December 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: Season by Sylvain Camps

Winning Video:

A fantastic Christmas treat of excellent videos.

When judging these videos for the monthly competitions I usually look at how the video was made rather than content, as it is often unfair to compare a film shot in the UK to one from say Indonesia where the animal life is more abundant and dramatic. I usually look at how the film is constructed, was there any pre-shoot planning, are the images sharp and well framed with good exposure. Has any animal behaviour been fully explored and captured rather than a simple portrait shot. Is the lighting good and the overall colour balance consistant throughout. I look at the editing skills shown as well as the style and relevence of any accompanying music. Are there titles and is there any narrative to help tell a story. I look at all these things before looking at content. But this month, as the overall video making standard was so high, I fould myself drawn over and over again to one film which had the most stunning content.

Hidden in the Sea Grass by Kiril Ivanov

Watch Kiril’s video here.

Really nice. Loved the mood you created with the music and the information graphics were perfect. Excellent establishment of the location and environment, followed by very good fish closeups and behaviour. This is without doubt the best behavioural film ever entered in our competitions and would fit well into any TV natural history programme. Lighting was perfect, images were sharp and steady as well as being well composed. Well done.

Um El Faroud Wreck, Malta by Lee Jellyman, Mocean Images

Watch Lee’s video here.

Loved your opening shot. Slow, purposeful, steady, well framed and exposed. The music was just right for the pace and mood. All followed by some great wreck interiors. Interesting lighting, especially from the divers torches. Intended or not, it was quite effective. Very busy down there as well…….Well shot deck images to round off the rest of the video although I wasn’t sure about the octopus as it looked as if it was shot at a different location, perhaps on a reef and not part of the wreck. All in all a very good visual tour and story of the ship.

Season by Sylvain Camps

Watch Sylvain’s video here

Beautiful. Fabulous audio and music. The images were breath taking. You did well with the pace of editing to the music. The dolphins with the humpback were totally amazing and then the baby humpback with mother were to die for. I often try to encourage a narrative or story line to make videos more interesting, but with subjects like you had, words would have been of no use as the images told their own story and were totally captivating.

Seven Days of Diving the Red Sea by Hank Hall

Watch Hank’s video here

Oh wow! If that was day one……. Not only a dugong but one doing some great behaviour. Day two didn’t disappoint, with some excellent reef life, all well filmed and edited. Same with day three. Not too sure about the music, but in the end it’s all subjective. Day four and five were even better. Day six was even better still, but day seven was just perfect. Great lighting and framing. Loved the coral trout in the bait fish.

Rangiroa by Serge Melesan

Watch Serge’s video here

That was a fabulous opening shot with very interesting audio. Interesting choice of music but not to my personal taste. I found it gave a slight threatening feel to the images where as visually the animals looked relaxed and controlled.  Amazing shoals of fish later on. Wonderful to see so many in one shot. Sharks were also good and probably fitted the music better than the rest of the film as they did look slightly aggravated. All well shot and nicely edited.

Rangiroa – Dive with dolphins by Sylvain Camps

Watch Sylvain’s video here

Hi Sylvain. Good for you for entering again, but slightly confusing. The title you entered was ‘Dive with Dolphins’ but the actual video uploaded was ‘300 Sharks’ from your previous entry which did indeed win that months competition. No matter, I have taken 300 Sharks to be the one to look at. As I said previously, 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. In addition I thought your editing to music was perfect. Well done.


And the Winner is….

I fould myself drawn over and over again to one film which had the most stunning content: Season by Sylvain Camps.

Having said all this, I would like to give special mention to ‘Hidden in the Sea Grass by Kiril Ivanov’ for producing the best animal behavioural film to have ever been entered.

Happy Christmas and New Year everyone and hope you got that new camera you wanted.

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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