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Winners - Underwater Videography Contests

April 2020 Video Contest Winner and Review




Winner: Scuba Diving in Roatán, Honduras by Doug McConnachie

Winning Video:

Good to see so many entries this month. Perhaps the Coronavirus has given us more time to spend in the editing than usual.

Manta Obsessed by Hank Hall

Watch Hank’s video here.

How fabulous to have such encounters. Good to have the subtitled facts at the bottom of the screen which make the video far more interesting. All extremely well shot, clear, well exposed and framed images. Good editing and good music.

Masters of Camouflage by Betsy Beasley

Watch Betsy’s video here.

Hi Betsy. No reason at all not to enter again. It’s still a great film. Excellent opening and I love the concept. It’s a true educational video while being entertaining and memorable. The images on the video are good, well shot, lit and framed and the music choice is perfect. Even though the clips are very simple and portrait in style it’s the script that drives the film and makes it special.

Scuba Diving in Roatán, Honduras by Doug McConnachie

Watch Doug’s video here.

Firstly, thanks for the written introduction. I’m jealous of your property in Rohan and saddened that climate change and human activity is affecting the marine life in such a negative way. We need more of these observational films to keep us alert to what is happening in our seas.

Loved the two opening reveal shots with the title and the music set a wonderful relaxed feel to the images. The slow moving diver to follow was perfect. Just as I was settling into the video I was hit by the narration. Brilliant. So good to hear it. Great script both heart felt and informative. Some of the following images were a bit under par in that a few were not sharp and slightly over exposed. This also affected the colour balance. But….as there was a narrative and a good very important story, the quality of the images became second place and so did not worry me as it would have otherwise. Having said that, many of the images were spot on.

Thank you for making this video. It is important we do not give up the fight to save our seas.

Adventuring around Pembrokeshire by Jake Davies

Watch Jake’s video here.

Hi Jake. So good to see some British marine life. Really makes me want to get back into the water after all this isolation is over. Well filmed with good clear images.

Exploring seagrass beds at night by Jake Davies

Watch Jake’s video here.

Hi again Jake. You are quite right, sea grass is an extremely important habitat and one that is largely overlooked. Nice video with excellent array of species. All well filmed and lit. Great octopus. Have you thought about trying some narration to give the viewers a bit of background on what they are watching?

Diving Mi Dushi on Klein Bonaire by Beattravels

Watch Beattravels’ video here.

Good style and nice editing to the music. Makes a big difference putting in that extra effort. The identification graphics are nice and work well. All well shot with good sharp images.

Visayas Phillipines by Dave Weeks

Watch Dave’s video here.

That was very relaxing and nice to watch. Simple but compelling. Great choice of music. All the images were excellent quality, well shot, sharp, nicely framed, well exposed and lit. Good constant colour Ballance throughout as well.

Back to Porthkerris by David Gwyer

Watch David’s video here.

Coronavirus! What a pain. But even if we can’t dive the seas do have a reasonable chance to recover from our constant presence and interference. Love the dives from Porthkerris and you have certainly captured the excitement of the location. Well done with the narration, it was very good and informative. Liked the sound effect too. Lovely underwater wildlife and diver images. It is amazing what you can do with a GoPro and good editing. Really liked the musical ending. Great film, well done.

Club dive to Hurghada in September 2019  by  Andrew Hansell

Watch Andrew’s video here.

Nice. Loved the Moray Eel. Image wise, they are all good but with a bit of tweaking the contrast and brightness/darkness you could make them really good. Try increasing contrast a little and then go a little darker. You should find the quality will improve immensely.

L’atlantique Nord-Est by Adrien Dupont

Watch Adrian’s video here.

Hi again Adrien. Beautiful beginning which really set the scene. Excellent aerials. Very well shot with very good wildlife images. A true celebration of some our wildlife. I did find the music just a little over powering for the action. But all in all a great film.

Turtles in Cozumel, Mexico by Riley Walsh

Watch Riley’s video here.

That was a nice opening. I could feel the divers excitement. It’s always such a treat to dive with Turtles. While you are editing just have a thought about colour balance and try to take some of the blue away which will give you a much richer image.

Night Dive in Cozumel, Mexico by Riley Walsh

Watch Riley’s video here.

Night diving is just wonderful. Tricky lighting with so many high intensity spot light torches around, but I thought you did really well keeping the subjects in the spill-over light. Nice music.

Seal diving at Duck Island in Portsmouth, NH by Riley Walsh

Watch Riley’s video here.

What a fun dive. Glad you let the lobsters go. Looks like the seal really wanted to play. Good to have the written script, especially when you had three seals to mention. Nicely filmed, well done. Perhaps just a little long without any spoken commentary or music.

One Friday morning by Maria Millgate

Watch Maria’s video here.

Oh boy, that was a Friday you’ll never forget. How fantastic. Nicely filmed with good clear steady shots. Exposure all good and a nice even colour balance.

Beneath the Mergui Archipelago by Pietro Cusenza

Watch Pietro’s video here.

Excellent opening with the real expedition feel to it. Music fitted well and loved the whale sounds. Vast amount of wonderful wildlife species which you captured perfectly with steady camerawork. Good variety of wide shots edited with macro. The editing to the music was spot on. Thank you for the written introduction. It was a joy to read about the area.

Cocos – Shark Island by Joeri DP

Watch Joeri’s video here.

Lovely aerial opening. Beautiful images and perfect music. What a stunning location. So much life. Your camera work is very professional and you have an eye for a good image. I loved the huge shoals of fish. Good to have the video on a loop in the background somewhere.

Carrière de Vodelée (Vodelée quarry) by Joeri DP

Watch Joeri’s video here.

That was fun. Don’t often get to see underwater Sturgeon. They are quite magnificent. The wrecks were interesting and made for very quirky images. Great music and very well edited.

Manta Alley – Bali-Komodo-Bali route – Mermaid II Live-aboard by Joeri DP

Watch Joeri’s video here.

Been here a few times myself and do remember how wonderful the mantas were. Thanks for reminding me. Lovely images and very fitting music.

Solution to pollution by Jeff Welsh

Watch Jeff’s video here.

Very powerful opening to your film and beautifully filmed. The following underwater shots were made compelling to watch by the measured and factual narration along with the well fitting and simple music track. I have seen the plastic problem told in many different ways over the past years and you have certainly brought the message home in a professional and clear way. The turtle was excellent. Returning to the land was perfect story telling, showing us the horrific way in which we are destroying the very world we say we love. The clean up volunteers are magnificent people. Well done for bringing in the Sun Screen issue as well, but most of all it was good to hear you give viewers a solution to this horrific man made condition.. Great film. Well done. You should try to distribute it to as many dive clubs that will show it.

And the Winner is….

All lovely films in their own way and it was a tough choice. After watching the films again I thought Scuba Diving in Roatán, Honduras by Doug McConnachie came out ahead. This was not only because of the excellent images and music, but the care taken in writing and delivering a clear concise narration with an extremely important message for us all.

Special mention to Solution to pollution by Jeff Welsh

Please do watch the other entries and have a look at my comments just in case you are inspired to try something new.

Looking forward to next months entries. Stay safe and keep thinking of the dives to come when this is all over..

Jeff Goodman is the Editor-at-Large for 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.

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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