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Winners - Underwater Videography Contests

December 2018 Video Contest Winner and Review




Winner: Bali Komodo by Tompson Paganote Pecini & Philippines Sulu Sea – Pierlo Pablo 

Winning Video 1:

Winning Video 2:

Hope you all had a very good Christmas and Happy New Year. More wonderful videos this month and as usual please do read my comments to other entrants as well as you own as this may well help you too.

When embarking on the journey of making an underwater video, or any video come to that, be sure in your mind you know who it is aimed at and what it is you are trying to say. Who is your target audience? Your video may be for general entertainment, a scientific item, an advertising piece to entice customers to a dive area, a training film, or simply a video of your holidays for your own family and friends to see. Each group of audiences require a different type of presentation. A general rule is that for any film over a few minutes long, some sort of information is needed to keep the momentum of the film going. Stirring music helps but soon becomes tiresome if the images do not match. There are occasions when the images are so spectacular that they stand alone for sveral minutes with just music accompaniment. But this is rare.

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

bali komodo by tompson paganote pecini

You can watch Tompson’s video here.

Seen this one before but absolutely no reason not to enter it again. Excellent opening to the video with the aerial and cultural scene setting. The visual and sound transition from land to underwater was very good indeed.

Some wonderful animals in the following sequences but I would like to make a few suggestions for you. The first is to try and get at eye level with the subject instead of looking down. This will bring more dynamic shots and in trying to do this will give you more time to study what each animal is doing and thus capture some good behaviour. The second one is have a good look at close up attachments for your camera. They are not expensive but will allow you to fill more of the frame with greater effect.

The schooling fish were lovely to see. As well as the wide shots try to get that little bit closer for a few mid and close ups. Perhaps you did try and I know this is not always easy as shoaling fish can be quite timid, but take your time and persevere. Turtle was nice, with very good lighting and exposure. The rays at the end were excellent. Great film. Well done.

Fast and Furious Eagle Rays by Paul G Day

You can watch Paul’s video here.

Thanks for the written intro, it makes a real difference to the viewing of the video. The video summed up perfectly the frustration that many videographers have in trying to get close to Eagle Rays. Well done for persevering. All nicely shot with good clean images. The music was a good choice.

South Australian Leafy Sea Dragon by Paul G Day

You can watch Paul’s video here.

Lovely opening backlit shot with a good transition to the Sea Dragon. What an amazing animal. Great shot with the fish around it. I am assuming the water was quite shallow and you had to contend with a slight surge which was making holding the camera steady difficult. I know how tricky this can be. While most of the images were very good both in quality and framing, I felt that eleven minutes was far to long to hold an audiences full attention with only background music. This definitely needed some sort of information either as written captions or spoken narration. I felt overall the video could have been edited down to three or four minutes and had more impact. As the saying goes, ‘less if often more’. Having said all that, many of the images were really nice and good to see.

Ali Baba, it is named by Elsa Collet

You can watch Elsa’s video here.

Nice. The wide underwater establishing shots were perfect, as was the music. As the film progressed I said to myself, a slight music crescendo now would be good with a move into closer shots of the fish. And that’s just what you did. Excellent. The whole film was very relaxing to watch and captured a peaceful moment in that marine ecosystem. I don’t often say this, but you left me wanting to see more.

The Bearded Fireworm by Kiril Ivanov

Sadly this video was not playable due to owner restrictions.

Philippines Sulu Sea by Pierlo Pablo

You can watch Pierlo’s video here.

Stunning opening with the aerials, music and titles which flowed effortlessly into the first underwater sequence. The sharks and  Barracuda were emotive in their framing and speed, but I think I personally may have graded the images a little more with a touch of brightness and contrast. Good to get the ray and shark together. The break in the film back to aerials was timely and once again of excellent quality. The following underwater section was great. A good mixture of image sizes with a whole host of different species. I thought the lit animals stood out well and perhaps would suggest you tried doing more lighting overall. Back to the aerials to finish. Nice. A very professionally produced film.

And the Winner is….

On this very rare occasion I am going to award two winners for this month for which I may well get into trouble for, but both these film deserve to win for very different reasons. bali komodo – tompson paganote pecini for enthusiasm and energy and

Philippines Sulu Sea – Pierlo Pablo for it’s professionalism.

Well done to everyone and look forward to next month!

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.

Winners - Underwater Videography Contests

December 2022 Video Contest Winner and Review





Winning Video:

Hi everyone. Happy Christmas and New Year. Just four videos this month. I felt the Maria Bereozka  film ‘Jingle Fish’ had the edge over the others by way of carefully executed shots and editing, which gave a good steady pace to the video.

Looking forward to more films next year.

If you are keen to advance in your film making skills, don’t forget to look at my book and/or take my RAID Action Camera course.

A love story by Ronald Faber

Synthetic voice – Really!!!  Didn’t know there was such software in existence. Should have know better really. Nice video though. I don’t get many entries with David doing the narration. Good story and well shot with great steady camera work and lighting. The editing was spot on as was the music choice. The David voice did give it a certain quality that no matter how good or poor the film actually was, the audience automatically assume it has to be professional and thus top quality. It’s a clever trick but not sure I like it.

Jingle Fish by Maria Bereozka

Nice thoughts and excellent images with great quality. All works really well. The video has a real good feel to it and I love the diver/animal shots.

Fish Dance by Maria Bereozka

Ah Maria, Once again it is your narration that lifts the film by 100%. although your camera work is very good with steady well lit shots.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year Dives! by Maria Bereozka

Not sure about this one. Didn’t quite work for me. It seemed to be a collection of loose shots put together to the music.

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

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Winners - Underwater Videography Contests

November 2022 Video Contest Winner and Review




Winner: Sharkydelity by Fredi

Winning Video:

Such good films this month. It took me a while to decide on the winner. I had to watch them all twice. But in the end my choice was Sharkydelity by Fredi. You can seen my comments on this film as well as all the others below.

If you are keen to advance in your film making skills, don’t forget to look at my book

Time to breath by Maria Bereozka

Yep!  Love it. So relaxing to watch and I really feel a bond with Turtle. Good camerawork.

Sharkydelity by Fredi

Lovely written intro thanks. Adds so much to the actual film. It’s a great story and stunning images.

A perfect blend of aerial, land and underwater sequences. Your music choice was perfect as was your camera work and lighting which gave wonderful clear, steady, sharp, well exposed and beautiful framed images. I liked your creativity with the editing, especially where you made the most of the music phrases.

Point of view by Maria Bereozka

The written intro was obviously heart felt and moving. It is so good to set up a video in this way. Once again it is your narration combined with your artistic skills and imagination that make your videos so unique.

Underwater Red Sea paradise by Maria Bereozka

Nice feel to the video which was well complimented by the music. My only suggestion is that for general reef shots you try some way to hold the camera steady. It’s not so important with moving subjects like the ray but when there is just coral and background fish the camera must be as steady as possible.

Banda Sea, Seram Sea and Raja Ampat by Daniel French

Sounds like a fantastic trip from your write-up. The on-screen identification captions work really well.  I like the slow motion throughout. The slow steady tracking shots and the slow animal movements. It creates a very peaceful feel and the music is perfect.  Great camera work and lighting. I also like your camera angle perspective on subjects where you get below the animals.

Maldives Far North Expedition with MantaTrust by ondrejv

Good written intro thanks. I liked the personal on-screen introduction. Wonderful shots of the mantas. What amazing animals they are. Having gone this far though with the shooting and editing I would have loved to have had some information on what you learned about the Mantas especially as you were with the Manta Trust.

Calm Indian ocean by ondrejv

Stunning opening shot of the Sweetlips. Fabulously sharp and well lit. You have captured some excellent wildlife images and the music fits really well. Loved the turtle turning to look at you.

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

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