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Spotlight on Blue: The Majestic Plastic Bag Photo

Spotlight on Blue: The Majestic Plastic Bag

One of the highlights from last night’s screenings was the hilarious mockumentary, “The Majestic Plastic Bag.” Produced in a style similar to BBC’s blue-chip documentaries, the short film follows the trials of life for a single plastic bag as it seeks to join its species in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, “a veritable plastic oasis.”

The film is a PSA for Heal the Bay’s campaign in support of California state bill AB 1998 banning plastic bags in grocery stores. Definitely worth a watch - click through to watch an embedded version of the film.

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Blue Ocean Film Festival opening ceremonies Photo

Blue Ocean Film Festival opening ceremonies

Last night, the Blue Ocean Film Festival kicked off this week’s film screenings with an opening ceremony that included short films The Majestic Plastic Bag, Willem and the Whales, and Peter Brown’s feature-length film “Confessions of an Eco-Terrorist.”

Among the luminaries introducing the films were US Congressman Sam Farr, Dan Basta, Director of the US National Marine Sanctuary system and Julie Packard, Executive Director and Executive Director and Vice Chairman of the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Board of Trustees. Click through to see some of Jason Bradley’s images from the event.

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Canon launches EOS 60D Photo

Canon launches EOS 60D

Canon has announced the launch of the replacement for the popular mid level DSLR EOS 50D: the EOS 60D. The new camera features an 18 megapixel DX sensor, and the HD video recording capabilities of the EOS 7D. It has a smaller form factor than it’s predecessor, takes SD memory cards and uses both the LCD and autofocus system of the EOS 550D (Rebel T2i). Canon have incorporated a RAW processing engine into the camera to simplify workflow and lastly it features a flip out LCD screen.

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Canon announces EF 8-15mm f4L Fisheye  and other new lenses Photo

Canon announces EF 8-15mm f4L Fisheye and other new lenses

Canon has announced their first fisheye zoom lens, the EF 8-15mm f4L. This lens is compatible with all EOS DSLR, regardless of APS size. With full frame APS sensors, it can give a 180° circle image. It also has an optional lock for APS-H/C (1.3x/1.6x crop) sensors to prevent vignetting. The MSRP is $1500 and expected to ship in January 2011. Also announced are the Extender EF 1.4x III/2x III, EF 70-300mm f4-5.6L, 300mm f2.8L II and 400mm f2.8L II. The telephoto primes have been lightened and also feature cinematographic focus features, among other improvements. The new IS now compensates for 4 stops. All have improved optics for sharper images.

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David Doubilet’s exhibit “Below” launches Blue Ocean Film Festival Photo

David Doubilet’s exhibit “Below” launches Blue Ocean Film Festival

A packed house of delegates filled the opening reception for David Doubilet’s photography exhibit, Below, which launched the Blue Ocean Film Festival in Monterey California last night. Spanning Doubilet’s prolific career, the exhibit features images taken around the world, including a portfolio shot in black and white, and photographs from his story on eels in this month’s issue of National Geographic Magazine.

Sam Farr, US Representative for California’s 17th District, and strong advocate for marine conservation gave a welcoming speech encouraging delegates to continue their work in drawing attention to the beauty and plight of the ocean. The exhibit will be on view throughout the festival this week. Additional photographs from the reception after the jump.

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New World Publications launches: Reef Creature ID-Tropical Pacific Photo

New World Publications launches: Reef Creature ID-Tropical Pacific

The latest in the series of New World Publications guides to marine life, Reef Creature Identification-Tropical Pacific, is to be launched in Asia on 25 October and in the US at DEMA on 17 November. This book forms the ninth marine life field guide authored by Paul Humann and Ned DeLoach and has been described:

” it is not only the most comprehensive visual guide to marine invertebrate life inhabiting the waters from Thailand to Tahiti, but also a pictorial tour de force skillfully bridging science and the aesthetic.” (via DivePhotoGuide).

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Sea & Sea releases details of the DX-GE5 Photo

Sea & Sea releases details of the DX-GE5

Sea & Sea has released details of a new compact camera and underwater housing combination. The DX-GE5 comprises a 12.2 megapixel camera with a 2.7” LCD screen and a polycarbonate housing, rated to 180ft/55m. There is also a wide-angle wet lens accessory available, and the new system is compatible with Sea and Sea strobes (YS-01/02) via fiber optic link.

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Underwater Journal issue 17 available Photo

Underwater Journal issue 17 available

Issue 17 of the Underwater Journal (UWJ) is available now as a free download. This issue sees the inauguration of a subscription service for UWJ, subscribing will give access to the magazine and also enter readers into a prize draw. Articles in issue 17 include Goliath Groupers in South Florida and a review of Laguna Beach resort on Utila, Bay Islands. In addition, Going CCR: Beyond the Basics concentrates on transitioning to rebreather diving and there is an article trying to establish whether the seafood you catch yourself is less likely to be toxic than that you buy.

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