July 2019 Video Contest Winner and Review

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WINNER CHOSEN AND REVIEW BY SCUBAVERSE.COM’S EDITOR-AT-LARGE AND RESIDENT UNDERWATER VIDEOGRAPHY EXPERT JEFF GOODMAN

Winner: Fakarava 300 sharks by Sylvain Camps

Winning Video:

Oh….I don’t know…..How to pick a winner from such good films. Between them all we have emotive images, excellent camerawork, very good editing, perfect music, professional narration, well researched information, humor. I want to make everyone a winner. However there were three that stood out and linger in my thoughts. Fakarava 300 sharks – sylvain Camps, French Polynesia pearl of pacific – Serge melesan and Oman Melodrama – Craig J. Beasley. Spectacular images, wonderful colours, good lighting. As usual I have commented on each individual film. Please read them as well as your own. It may help you in the future.

Hunting flamboyant cuttlefish by Cindy Dalebout

Watch Cindy’s video here.

Wonder of nature. Well done for getting the food capture. It may just be me but I think the image is just slightly out of focus. If you are using a GoPro or similar try to determine just how close you can get to your subject before it goes soft. With a GoPro and a standard W/A setting any thing closer than about 12″ with not be sharp. You can get very good close up attachments which will help get over this.

Swimming featherstar by Cindy Dalebout

Watch Cindy’s video here.

Indeed it is rare to see them swimming, especially in daylight hours. You filmed it really well with good framing and keeping it in focus throughout. Music was a very good choice.

Stargazer-fish-diner by Cindy Dalebout

Watch Cindy’s video here.

Well done for entering three films. It’s great to see a variety. The image of the Stargazer fish dinner made me laugh out loud. One had to wonder what was going through the fishes mind.

Diving with the Giant Cuttlefish in Whyalla by Daryll Rivett

Watch Daryll’s video here.

Hi Daryll. Always nice to have a short location story before getting to the dive site. A few things I would mention though is if you are going to do this try to keep it short and punchy unless you are using the time to narrate and tell the audience of what the site is about. This would also help to minimize the wind roar on the sound track. I know how difficult it can be to get clean sound with a gopro when it is a windy day. Have a look at using a lapel mic, which are very inexpensive, or similar which can be tucked out of the way. This will give much better sound without the roaring.

You picked up the story really well later so in this instance I would have cut out the previous travel shots or perhaps added a little travel music.

I love diving with and watching cuttlefish especially at times like this when they are mating. Graceful and seemingly tender. All well shot and good music choice. The added information graphics were good too. What a fantastic spectacle. We used to have this happen here in the UK at one of my local beaches until one year the fishermen found out and tangled netted the lot.

Fakarava 300 sharks by Sylvain Camps

Watch Sylvain’s video here.

Good for you entering again. Love the opening. Real cinema. I guess I will say the same as before. Really liked the open coast shots where you created a perfect mood for the rest of the film. Good music choice too. I did like the cutting back to land to eventuate the feeling of peace and tranquillity which was then again reflected back into the water. I was totally spellbound from beginning to end. The slow motion schooling fish were magnificent.

French Polynesia pearl of pacific by Serge Melesan

Watch Serge’s video here.

Hi again Serge. A slight re-cut I think. I don’t have access to the previous film but from memory, well done. The opening is much stronger. Very cinematic. Tells a good story. Once underwater the music creates a very relaxed pace to the lovely images. The appearance of the wrasse was spectacular and the flipping turtle a real bonus. Don’t see that often. Turtle and diver was a nice touch. Throughout the film you have caught some excellent animal behaviour. That was a lot of sharks later on. What a wonderful sight. Fantastic Mantas and a perfect way to end. Eleven minutes is a long time for any video with just images and music but you made it work right through to the end.

I’ll catch you, I’ll catch youuuu! by Alexander C. Allgayer

Watch Alexander’s video here.

Short but absolutely superb. What an incredible thing to see.

The Mighty Napoleon Wrasse by Hank Hall

Watch Hank’s video here.

Was that really lucky or an abituated wrasse? Either way, wonderful encounter. Usually the large wrasse are very timid and that’s mostly down to spear fishing, but this one was totally relaxed with you. Good music to go with the images. I think I detected you were using a light but it failed to bring out the full colour. Perhaps a little more work in grading at the editing stage would bring out the full potential of the footage.

Deep in the Red by David Gwyer

Watch David’s video here.

Thanks for letting us know what cameras you used. It is can be really helpful to those who are trying to decide what to buy or replace with. Good to see a build up story which was shot and edited well and the narration was informative and interesting throughout. Excellent. One note on sound. When a particular track ends and another begins have a think about fading the music in as well as fading out. It gives a much smoother transition that way. Lots of underwater life all well filmed. The night dive sequence was good and a perfect change of pace from the previous images. Then the wrecks! What a trip. Good music choice for the wrecks. Very moody.

Oman Melodrama by Craig J. Beasley

Watch Craig’s video here.

Excellent written introduction thanks and loved the well researched and written narration. Very professional. Very well filmed with great camera work and good choice of music to enhance your images. The underwater camera work was also good and the narration kept the story going with interest and intrigue.

And the Winner is….

Fakarava 300 sharks by Sylvain Camps

In the end I had to ask a few friends for their thoughts and the general consensus was  Fakarava 300 sharks – sylvain Camps. Congratulations.


Scubaverse.com’s August 2019 Underwater Video Contest is now open! Enter as many as three of your underwater videos here.

Jeff Goodman

Jeff Goodman

Jeff Goodman is the Conservation editor and also the Underwater Videography Editor for Scubaverse.com. Jeff is an award winning TV wildlife and underwater cameraman and film maker. With over 10,000 dives to his credit he has dived in many different environments around the world.

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