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CMAS European Championship of Underwater Videography and Photography – Madeira, 2022



I was delighted to be asked by Kerim Sabuncuoglu, Director Visual Commission CMAS – World Underwater Federation, to be President of the video jury for the 2022 competition held in Madeira in early October. There was also a photo competition where the guest president was Tanya Houppermans from the USA.

Jeff Goodman, Tanya Houppermans, Kerim Sabuncuoglu

CMAS is a diving organization that I have not heard much about previously here in the UK. But in Europe, it is huge and I was secretly slightly embarrassed at my lack of knowledge of just how popular and influential it is.

For this week long event there were video teams from Portugal, Spain, Italy, Turkey, Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, and as they began to gather on the first morning there was a definite party atmosphere as old friends and new acquaintances got together. Some of the teams paid for their own expenses to be at the competition while others were sponsored by their governments. Wow! Now that is what I call taking sport diving seriously.

Day one started with a parade through the town followed by an official opening in the town centre.

Each country was introduced and entered the stage area carrying their country flags. There were national anthems played accompanied by cheering and clapping. It had a hint and feel of the Eurovision Song Contest to it and although I am not a great fan of that particular event, I found myself being drawn into this ceremony with great enthusiasm.

I was slightly disappointed to be the only Brit there but nevertheless I was made to feel very welcome. And, everyone spoke very good English which made my life very easy. In fact, the entire event was held in English as this seemed to be the universal language. Phew!!! Dignitaries gave speeches, contestants cheered and the press and TV interviewed all the important guests. Perhaps next year we may be able to enter a Brtitish team as I know there are many good underwater photographers and videographers here in the UK.

There are very strict rules and regulations to this contest and there is no leeway for excuses for not fully complying. There are too many to mention here but let me just say that they left no room for misinterpretation. The organisation of this event was immense and extremely well carried through.

After a practice day of diving and seeing the allocated dive sites, the contest began in earnest. Contestants had two days to film and edit their work. A marquee, set up in the marina, provided a base for everyone to lay out their diving equipment and cameras as well as the opportunity to discuss the day ahead.

After two dives a day and evening editing, the finished films and photos were sent around the world to a group of online judges to be assessed and marked.

Final discussions of the photo and video results

There were three video categories:


1.1.1.   The video submitted to Movie Category can have a maximum length of 4 minutes (included) and a minimum of 2 minutes. Videos less than 2 minutes or longer than 4 minutes will be disqualified.

1.1.2.   The proportion of non-underwater images and animations, including the title and closing credits will not be more than 30%. In the combination of underwater and non-underwater images in the same shoot, the land image will prevail. Delivering a video out of this percentage will result in the disqualification of the video.

1.1.3.   Participants can include audio files, titles and fixed images (that is shot by him/her) in his/her project. However, the noise effects, visual effects, voice-over, animation and music must be free from copyright.


1.1.4.   The video submitted to SHORT Movie Category can have a maximum length of 60 seconds (included). Videos longer than 60 seconds will be disqualified.

1.1.5.   Land takes are not allowed in this category. However, half and half shots (30% land) will be considered as underwater take.

1.1.6.   Animations are not allowed in this category.

1.1.7.   Participants can include audio files, titles and fixed images (that is shot by him/her) in his/her project. However, the noise effects, visual effects, voice-over and music must be free from copyright.


1.1.8.   The video submitted to Unedited Movie Category can have a maximum length of 60 seconds (included) and a minimum of 45 seconds. Videos less than 45 seconds or longer than 60 seconds will be disqualified.

1.1.9.   Participants can not include audio files, visual effects, titles and images in his/her project. The video has to be silent, without effects, colour correction, without opening or closing credits. Editing allowed in this category is detaching and removing audio, cutting and pasting the video clips one after the other.

The award ceremony was no less impressive than the rest of the week, with great excitement generated by the contesting teams. Celebrities made the presentations, teams cheered, medals were awarded on the podium, and national anthems played. Fantastic. All finished off perfectly with an award dinner and more celebrations.

While the dinner was well underway I asked  Kerim Sabuncuoglu, Director Visual Commission CMAS, to tell us more about CMAS and the competition:

The winning films are:

MOVIE CATEGORY – IRIS by Jorge Illan and Pilar Castro – Spain

SHORT MOVIE CATEGORY – My Dream by Matthias Harendt and Jorg Steer – Germany

UNEDITED MOVIE CATEGORY – Jorge Illan and Pilar Castro – Spain

There was a short official event video to sum up the week made by Matthias Lebo, underwater cinematographer and film maker:

Come on UK, we could be part of this……..!

As for Madeira as a holiday and dive destination. Great. Well worth looking into. The island is beautiful, the weather and the sea is warm and clear, and the diving safe. For a few suggestions have a look at:

To learn more about CMAS visit

Jeff is a multiple award winning, freelance TV cameraman/film maker and author. Having made both terrestrial and marine films, it is the world's oceans and their conservation that hold his passion with over 10.000 dives in his career. Having filmed for international television companies around the world and author of two books on underwater filming, Jeff is Author/Programme Specialist for the 'Underwater Action Camera' course for the RAID training agency. Jeff has experienced the rapid advances in technology for diving as well as camera equipment and has also experienced much of our planet’s marine life, witnessing, first hand, many of the changes that have occurred to the wildlife and environment during that time. Jeff runs bespoke underwater video and editing workshops for the complete beginner up to the budding professional.

Marine Life & Conservation

Reefs Go Live returns for new season



CCMI brings the ocean directly to classrooms around the world through live-stream lessons from underwater

In 2018, the Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI) launched Reefs Go Live, their innovative, flagship education programme that live-streams directly from underwater on the coral reefs in Little Cayman to students in classrooms around the world in real time. For the 2022 season, the four episodes of Reefs Go Live reached more than 107,000 viewers in 22 countries. CCMI’s Reefs Go Live team hopes to expand their reach with four new episodes and supplemental teaching resources to help integrate the material into classroom lessons.

Science Communications & Development Manager for CCMI, Beth Chafin, is excited to be part of another year of Reefs Go Live:

“Knowing we have an audience that spans the world, our team is energised as we plan and implement our Reefs Go Live season for 2023! We feel that creating a connection to the ocean and sharing the beautiful coral reefs of Little Cayman with others, both locally and abroad, is one of the most important ways to increase support for critical, timely issues such as marine protection and sustainability. At CCMI, we are fortunate to have these stunning reefs at our doorstep; not everyone is so lucky to be this connected to coral reefs, but healthy coral reefs are vitally important to everyone on earth. Bringing the ocean into classrooms and homes through Reefs Go Live allows us to share the work we do at the Little Cayman Research Centre, facilitate real-time interactions between viewers around the world and our experts in the field, and inspire the diverse audience to take positive action for the future of coral reefs.”

The first episode of 2023 will take place on Friday, 31st March at 10 am Cayman time (UTC -5h). The episode, ‘Finding Hope on our Reefs’, will feature what CCMI’s long-term monitoring of Little Cayman’s reefs shows us. The data from the annual surveys reveals important trends in reef health over time that reflect global threats and the benefits of strong local protection. Reefs Go Live hosts will explain why this annual monitoring is important and what the results tell us about the future of our coral reefs that we all depend upon. Viewers of each episode will be able to ask questions of the diver and participate in polls through the online platform to make Reefs Go Live an interactive experience.

Additional episodes for this year will run at 10 am (UTC -5h) on the following dates:

Thursday, 11th May: Adaptation on Coral Reefs

Wednesday, 24th May: Reef Resiliency & Restoration

Thursday, 8th June: World Ocean Day – 25 Years of Coral Reef Research

Registration for Reefs Go Live is free and is only required once to receive access to all episodes:

Reefs Go Live provides an opportunity for students from all over the world to engage with the stunning ocean environment in its most natural format. As coral reefs around the world face unprecedented pressure, generating increased engagement with these precious ecosystems creates an opportunity to promote marine sustainability in a positive and fun way.

Reefs Go Live utilises streaming technology with underwater video and audio equipment to enable real time broadcasting from Little Cayman’s stunning coral reefs. Little Cayman, a Mission Blue Hope Spot, hosts one of the healthiest reef ecosystems in the Caribbean, which overall remains healthy and shows resiliency to climate change impacts. The broadcasts and education materials draw connections from CCMI’s current research conducted in Little Cayman to the national science curriculum and key ocean literacy principles, making CCMI’s work relevant and accessible to students and viewers of all ages, and emphasizing the relationship that we all have to coral reefs, no matter where we are.

Reefs Go Live is a free education programme that is made possible by the generosity of The Edmund F. and Virginia B. Ball Foundation. To register for the broadcasts and teaching resources, please visit:

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Palaemon Divers shortlisted for top Business Award



North West-based Dive Centre, Palaemon Divers, has been shortlisted for Leisure and Tourism Start Up of the Year with Start Up Awards 2023.

Palaemon Divers is delighted to be named a finalist in the Awards which celebrate Start Up Businesses and what they have brought to the economy within three years of their launch.

Palaemon Divers was started by Leanne Clowes in the midst of COVID lockdowns. Leanne walked out of her well paid corporate sales job with no savings after a redundancy in a previous role and spending the majority of the year before COVID to follow the dream! After the redundancy and COVID, life struck just a little differently and the pull to become a full-time dive instructor became impossible to ignore!

So with that… notice was handed in, no savings, nothing physical to start being a full time dive instructor other than personal kit at the time – oh and the fact, Leanne was actually an Assistant Instructor at the time and hadn’t attended the instruction exam at that point as there had been none going on through COVID obviously!

However, the first Instructor Exam that was happening out of COVID was booked onto – no pressure at all with no full time job, no money as a back up, mortgage and bills to pay…

Leanne started freelancing as an instructor in the North West using various outdoor locations for training, and the business snowballed and quickly gained its first physical dive centre in January 2022 along with finding their own private in-water training facility at Princes Dock in Liverpool. Since then, 100s of new people from Liverpool and further afield have been introduced to the amazing sport of scuba, and experienced the abundant life under the surface of the dock itself.

In a time of no travel to outside your area or abroad, Palaemon Divers found something new and exciting to introduce the city of Liverpool to those who spend five days a week in the office looking down at the dock and not really being able to appreciate what the dock actually means to Liverpool!

It became apparent during 2022, that although Liverpool was fantastic, more growth was on the cards which came in the form of a second location, Palaemon Divers – Warrington. The second dive centre is an ex micro brewery in Warrington with a central location close to the M6, M62 and M56, spread over two floors which includes a classroom, workshop, compressor and a floor dedicated to retail.

The efforts in building this business have not gone unnoticed with the shortlist for Startup Awards, and also another shortlist which will be announced in the next month.

For more, email or visit: 

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