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Winners - Underwater Videography Contests

December 2019 Video Contest Winner and Review

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WINNER CHOSEN AND REVIEW BY SCUBAVERSE.COM’S EDITOR-AT-LARGE AND RESIDENT UNDERWATER VIDEOGRAPHY EXPERT JEFF GOODMAN

Winner: Season by Sylvain Camps

Winning Video:

A fantastic Christmas treat of excellent videos.

When judging these videos for the monthly competitions I usually look at how the video was made rather than content, as it is often unfair to compare a film shot in the UK to one from say Indonesia where the animal life is more abundant and dramatic. I usually look at how the film is constructed, was there any pre-shoot planning, are the images sharp and well framed with good exposure. Has any animal behaviour been fully explored and captured rather than a simple portrait shot. Is the lighting good and the overall colour balance consistant throughout. I look at the editing skills shown as well as the style and relevence of any accompanying music. Are there titles and is there any narrative to help tell a story. I look at all these things before looking at content. But this month, as the overall video making standard was so high, I fould myself drawn over and over again to one film which had the most stunning content.

Hidden in the Sea Grass by Kiril Ivanov

Watch Kiril’s video here.

Really nice. Loved the mood you created with the music and the information graphics were perfect. Excellent establishment of the location and environment, followed by very good fish closeups and behaviour. This is without doubt the best behavioural film ever entered in our competitions and would fit well into any TV natural history programme. Lighting was perfect, images were sharp and steady as well as being well composed. Well done.

Um El Faroud Wreck, Malta by Lee Jellyman, Mocean Images

Watch Lee’s video here.

Loved your opening shot. Slow, purposeful, steady, well framed and exposed. The music was just right for the pace and mood. All followed by some great wreck interiors. Interesting lighting, especially from the divers torches. Intended or not, it was quite effective. Very busy down there as well…….Well shot deck images to round off the rest of the video although I wasn’t sure about the octopus as it looked as if it was shot at a different location, perhaps on a reef and not part of the wreck. All in all a very good visual tour and story of the ship.

Season by Sylvain Camps

Watch Sylvain’s video here

Beautiful. Fabulous audio and music. The images were breath taking. You did well with the pace of editing to the music. The dolphins with the humpback were totally amazing and then the baby humpback with mother were to die for. I often try to encourage a narrative or story line to make videos more interesting, but with subjects like you had, words would have been of no use as the images told their own story and were totally captivating.

Seven Days of Diving the Red Sea by Hank Hall

Watch Hank’s video here

Oh wow! If that was day one……. Not only a dugong but one doing some great behaviour. Day two didn’t disappoint, with some excellent reef life, all well filmed and edited. Same with day three. Not too sure about the music, but in the end it’s all subjective. Day four and five were even better. Day six was even better still, but day seven was just perfect. Great lighting and framing. Loved the coral trout in the bait fish.

Rangiroa by Serge Melesan

Watch Serge’s video here

That was a fabulous opening shot with very interesting audio. Interesting choice of music but not to my personal taste. I found it gave a slight threatening feel to the images where as visually the animals looked relaxed and controlled.  Amazing shoals of fish later on. Wonderful to see so many in one shot. Sharks were also good and probably fitted the music better than the rest of the film as they did look slightly aggravated. All well shot and nicely edited.

Rangiroa – Dive with dolphins by Sylvain Camps

Watch Sylvain’s video here

Hi Sylvain. Good for you for entering again, but slightly confusing. The title you entered was ‘Dive with Dolphins’ but the actual video uploaded was ‘300 Sharks’ from your previous entry which did indeed win that months competition. No matter, I have taken 300 Sharks to be the one to look at. As I said previously, love the opening. Real cinema. I guess I will say the same as before. Really liked the open coast shots where you created a perfect mood for the rest of the film. Good music choice too. I did like the cutting back to land to eventuate the feeling of peace and tranquillity which was then again reflected back into the water. I was totally spellbound from beginning to end. The slow motion schooling fish were magnificent. In addition I thought your editing to music was perfect. Well done.


And the Winner is….

I fould myself drawn over and over again to one film which had the most stunning content: Season by Sylvain Camps.

Having said all this, I would like to give special mention to ‘Hidden in the Sea Grass by Kiril Ivanov’ for producing the best animal behavioural film to have ever been entered.

Happy Christmas and New Year everyone and hope you got that new camera you wanted.

Jeff Goodman is the Editor-at-Large for Scubaverse.com 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

December 2020 Video Contest Winner and Review

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WINNER CHOSEN AND REVIEW BY SCUBAVERSE.COM’S EDITOR-AT-LARGE AND RESIDENT UNDERWATER VIDEOGRAPHY EXPERT JEFF GOODMAN

Winner: Out Of The Ordinary – A Wonderpus Poem by Catrin Pichler.

Winning Video:

Hope you all had a very happy Christmas. Shortest day gone so spring and summer on their way soon.

Five entries this month and all lovely films. David, one of the nicest films I have seen from the Cove. Daniel, a real feel good video to remind us of some of the beauty of the underwater world. Catrin, as always very professional and well done with the narration. Kiril, Wow, my eyes were wide open throughout. A very stylised film. Betsy, once again a wonderful video.

I have to pick a winner but don’t want to lessen the amazing quality of the others.

Apart from all the technical aspects of making a good video, one of the most important elements is the enjoyment factor of the audience and this can be quite subjective. People will forgive many technical errors if the story is captivating. All the films this month were technically excellent and so it came down, again, to the one I enjoyed most and on this occasion it was. Out Of The Ordinary – A Wonderpus Poem by Catrin Pichler.

Please read my comments for each film in case there is something there that may help your own films in the future.


Down in the Cove by David Gwyer

Nice. Thanks for the written intro. You use the same system as me. GoPro5 and Premiere Elements. Cost effective but does the job really well. Good opening with perfect music and very good narration. Great camerawork and lighting. You must be pleased with the film. You created an interesting and eerie mood to the dive. The wreck images were sharp and well framed and the perch were a nice touch.

Maldives Underwater by Daniel French

Good to see all the technical details of the camera and light being used. Beautiful opening shot of the turtle with excellent music. The lighting was perfect and just how I like to see it. Subtle in terms of exposure but very effective in adding colour back into the scene. The whole video had a nice easy feel to it. Very relaxing with a steady pace. Lovely shoaling fish.

Out Of The Ordinary – A Wonderpus Poem by Catrin Pichler

The Wonderpus Octopus is both charismatic and mostly unafraid of cameras and you captured it on video perfectly. Extremely good camerawork and lighting. The narration was both well presented,  informative and easy to listen to. You then seamlessly migrated the narration into a poem which  added a complete new dimension to the whole film. Loved it. Image quality was outstanding.

Jellyfish and Free Diver by Kiril

Wow, that was exciting. I don’t recommend anyone doing the same unless they are very confident and knowledgeable about this deadly little animal. The images were extremely good with beautiful lighting and framing. I liked the ‘static’ effects which gave an even more menacing feel. It was fascinating to see the jellyfish react so definitely to the close hand in front of it.

Box jellyfish have 24 eyes made up of 4 different types. Four of them are much like our eyes (image forming) and the other 20 are light/dark sensors for obstacle avoidance. They can make out shapes and distinguish between prey and predators quite easily. https://lifeincairns.com/box-jellyfish-facts/

Symbiosis by Betsy Beasley

Very good!…..As well as the usual high standard of videography, the narration and script were wonderfully informative and easy to listen to. The music was perfect and very well blended with the narration. It just goes to show that what at first seem to be ordinary wildlife images can, with a little research, become interesting and fascinating behavioural clips.


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 2020 Video Contest Winner and Review

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WINNER CHOSEN AND REVIEW BY SCUBAVERSE.COM’S EDITOR-AT-LARGE AND RESIDENT UNDERWATER VIDEOGRAPHY EXPERT JEFF GOODMAN

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

https://youtu.be/tRmb342X8zM

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

https://youtu.be/t-fpOqNi1i4

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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