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Winners - Underwater Videography Contests

April 2018 Video Contest Winner and Review




Winner: A very short story of an octopus by Lutfu Tanriover

Winning Video:

One of the things I enjoy about all the videos that are entered every month is seeing the different styles and treatments that I would never otherwise get to see on mainstream media such as TV. It’s been great to see experimentation in the way images have been shot and edited. Film making can be  very subjective and it is this that makes all these videos a pleasure to watch. It takes us away from the main stream formulated TV programmes that have to meet well tried and tested criteria to be made and broadcasted.  These are fun and personal.

Let’s take a look at April’s videos:

Southern Leyte Islands, Philippines – Jeff Nesmith

Watch Jeff’s video here.

The images were stunning and the lighting was very effective. Just goes to show what you can do with a GoPro. The music was an interesting choice but I must confess that it did scrape on my teeth occasionally. The turtle was particularly stunning. What fantastic colours. The general pace of the film was very relaxing but I felt the overall underwater sound effect was just a little to heavy.

A very short story of an octopus – Lutfu Tanriover

Watch Luftu’s video here.

It is said, a window to the soul is through the eye and this is particularly true in this film. The single shot was simply perfect and the music complemented it very well. In that first couple of minutes I felt I was sharing a very special part of the octopus’ life. It needed no editing, no cuts, no change of angles. It was just perfect. Super sharp and steady image. For me the film finished when you cut to a close up of the eggs and I would have been happy to see no more. I knew in my mind the rest of the story and didn’t need to see the closing shots of eggs, tentacle and predator. I guess I know why you did that. You wanted to show just what she was giving her life to. Then the eating of one of the first born by a fish really showed the fragility of the new life.

Big Animals I’ve Recorded So Far – Hank Hall

Watch Hank’s video here.

Stunning opening images of the Whale Shark. Once again the magic of the GoPro. The bull Sharks were a good change of pace and caught me by surprise (nicely, I may add). Moody lighting. I hope you got some excellent still photos from the video frames. I was ready for the Sea Lions, and what a wonderful opening shot. I think the Sea Lion was laughing as much as I was. A wonderful moment. Then the turtle over the drop off, very dramatic…..

My compilation 2 Gladius ROV – Stan Adam

Watch Stan’s video here.

First ROV film we’ve had. That was interesting. The quality of the images was quite good and the shots very steady. Music fitted well. For your next film I would love to see something only an ROV could do that divers would find very difficult indeed. Animal behaviour could be one thing.

The Forgotten Islands – Betsy Beasley

Watch Betsy’s video here.

What an excellent adventure. Lovely beginning. The slow and steady camera moves were complimented really well by the music which induced a very relaxed feel to the video. Also nice lighting. I thought the long clip of the Ringed Pipefish was enchanting and so glad you didn’t cut it short. Very smooth transition to the shark which brought about a new feel to the film. Barracuda and shoaling fish were good to see.

17 Days in Indonesia: Ambon and the Forgotten Islands – Betsy Beasley

Watch Betsy’s video here.

Well this doesn’t happen often; in fact never. A separate film of the surface side of a trip. Very brave of you to do this. Cool graphics to open with and good music. The entire film was very well put together both with content and editing. I would be interested to know if you had a target audience in mind especially as it was quite long.

Renggis and the Wreck – Megan Pettersson

Watch Megan’s video here.

I’m not usually a great fan of heavy rock music with underwater films but you made it work. The cutting to the music was very good and precise and turned otherwise normal images into a punchy video. The length of the film was just right too. Any longer and the music would have become overwhelming, but at this length it held my attention right through. Just goes to show that quite often less can be more.

And the Winner is….

More excellent videos this month and as usual I have to pick a winner. The film that held me more than any other was A very short story of an octopus by Lutfu Tanriover.  A very simple yet powerful film that delved right into the heart of another species. It was perfectly shot and  had a stunning music accompaniment.

Even if you didn’t win this month, please do look at the other films and my comments on each. It may help you next time.

I look forward to your entries in May – good luck to you all.

[hr style=”single”]’s May 2018 Underwater Video Contest is now open! Enter as many as three of your underwater videos here.

Winners - Underwater Videography Contests

October 2020 Video Contest Winner and Review




A real pleasure looking at the entries this month and once again my life is made easy by having only two videos to look at. But what fabulous entries they were. Two very different films in terms of location, treatment, post production and content. There is no way to say one is better that the other so once again I am having two winners.

A Full review of Thistlegorm by Adutto

Before starting to watch any video entry I usually skip to the end just to see how long it is. My heart sank when I saw this one was 15 minutes long. But, it turned out to be a wonderful 15 minutes. Time just flew by as I was engrossed by the story being told.

Very professional video with a well thought out and executed introduction. It immediately caught  the my attention with a promise of wonderful underwater images and very interesting historical facts. Loved the graphics throughout the underwater shots showing where on the wreck site the  images were taken. Such a novel and useful concept. Also loved the narration in English and the addition of Spanish sub-titles. Once again really easy to do yet extremely effective. All beautifully filmed and edited with very nice music choice. The archive photos of the cargo and ship machinery were wonderful to see as was the historical film footage.

If it’s not already, then this video should be shown to all divers planning to dive the wreck. It will increase their enjoyment of the wreck ten fold. Thank you for sharing this with us.

Hunt for the hook-nose sea pig by David Gwyer

Lovely opening shots. Very atmospheric. The personal introduction from the divers was delightful. So nice to engage with people who are actually in the film. The music was perfect and the camera work and editing spot on. The length of the above water introduction was also perfect. Just the right amount of time to make me really want to see the seals underwater. And once underwater, the images and narration did not disappoint. Beautifully filmed in the low visibility with great seal behaviour. Magical. Wonderful film.

The November competition is now open for entries. You can enter up to 3 videos by clicking here.

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Winners - Underwater Videography Contests

September 2020 Video Contest Winner and Review




Only two entries this month which is a shame but also great as it means I can have two winners without feeling guilty. Two very different films and both excellent in their own way.

Transformation by Dennis Deavenport

Absolutely loved this video. Artistic license used to the full and thoughtfully produced. Wonderful images creating a surreal and magical feel to our beautiful marine life. Excellent music and very well edited.

Ambon’s Hairy Ones by Catrin Pichler

Hi Catrin. As always your close-up and marcro videography is top class. Sharp, steady, well framed, perfectly exposed. Over the past months you have introduced me to animals I never knew existed. Can I assume that Frogfish are your favourite. Wonderfull. You caputured some great behaviour in this video and cut it extremely well to the music.

The October competition is now open for entries. You can enter up to 3 videos by clicking here.

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Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village is a Bedouin-owned resort with stunning views and a lovely private beach. It is ideal for divers as everything is onsite including the resort's jetty, dive centre and house reef. The warm hospitality makes for a diving holiday like no other. There is an excellent seafood restaurent and beach bar onsite, and with the enormous diversity of the Sharm El Sheikh dive sites and the surrounding areas of the South Sinai, there really is something for every level of diver to enjoy.

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