Canon Announces EOS 60Da DSLR for Astrophotography

Canon announced today the EOS 60Da DSLR. Not to be confused with the Canon 60D (reviewed here), the 60Da is “optimized for astrophotography.” It offers a modified infrared filter and a low-noise sensor with heightened hydrogen-alpha sensitivity. These modifications, according to Canon, allow the camera to capture photographs of “red hydrogen emission” nebulae and other cosmic phenomena. In other words, it’s built for those shooting in a specialized field.

While this isn’t a mainstream image maker, we can’t help but be fascinated (is “star struck” too horrible a pun?) by the camera. One Canon exec says, “This new camera enables an accurate depiction of a part of our solar system which is hard to achieve with conventional cameras but should be enjoyed and celebrated.” It features a 1,040,000 dots 3-inch Clear View LCD screen and ISO speeds up to 6400 expandable to 12800. Oh, and “The improved infrared-blocking filter is a modification suited specifically toward astronomy enthusiasts to achieve a hydrogen-alpha light sensitivity that is approximately three times higher than that of a normal Canon DSLR camera. This produces a 20-percent higher transmittance of Hydrogen Alpha line, or H α wavelength, allowing astronomers to capture crisp, clear images of reddish, diffuse nebulae.”

Should astrophotography be your thing, the Canon EOS 60Da will be available starting this month from select dealers for an estimated $1,499.00.



Natsumi Hayashi’s Levitation Photos

Photographer Natsumi Hayashi’s mesmerizing self portraits were made famous a year ago after My Modern Met featured a set of them. Now they’ve curated another series of her shots—and we can’t pull our eyes away.

While Hayashi might look to be effortlessly levitating all over Tokyo, the shots are actually the result of seriously hard work. “Getting the right shot involves many attempts,” according to My Modern Met, “and Hayashi says she either works with a friend or by herself through this following process: ‘First, I get a composition and a focus manually. Then I press the shutter release, run to the right position for a levitation as I check the camera’s blinking red LED counting down 10 seconds and jump by my intuition. In this manner, I need to jump over and over to get the right shot.’”

Check out the whole gallery of the latest levitation shots at My Modern Met or on Natsumi Hayashi’s website.

(My Modern Met)


Share Photos the Old Fashioned Way with Polaposts

If, every so often, you get the itch to actually see one of your photographs—I mean see it as a tangible object rather than a digital apparition—you might consider sharing that beautiful, bendy work of art with someone else as well.

Enter Polaposts. With Poloposts, you can turn a printed snapshot into a mailable Polaroid Postcard. Sharing your digital images on Flickr, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, over email, etc., etc., is awesome, but imagine how cool it would be to send a friend one of your shots through the old-timey mail!

(SwissMiss, via Photojojo)


Pilgrimage: Annie Leibovitz’s New Book of Peopleless Portraits

© Annie Leibovitz / Contact Press Images from the book Pilgrimage, Random House, 2011
(via Smithsonian)

Annie Leibovitz is best known for her iconic portrait work. There’s John Lennon and Yoko Ono, of course, and then there’s the nude and very pregnant Demi Moore Vanity Fair cover shot. With a career that has spanned several decades, countless magazine covers, and numerous museum shows, Leibovitz has now published her tenth photo book. But its contents are not what you expect, if, like us, what you’ve come to expect are portraits.

The new book, Pilgrimage, is populated with portrait work in a different sense: rough waters at Niagra Falls, closely-cropped still life scenes at writers’ houses. Pilgrimage is the first book of Leibovitz’s that was not a result of having been on assignment and as such the shots are intensely personal. They’re places and things that the artist sought on her own. She documented the truth of these scenes in the same manner as she has some of the world’s most recognizable faces. As Doris Kearns Goodwin writes in the book’s introduction, “[Leibovitz] has captured the spirit of the people and the places in this book as surely as thousands of words could ever do.”

(The Book Bench)


National Wildlife Federation Hosts Celebrate Nature Through Photography Contest

The National Wildlife Federation is hosting a “Celebrate Nature Through Photography” photo contest. Featuring seven categories (baby animals, backyard habitats, birds, connecting people and nature, landscapes and plant life, mammals, and other wildlife) and two entry levels (general and youth), the NWF contest invites you to enter your photos for the chance to win “thousands of dollars in prizes, get exposure, and support the National Wildlife Federation’s work to protect wildlife.”

Based on our archive of stellar nature-themed “closeUP” DP reader photos, we know that many of you have a talent for celebrating nature through photography.

The contest closes July 16, 2012 after which time the people’s choice judging period will begin. Visit for contest rules and to enter. Good luck!

(National Wildlife Federation)

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