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Announcing the winner of Scubaverse.com’s Video of the Year 2015

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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.

 

 

Jeff Goodman is the Editor-at-Large for Scubaverse.com with responsibility for conservation and underwater videography. Jeff is an award-winning TV wildlife and underwater cameraman and film maker who lives in Cornwall, UK. With over 10,000 dives to his credit he has dived in many different environments around the world.

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Deptherapy charity to close in August 2023

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Scuba Diving rehabilitation charity Deptherapy has announced its forthcoming closure. Last month, the Board of Trustees met to discuss the future of the Deptherapy & Deptherapy Education Charity. A path to closure was sadly agreed that will see the charity formally end its operation with effect from midnight on 31st August 2023, the end of the charity’s 2022–2023 financial year.

The reasons for closure, and the plans for the operation of Deptherapy over the interim period, are covered in a statement issued on behalf of the Deptherapy Board, which was made available on the charity’s website today, 3rd October 2022.

Two major issues have forced the difficult decision to close: 1, the inability to recruit sufficient beneficiaries to maintain a viable graduated diving qualification pathway; and 2, the lack of a sustainable income stream, in which public giving has been replaced by an increased dependency on grant funding. The charity also cites the negative impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic on both recruitment and fundraising.

Until their closure at the end of August next year, Deptherapy is committed to continuing the charity’s scheduled programme, which includes a training expedition to Roots Red Sea in October 2022 for new beneficiaries, as well as those already on developmental courses. The charity is also hosting a Deptherapy Retreat in Sheffield in November 2022 for beneficiaries, partners and relatives. The Retreat will see the launch of the Deptherapy Mental Awareness Course, an important part of the legacy that the charity will leave when it finally closes its doors next August.

Deptherapy Chair, Richard Cullen, said:

“I speak for the Board when I say that we are immensely proud of all that Deptherapy and its beneficiaries have achieved since the charity’s formation in 2014. As an organization and individuals, we leave a huge footprint in terms of Adaptive Teaching on the Scuba Diving industry globally. Most importantly, we leave a legacy of lives saved and transformed. Our beneficiaries will remain front and centre of our work over the coming period as they have always been. Deptherapy is also committed to ensuring the benefits of our programmes and experience will remain accessible and sustainable for the future.”

Subject to residual funds, the charity hopes to run a further ‘core’ expedition to the Red Sea in May/June 2023, and a liveaboard expedition in Summer 2023 for existing beneficiaries. All fundraising activities will cease from 31st December 2022.

The Board is also actively looking at ways of ensuring that our expertise, experience and resources are made available to other charities supporting those in the Blue Light Services who have encountered mental and physical injuries.

Further details about Deptherapy’s progress to closure will be available in due course.

To read the full statement about the closure or for more information, visit www.deptherapy.co.uk.

Images: Dmitry Knyazev for Deptherapy

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Announcing the Winners of Scubaverse’s September 2022 Underwater Photo & Video Contests

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Another bumper month packed with amazing images and videos from around the world! It has certainly been another great month for entries in both contests – your underwater photos and videos are just getting better and better! Thanks to all who entered.

To find out who the winner of Scubaverse.com’s September 2022 Underwater Photo Contest is, click here.

To find out who the winner of Scubaverse.com’s September 2022 Underwater Video Contest is, click here.

If you’re not a winner this month, then please do try again. October’s photo and video contests are now open.

To enter Scubaverse.com’s October 2022 Underwater Photo Contest, click here.

To enter Scubaverse.com’s October 2022 Underwater Video Contest, click here.

Good luck!!!

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