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Winners - Underwater Videography Contests

August 2018 Video Contest Winner and Review




Winner: Shark diving Bahamas – Bartosz Sykus

Winning Video:

What a month for entries! Eighteen in all and a pleasure to watch every one of them. The overall standard seems to rise every month. More videos this month from Italy and Spain and on this note I would just like to mention that, to my shame, I don’t speak much of either and so the precise meaning of any narration is lost on me. If at all possible could any future entries have an English introduction and narration. It is not essential, but it would help.

Such a variety of films, from full documentary style to music videos. Wonderful! As usual I have commented on each film so please read each of them in case there is useful information there for you.

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

Egypt / Wreck: SS Thistlegorm – Luis Ricardo Branco

Watch Luis’ video here.

Well done for doing the research. Really good to have the history of the wreck. It makes the video far more poignant. You certainly covered the wreck with nice shots. It is one of the better war time wrecks for diving and photography. The music didn’t quite work for me though, as it was a bit to bright for the sombre feel of the war time images.

Ischia suggestioni mediterranee (Ischia Mediterranean suggestions)- Alberto Cassanelli

Watch Alberto’s video here.

Once again, good to see a written intro to the video. It really does give a greater meaning to the film.

For those who do not speak Italian a rough google translation of the intro is “The beauties of the Mediterranean seen from the wings of the island of Ischia. But mare nostrum in difficult times like these is less and less a cradle of civilization. In my opinion beauty freedom and dignity are closely related and I would like to continue to admire these extraordinary sea beds, hoping that our ancient sea returns to be what history gives us, a cradle of civilization and not an immense cemetery. in the video some suggestions on the topic.”

Lovely music opening to the film with a great establishing shot of the area. Sadly I do not speak Italian so I have little idea of what the narrator is saying. I am no doubt missing the finer points of the narrative but I feel I got the gist of it. The story flowed together nicely and was all well shot with good clear and steady images, especially the underwater which had good lighting.

Reportage dalle Medas – Alberto Cassanelli

Watch Alberto’s video here.

Another from Alberto in Italian, so here is the translation.

“Reportage from the Medas. Reportage from the Medas Islands a singular and very particular marine park of our Mediterranean Costa Brava Spain, from which we could draw some useful ideas also for our reality.”

Sadly once again I cannot understand the narration which is a shame as it looks to be a very informative film. The overall structure of the video is very professional as is the camera work and editing. Love the music. The underwater clips are excellent and the Giant Grouper is a true star.

Ethereal creatures – Puccio Distefano

Watch Puccio’s video here.

Ctenophores and tunicates are truly extraordinary. You have done well to film these so well. Music is very fitting to compliment the images. Although the video is clear and sharp, the overall quality is a little flat in contrast and desaturated in colour. Have a think about lighting a little more from the side. Also try dropping the exposure in post and boosting the contrast a little. Just might give a little more depth to the subject.

Secrets of the night – Jose Carlos Rando Lara

Watch Jose’s video here.

For those who don’t speak Spanish, here is a translation of the written intro to the film. “offers a dark but alternative universe, full of life and details in which we can see colours and delicate creatures, beauty that we do not know, hidden under the moon and revealed by the sea every night.”

Excellent beginning to the film. The music, the half hidden moon, the octopus. Wonderful to watch. The animals action and the speed of the camera moves are in perfect harmony with the music which makes the whole film flow with grace. The quality of the images is perfect. Sharp, well framed, well lit and very steady.

Sunset/Night Diving in S. Caterina (Le) Italy – Nanni Bassetti

Watch Nanni’s video here.

Good to have an establishing shot to show where the diving location is. The film had a good adventure feel to it but at times the music was a little to powerful for the action taking place. Nice editing and you did well to keep the pace going.

Underwater Vol. 1 – A journey into scuba diving – Nanni Bassetti

Watch Nanni’s video here.

Thanks for the written intro. Makes a big difference to know what the film is intended to portray. Nice concept for the film and the music fitted it well although the abrupt ending to the first music piece was a little disturbing. Perhaps it could have faded slowly of have been mixed and blended with the new incoming track. Same with the third track. But overall the video had a good feel to it.

Underwater – Vol. 2 Sea life – Nanni Bassetti

Watch Nanni’s video here.

Hi Nanni. You certainly are enjoying your diving and and videography. As you progress, have a think about taking a bit longer over each shot you do. Consider the subject and the best angle to film it from. Then take your time and get the best image by holding the camera steady and getting as close as possible to the animals you are filming.

Big Respect – Jordi Regy Sibon

Watch Jorgi’s video here.

What a terrible wound and what a stunning animal. That was a really nice video. You did well to stay with it and get the complete variety of shots. Your music choice was perfect. You are right, we don’t generally respect nature. We mostly exploit it for entertainment or finance. We forget we are part of that nature too.

Aplysia Dactilomela – Puccio Distefano

Watch Puccio’s video here.

I really like this video. It concentrates on one species and I’m sure, is very educational and informative. Unfortunately I don’t speak Italian and so can’t understand the narrative. That apart, it is extremely well made with some excellent camera work. The close ups of Sea Hare and diver are particularly good. In this instance music was not necessary as the narration was complete beginning to end.

Scilla – Puccio Distefano

Watch Puccio’s video here.

The jelly fish opening with the music was lovely. The following mixture of wide angle, mid shots and close ups did not disappoint. Excellent steady swim shots over the corals.

Dive Bonaire – Thomas Hooker

Watch Thomas’ video here.

Hi Thomas. Nice opening but the second underwater shot had serious cropping on the left hand side. The solution would have been to zoom in in editing and get rid of the black edge. Generally if this does not work and there is a serious loss of quality then it is better to be decisive and take the image completely out. You are obviously very talented with the camera and have some lovely material in the video. However I felt there was too much there without the addition of some sort of narration. Even for the most professional film makers thirteen minutes of just images and music is a challenge. I would suggest picking only your best shots and cutting the film down. The diver alert message at the end was good and a stark warning to all who become complacent about diving.

Cayman Brac Diving – Thomas Hooker

Watch Thomas’ video here.

Once again lots of nice shots but overall just a little too long. Perhaps it would have been better to edit two or three shorter videos with a more definite theme. I did like the turtle edited with the tempo change of the music.

Seadragon Photography – Dean Spraakman (Seadragon Photography)

Watch Dean’s video here.

Good start with excellent images and music. The editing to the sound track was also well thought out. Just a note to say that one of the shots was out of focus and so worth removing as it detracted from the other sharp images. The cuttle fish were wonderful. You must have been thrilled to have seen and filmed them. Your camera work and lighting is excellent.

Shark & Yolanda Reef – Daniele Sorze

Watch Daniele’s video here.

Great start with the map and the dive briefing. The music worked well. What were the cetaceans? Were they False Killer Whales? The underwater reef shots were excellent with steady camera work and nice lighting and nice to see a few reveal shots from under the table corals. The dolphins at the end were a bonus.

Under Sipadan – Xeon KS

Watch Xeaon KS’ video here.

That was a very welcome change of pace. Fast images with fast music and fast editing which all worked really well together to produce an exciting dynamic video. Great to see so many fish in one shot. The overall length of the film was perfect.

Shark diving Bahamas – Bartosz Sykus

Watch Bartosz’s video here.

Powerful opening shot with the shark and then a good follow up with the aerial of Bimini. Like it. The establishing shots of divers and area were good and well worth making the effort to get. The underwater shots were faultless and dramatic. I’m not a great fan of feeding stations but it does show an obvious awareness and intelligence in the sharks interacting with the divers. Just as I had seen enough of the sharks and dramatic music you must have read my mind and changed the pace of the film with a serene ray. Perfect. The break in the film with a change of location and shark species worked well. The Tiger sharks were superb. Don’t think you could have got much closer!Well done for getting above all the action for the underwater aerials. When I first opened the video I noticed, with a slight feeling of dismay, that it was eleven minutes long but in the end I was captivated by the imagery. But most of all I was heartened to see you refrained from the classic ‘danger’ music and set the feel of the dive with a mystic track that gave a sense of awe and wonder. The two tiger sharks that seemed to buddy together were a real treat. What an amazing dive.

Una nuova stagione -Alberto Cassanelli

Watch Alberto’s video here.

Thanks Aslberto for the written intro. Here is the translation “A new season – End of May 2018 the incredible explosion of colors in the seabed of the protected marine area of ​​Tor Paterno 6 miles off Ostia Lido in Rome after a winter and a rainy and cool spring, a climatic situation overturned compared to last year”. I only wish I understood enough Italian to appreciate the narration. Loved the bird stepping to the music opening. Made me smile. From the excellent images I can only guess at the storyline. Visually the video flowed effortlessly as did the music.

And the Winner is….

Choosing a winner this month with so many different styles and subjects has been the hardest yet.

But choose I must. If you have not won, please don’t be disappointed because as I have said, all the films were of a very high standard. The film that left the greatest impression with me and which I felt I could watch again was Shark diving Bahamas – Bartosz Sykus.  Congratulations.’s September 2018 Underwater Video Contest is now open! Enter as many as three of your underwater videos here.

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

November 2020 Video Contest Winner and Review




Winner: Kelp Dreams by Colby Kammerer

Winning Video:

I don’t know……I have picked a winner this month four times now and keep changing my mind. Sometimes I feel this should be a showcase of films rather than a competition and each video have longer on our site for people to view and appreciate all the hard work and skill gone into each entry.

But competition it is and so for the fifth and final time, this month’s winner is Kelp Dreams by Colby Kammerer. The production of this video is not as complex or elaborate as a few of the others but the images of the sheer beauty of the kelp beds are captivating and go to show that sometimes simplicity can be best.

Good diving everyone.

To A Fish and A Fish Answers by Betsy Beasley

I love this even before I am 20secs into it. Good narration with good narrator. Good music too. I am hooked. The images are generally good to average, but it is the storey that compels the viewer to watch and hopefully thought provoking. It is an interesting concept and one well worth exploring further.

Wrecks and reefs by David Dwyer

Hi David, Thanks for the written intro on cameras and editing. It’s always good to know. Good opening. Certainly captured the essence of diving in poor weather. I felt cold and tired just watching. But then once underwater all that topside stuff is forgotten and the dive fully takes over all thoughts. Viz looked good. I liked your narration and the music fitted well. Also good camera work and editing.

Scuba Diving The Reefs of Puerto Morelos by Hank H

Nice camera work and always good to see species names on the screen when the purpose of the film is a simple catalogue of animals. Spot on with the lighting and framing. Although I said catalogue, I meant that in a good way as it is always pleasing to see so much life of such a great variety and colour.

The Dark Side of L’Estartit by Dmitry Lisenko

A feel good film with images and music sympathetically and creatively put together. You could have taken the same images and completely changed the mood and feel with other music. What you did felt right and was a joy to watch. One thought though. The music gradually built up in tempo and volume and created the expectation of a dramatic ending, which for me didn’t quite happen. I was waiting eagerly for something to be revealed in the darkness of the caves.

Planet Zeeland by Ronald Faber

Very good. Made me smile…..The film was well thought out and put together. Music and narration was of course perfect. Lovely camera work and editing with well lit, steady, well framed images. The fish/crab interaction was brilliant. AND the end credit was just right.

Fontem Vitae by Ronald Faber

A great video with excellent and meaningful script which was perfectly narrated. The videography was also excellent with good lighting and framing. The music was well suited to the script as was the pace of the film. My memory tells me you won the video of the year in 2016 with a very similar film. Good to see you are still making them.

Scuba Diving with Grey Seals at Lundy Island, Devon, UK by Daniel French

Such encounters always make my heart race. For me it’s one of the best aspects of diving. You captured the seals perfectly in both camera work and editing. I liked the overall structure of the video which had a good visual story in the timeline. The reaction of the seal to the divers jumping into the water was a nice touch. The music fitted well and lent an air of calm to the whole experience.The underwater/surface shots were lovely. Don’t see those often and the seal sleeping was just magic.

Our Vancouver Island by Colby Kammerer

Oh this brought back so many great memories of living and diving around Vancouver. What a place!

Love the film. Beautiful shots of the salmon and the surrounding environment. Very well edited and the choice of music gave a strong regal feel to the video.

Kelp Dreams by Colby Kammerer

A video about the simple beauty of kelp was well overdue. Stunning images set to perfect choice of music. The natural lighting in kelp beds can give rise to some of the most creative sequences in the marine word. Great steady camera work and image framing.

Discover Our Planet by Colby Kammerer

I remember Cabo St Lucas when it was literally a one horse town and the only bar there had swing doors. The marine life was abundant and spectacular. It is shameful that this and any part of the world should loose all that to over fishing and habitat destruction. Good to know at least life is returning to the park at Cabo Pulmo. Thanks for this video as it lends hope for the future.

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

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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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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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