Over the year there have been many very good entries into Scubaverse.com’s monthly Underwater Video Contests as well as one or two that although lacking in filming and editing experience, have nevertheless shown a great love of diving as well as a passion for the marine life encountered. It’s been a pleasure watching them all.
Making underwater videos is not as easy as one may first think. There are many disciplines to go through. First of all being a competent diver, although not crucial, is an advantage. Being able to concentrate on filming subjects while being able to dive on automatic is a definite bonus. There are occasions when inexperienced divers get carried away with shooting video, or even taking still photos, and get caught short by lack of air or ignoring possible decompression times. This does not mean the novice diver shouldn’t take video, but in doing so they must concentrate harder on keeping their dive profile safe. It is often all too tempting to swim off into the blue after a Dolphin or Manta only to discover that you are now caught in a current and can’t get back to the boat or reef. Another important skill to have is good buoyancy control so you don’t damage coral or kick up sediment when trying to get close to animals.
In the end, is it all worth it? Yes of course. The pure thrill of getting close to and capturing on video some fantastic marine animal and watching its behaviour is intoxicating.
But it’s when you are with your subject that the next stages of discipline kick in. Holding the camera steady while taking the shots. Often quite hard to do, especially in a swell or fast current. Is the image in focus and sharp? Is the exposure and colour balance right? How is the framing? All questions I continually ask myself as I shoot any video sequence. What’s the animal going to do next, and am I ready? Then when I have a good image secured in the camera, I have to think how is this going to fit in my sequence when I come to edit.
Of course most of this can be ignored simply by shooting with automatic cameras such as GoPro and just letting it run on its own throughout the entire dive. But oh how I feel for the poor partners back on shore that have to sit through hours of wobbly out of focus video and then say “That was nice dear.”
The only reason I mention all this is that I want the reader to have an idea just how much effort has gone into each video submitted in our monthly underwater video contest and how well the overall winner has done.
Along with myself, we had guest judges who kindly gave their time to look at each video and help choose the winner. Sven Harms and Yvette Trinh from SeaLife cameras and lights, and Dave Glanfield from Ocean Leisure Cameras. As judging can often be very subjective we decide to pick a winner by completing a point card system where different aspects of video making were given scores out of five. These were, composition, technical quality, overall feel to the film, narration, story telling, music choice and many more. Seventeen categories in all. Then the marks were added up and the winner declared.
The winner of Scubaverse.com’s Video of the Year 2015 is Matthias Lebo, with his winning film ‘The Four Kings’.
Congratulations Matthias – a worthy winner indeed. Your Scubapro Travel Kit is on its way to you.
Here is Scubaverse.com’s Video of the Year 2015:
You can enter Scubaverse.com’s Video of the Month Contest here. The contest generally runs from the 5th to the 25th of each month.