool which is where I set my Sony A7Sii and Tamron 15-30mm f2.8 zoom lens on my Rhino Camera Gear Evo Carbon slider with motion and arc. I shot two short time lapse videos during the night shooting a total of over 700x30 second exposures with the zoom lens at the 15mm setting and f2.8 and at ISO 25600.
    Although it was quite breezy the water in the pool remained calm allowing for some nice reflections.
    In the second clip the very bright areas are from the light pollution in Leominster and Kington
    The video can be seen at the link below and is best viewed in at least HD

     

    Best wishes

    Gordon

    • Like 3

  17. Last night the weather forecast was good although the moon was going to be in the sky until close on 1am so I went up to Hergest Ridge in Kington again with the intent of utilising the moon to create some nice lighting effects. During the night I did two time lapses.
    Time lapse 1 was of the monkey puzzle trees with the moon moving across the sky directly behind them, this was help create some moving shadows and highlights in the foreground. I used my Sony A7Sii and Tamron 15-30mm f2.8 lens with the shutter speed set to 30 seconds at f2.8 and ISO 3200. I didn't use my Rhino Camera Gear for this for two reasons, I wanted the trees to remain stationary and as I hadn't charged the batteries I wanted enough power for the second time lapse. I took about 280 frames for this time lapse.
    Time lapse 2 was of the milky way moving away from the monkey puzzle trees and as I wanted to follow the milky way I used the slider. I started the time lapse with the moon still in the sky to show the effect that moonlight has in washing out detail in the night sky and also the effect it has on the colours. I shot this with the same exposure settings except that I used ISO 25600 to help capture the milky way better.
    Following this I turned the camera round and took a couple of pictures of Orion which had just risen but I will post those later. After I finished I had a short nap on my bedroll before heading back down to meet my brother after which we went for breakfast in Kington at the Border Bean café.
     
    The Video of these two time lapses can be found at the following link, it is best viewed in HD or 4K
     
     

  18. On Sunday the weather was looking good and I was planning on doing another time lapse. I was originally going to go up Haugh Woods in Hereford but when I checked the forecast sites the weather looked better at the Grwyne Fawr reservoir and dam (where I had previously done a time lapse last November) so that's where I went, my good buddy Anne Shuker gave me a lift to the end of the road near the dam and I headed off up the track to the reservoir itself. I set everything up and waited for the moon to set and started the time lapse shortly after 10pm and it ran till just after 3:30am. In all 582 x 30 second exposures were taken with my Sony A7Sii and Tamron 15-30mm f2.8 lens which was set to 15mm and f2.8 and the ISO on the camera was set to 25600. Motion was created using my Rhino Camera Gear Evo carbon slider with motion and arc.
    Although the forecast showed clear skies for the whole night there were some whispy clouds blowing over which created a nice effect in conjunction with the sky glow caused by the light pollution from Abergavenny and the moon which had just set behind the hills. I managed to get some nice reflections in the water of the reservoir but it was quite breezy for most of the night so not as much as I had hoped.
    The RAW files were processed in Adobe Lightroom before rendering to video in Adobe Premier Pro
    It is best viewed in at least HD and it's also available in 4K both at the following link
     
    • Like 2

  19. I have been having a play and trying to learn to use Adobe Premier Pro for creating videos for my time lapse work. This is my first effort and it is to give some pointers as to how to do time lapse videos of the night sky but also utilising the same data to make star trails and still images. In all I used Adobe Bridge, Photoshop, Lightroom and Premier Pro in the making of the images and time lapse in this video. The music was obtained from the Free Music Archive. All of the data was taken over a period of more than a year and amounts to several thousand images being taken in different locations. All the details as to the equipment that was used is in the video.
    It is on my YouTube channel at the link below and is available both in HD and 4K for those with a very fast connection and a suitable monitor/TV
     
    • Like 1

  20. On 2017-5-20 at 6:20 PM, Radar said:

    Good to see you back Gordon. I can't wait to get a DSLR and do some time lapse like this. Love the orange cloud that you've captured under the stars. Doing any deep space work? 

    Ray

    Hi ray

    not doing any deep space at the moment as we are in the process of moving house and it looks as though it could be a while before I'm able to set up and start that again so I'm doing the more portable stuff at the moment

    Best wishes

    Gordon

     


  21. I was at Eardisley again doing some more work at the house and as the weather was good I took my camera gear with me. There was only just about 3 hours of proper darkness so this is two time lapse videos on two nights. It was taken with my Sony A7Sii and a Samyang 12mm f2.8 fisheye lens. The movement in the scenery was created using a Rhino Camera Gear Evo Carbon slider with Motion and Arc. I took 602x40 second exposures at f2.8 and an ISO of 25600. Just before half way through the video there is a blue and white flash of light coming from the house. See if you can guess what they were;)

    Rather than post the video here is a link to it on my YouTube channel where it is best viewed in HD

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4fpXbB6CWss&feature=youtu.be

    Best wishes
    Gordon
     

    • Like 1

  22. On 2017-5-20 at 6:20 PM, Radar said:

    Good to see you back Gordon. I can't wait to get a DSLR and do some time lapse like this. Love the orange cloud that you've captured under the stars. Doing any deep space work? 

    Ray

    Not at the moment Ray< due to the ongoing house maintenance and a planned house move as well

    Best wishes

    Gordon

     

    • Like 1

  23. Hi
    I haven't posted in a while as I have been busy helping maintain my parent in law's house after they died and there is a lot of work that needs doing there while it is being sold. This has meant that my main imaging sessions have had to take a back burner for a while. In the meantime I have been having a go with some simpler imaging with my DSLRs doing stills, star trails and time lapses. Here is a combination of what I have done during the last 12 months. They were taken with a Canon 80D and more recently a Sony A7S II with a Samyang 18mm f2.8, Sigma 10-20mm f3.5 and Tamron 15-30mm f2.8 Exposures range between 10 and 30 seconds and ISO between 800 and 25600. I also use a Rhino Camera Gear Evo carbon slider with Motion and Arc for the movement of the foreground and background in some of the time lapse clips. A combination of Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Bridge, Photoshop, Time Lapse Tool and Movie Maker were used in the processing.
    The movie is at the link below and is best viewed in HD
    Hope you enjoy it
    Best wishes
    Gordon

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R161lbi--G4&t=47s

    • Like 1

  24. Hi

    I just finished collecting some more OIII and SII data on this last night, this is 20x10 minutes Ha, 24x10 minutes OIII and 26x10 minutes SII. It was taken with the Televue NP127is/FLI imaging system that I'm testing. (This system is going to be available from September). Auto guiding was by a Starlight Xpress Lodestar and Officine Stellare Falco guide scope on my Paramount ME. Dithering was used during guiding. The Soap Bubble nebula can be seen below and to the right of the Crescent Nebula but only shows up clearly on the full size image which is at the following link

    http://m7.i.pbase.com/o9/29/869929/1/156396407.9FRKAVRI.NGC6888HSTmax.jpg

    Thanks for looking

    Best wishes

    Gordon


  25. Interesting work flow. Gradient Xterminator? Does this mean you don't take flats?

    Ray

    Yes I take flats but, as I boost the weaker channels before colour combining ie the OIII and SII then everything including signal, noise, gradient, etc is boosted so with images that require the extra boost for the weaker signals there is sometimes a gradient that needs taking care of. This is especially more so when shooting OIII when there is moon light. Flats won't remove a gradient in these cases

    Best wishes

    Gordon

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