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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

June 2021 Video Contest Winner and Review




Winner: A Film Celebrating World Ocean Day 2021 by Ayub Mooduto

Winning Video:

Not too sure where time goes these days, but here we are, another month gone by. Hope you all had a good one. Quite a variety of film styles this time and I enjoyed watching them all. There was one clear winner this month: A Film Celebrating World Ocean Day 2021 by Ayub Mooduto. There was a lot of thought and work put into this film and the result was a top quality production.

Have fun diving and filming. See you next month.

A Film Celebrating World Ocean Day 2021 by Ayub Mooduto

Very professionally made film with great videography and excellent script which was narrated perfectly. The sequence structure was very good and well edited. A powerful film. I hope it gets a good public viewing. The music was spot on and enhanced the images. It was good to have the complete script written out as well as spoken as it allows the audience to re-visit information easily.

St Abbs Guillemots by Jason Melton

It’s an incredible feeling to underwater with ‘flying’ birds. They are remarkable and a pure joy to watch.  You filmed the encounter well and I particularly liked the slow motion when one of the birds came close. It was quite stunning,  Perfect music choice.

Those with shells by Kris Mears

Great subject and some lovely images. Your macro camera work is very steady and sharp. Excellent lighting and exposure. Good music choice.

One year, one minute – an underwater adventure by Andrea Torresan

That was a nice idea. Beautiful images with great upbeat music. What a year!

Dive the House Reef by divejackdive

Excellent quality. Good camera work with steady tracking shots. What a nice place to have as a house reef. While it was lovely to see the vistas of the reef and the healthy coral, it would have been good see in close up a bit more of the individual marine life species in such a long film.

Wart frogfish fishing by divejackdive

That was really nice. Stunning fish. You filmed it really well with excellent lighting and exposure.

Flamboyant cuttlefish hunting by divejackdive

Liked the graphics. Your opening image was lovely with the very charismatic cuttlefish. It’s pulsating body was a treat to see. You are obviously;y a very patient videographer to get such behavioural shots and keep it all in focus. The music worked well.

Mythical Creature by Keryn McCoy

Beautiful image. Simple but lovely to watch. Sharp, perfectly lit and exposed.

Church by Alex Chiu

What a location! Interesting way of filming it. You certainly captured the ambiancen of the site.

Whale shark by Alex Chiu

That was different. I don’t really like to see animals being harassed by crowds of people but the shark seemed very relaxed and I was relieved not to see any one trying to climb on it’s back. You did a good job filming it and the above water shot worked really well. I had to smile at the selfie.

underwater volcano by Alex Chiu

HI Alex. Short but dynamic.

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

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Winners - Underwater Videography Contests

May 2021 Video Contest Winner and Review




Winner: Once upon a time… by Fredi

Winning Video:

WOW! What a month for excellent films. Such amazing quality in artistic content as well as technical ability. There is no better or best film out of all of them, simply one that caught my attention slightly more that the others. The winner this month is Once upon a time…by Fredi. As I said in my comments to this film, Fredi has pushed the level of film making in this monthly competition up to another level. HOWEVER… If you are not quite so experienced as Fredi, please don’t be put off from entering your film. It is by showing your work in public and getting feedback that can help improve and move forward.

Change of Seasons Underwater by Marcell Nikolausz

Excellent! Really good to see a freshwater film and a good one too. Superb images with interesting and informative narration which was spoken with great professionalism. You took us through the seasons and species with great film work. The underwater bird was a wonderful surprise, as was the catfish.

What an incredible encounter by Ayub Mooduto

Perfect written introduction to your film which describes some of the skills needed to to take good macro video. Stunning opening shot which was edited and timed well with the music. The following images were very good and a joy to watch. Not sure about the sound effects though. Sounded a bit like a growling dog. Your lighting and steady camera work was excellent. Wonderful selection of species.

Once upon a time… by Fredi

That was quite a special written story. Loved it. You just pushed the level of film making in this monthly competition up another level. The narrated story is good and the videography is superb. Stunning images. The story drew me right in and I found myself smiling as it developed.  Your choice of animal characters was perfect. I’m so glad you gave it a happy ending.

The meadow behind our home by Fredi

It’s a wonderful and powerful film with a good sentiment. Stunningly shot, narrated and edited. It is well written and conceived.  I don’t know what more I can say about it.

Manta Alley Redux by Craig Beasley

Ah yes, we all have disappointing days. Nice drone and land opening sequence with good narration and interesting script. Liked the ‘stop – start again’. It livened the whole film up. Fun music and editing. Nice story for the area with well shot images and a great variety of species.

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

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