April 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: Fiji Island – Serge Melesan

Winning Video:

Hi all. Yet another good month for video entries. Differing standards in both shooting and editing, but all of the films were enjoyable to watch. As usual please do read my comments to all entrants in case there is something there that may help you as well.

From now on I would ask that with all your new entries you include a few words on which camera you used and lights, if any.

Let’s take a look at this month’s entries:

Fiji Island – Serge Melesan

Watch Serge’s video here.

Interesting beginning with the fire act but I think if I were to show that as an introduction to the location then I would have made a little more of it first, before going underwater. Perhaps just a couple more shots to set the scene. If I have misinterpreted the opening and it is in fact just a general header, then I think I would have separated it from the opening underwater shot with a fade or similar. Hope this is helpful.

Once underwater, the images were very good. Well shot, sharp, good exposure and lighting. The silhouetted sharks were very moody. So sad to see the Tiger shark with the hook in its mouth. Loved the shot of the turtle swimming up towards the divers. Nicely edited and good music choice. I liked the ending too.

Size doesn’t matter – Daryll Rivett

Watch Daryll’s video here.

That was interesting. The fish really didn’t want the octopus around. I know that Damsel fish can be very aggressive and territorial, especially when they are protecting eggs. Small but very feisty. Great colour changes from the octopus as it fled and then tried to camouflage.

Porcupine fish – Austin Rex Lobaton

Watch Austin’s video here.

Love it. Great shot, great music. Just all fitted really well. Good sharp image and very nicely framed. Left me wanting more which is always a good thing. Not sure if you used any lighting. If you did it was very subtle and worked well.

Melibe veridis feeding – Sofia Tenggrono

Watch Sofia’s video here.

Absolutely fascinating. Well done for capturing that. It lost focus now and again, but it didn’t matter as the action was totally engrossing. Nice music choice.

Gliding – Sofia Tenggrono

Watch Sofia’s video here.

I do like these single animal observations. Very relaxing and nice to watch. Once again good music choice. You did well to keep the focus and the mixes worked well. The ending was just right. All well exposed and framed.

Through a Diver’s Eyes – Ryan Custureri

Watch Ryan’s video here.

That was fun. I enjoyed the pre-dive story in which the editing was very good. A few of the shots could have been a half second shorter just to keep the timing of all the shots constant, but that’s a very minor point. The following underwater tour was enjoyable to see. Camera work was good with clear sharp and well exposed images. Neat trick for bringing back the old car tyre. Never seen that before. Quite obvious really. The recycling bins and the gear wash made for a perfect ending. Well done.

Pantha rei – everything flows – Matthias Harendt

Watch Matthias’ video here.

Lovely opening and good to see a river film which was well conceived and shot. The underwater sequences were very moody and a treat to watch. I was  just starting to think “I wish there was a narration to tell me what I’m looking at”, and then right on queue it came. Sadly from my perspective it was all in German and so I didn’t know what was being said, but that’s just my loss. Maybe, just to make it a bit more international, an English translation would have been useful. This could have been as on-screen subtitles or a written text version below the main screen. But apart from that, the underwater images were excellent and the music choice fitted well.

Nylon Shipwreck Dive – Ian Mitchell

Watch Ian’s video here.

Hi Ian. Well that was interesting. Please take all my following comments as helpful suggestions and not criticisms. Can I assume it was shot using a GoPro mounted on your helmet or on the top of your mask? I think it was the bubbles that gave me the clue. Looks like you all had a very nice dive and the conditions looked good. For someone who was on the dive with you, I’m sure the film would have been great to watch, but for me it was too long without anything happening. The trouble with head mounted cameras is they are never very steady and give little control over what is being filmed. Perhaps with some editing, a bit of music and a little narration to tell a short story of the wreck would make all the difference. But this only comes with practice and experience and so for now, well done for what what has been achieved so far.

Scuba Diving in Roatán, Honduras – March 2019 (4K) – Doug McConnachie (Fish Nerd Films)

Watch Doug’s video here.

Looked like a good trip with some good people. I liked the intro surface sequence with the soft transition to the underwater. Very steady camera work, all sharp and well exposed. The wide diver shots followed by the wildlife close ups worked really well. The seahorse was beautiful and the octopus at the end was a real treat. Well done for the conservation message at the end.

Grey Nurse Shark being photobombed by tiny reef fish – Mark Welch

Watch Mark’s video here.

Hi Mark. That was a nice moment. Beautiful shark. Good camera work with sharp well exposed image and good framing.

And the Winner is….

Fiji Island – Serge Melesan

Well done Serge, and well done to everyone, some great videos last month. I can’t wait to see what you will share with us in May.

Scubaverse.com’s May 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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