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Winners - Underwater Videography Contests

December 2019 Video Contest Winner and Review




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 Conservation editor and also the Underwater Videography Editor for Jeff is an award winning TV wildlife and underwater cameraman and film maker. With over 10,000 dives to his credit he has dived in many different environments around the world.

Winners - Underwater Videography Contests

September 2020 Video Contest Winner and Review




Only two entries this month which is a shame but also great as it means I can have two winners without feeling guilty. Two very different films and both excellent in their own way.

Transformation by Dennis Deavenport

Absolutely loved this video. Artistic license used to the full and thoughtfully produced. Wonderful images creating a surreal and magical feel to our beautiful marine life. Excellent music and very well edited.

Ambon’s Hairy Ones by Catrin Pichler

Hi Catrin. As always your close-up and marcro videography is top class. Sharp, steady, well framed, perfectly exposed. Over the past months you have introduced me to animals I never knew existed. Can I assume that Frogfish are your favourite. Wonderfull. You caputured some great behaviour in this video and cut it extremely well to the music.

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

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Winners - Underwater Videography Contests

August 2020 Video Contest Winner and Review




Winner: Sand by Dennis Deavenport

Winning Video:

All films were excellent in quality and subject matter, but for me one stood out. As usual please do read comments made on other films as well as your own just in case you pick up a useful tip.

The Blueringed Octopus by Catrin Pichler

Watch Catrin’s video here.

Hi Catrin. More excellent films from you. Thank you for showing them to us and thanks for the written intro to this one. Once again as always the camera work is perfect with exceptional quality. Steady shots, smooth tracking, nice framing and very good sympathetic lighting. Yes indeed you were lucky to get the mating sequence, but more often than not luck usually comes hand in hand with effort and time put into just being there.

There was only one small blip for me and that was the audio transition at around 1:50. Although you did mix from one music track to the other, I felt it happened a little to quickly and felt slightly abrupt. Perhaps think about a greater gap in between with some natural reef sounds to bridge. Then use a slower fade in for the second piece of music. Nice music choice by the way.

Rhinopias by Catrin Pichler

Watch Catrin’s video here.

Beautiful in every way. Subject, camera work, editing, music. The images are stunning and very entertaining, The video would make a fantastic screen saver, I am aching to know some details on what I am looking at though. As you are a brilliant videographer have a think about progressing to the next stage. Tell us why the colouration and physical adaptations? Is there specific behaviour going on? Are they endangered? What do the prey on? And so on……

Sand by Dennis Deavenport

Watch Dennis’ video here.

Nice story. Well thought out, planned and executed. So good to have a full and comprehensive narration that informs as well as entertains. The videography was very good as was the music choice. Well edited too.

Sweetlips by Hank

Watch Hank’s video here.

Excellent opening image. These are one of my favourite fish species to see and film. The colours and patterns are stunning. The images you have created are excellent in both camera work and lighting. I did like the on screen information but not sure about the music change for each species as I found that doing this broke up the natural and easy flow of the video.

Macro Fish & Critters of North Sulawesi, Indonesia by Pim van Schendel

Watch Pim’s video here.

Hi Pim, thanks for the written intro and telling us what camera you were using. Loved the film. You have some great shots in there and extremely well edited to the music. The quality of your macro is superb.

Diving the red sea by Roberto Piroddi

Watch Roberto’s video here.

That was nice. Had a good feel to it. Very relaxing and easy to watch. Liked your use of the diver shots. The land images were fun. I love seeing the camels on a truck. Camera work was good with slow steady moves and subtle lighting. It was very Red Sea.

The colour of water by Maurizio Agliani

Watch Maurizio’s video here.

Liked your opening graphics. Very stylish. The following images were also stylish as well as lovely to watch. There were a few notable editing moments of images and music that were inspirational. This film is very different to many I see and I enjoyed it thoroughly.  Underwater video art.

Great whites of Guadalupe by Martín Moscovich

Watch Martin’s video here.

Wow, what a stunning opening. I think I would have held the opening coastal shot a little longer though. The following shark shots were magnificent. What a animal! Quality of the images were very good indeed as was your camerawork. Music and editing worked well. Liked the short break back up to the surface.

2019 Diving Memory in Kohtao Island,Thailand Gulf by Vicky Lee

Watch Vicky’s video here.

Hi Vicky, loved the opening shots and the Barracuda with the cleaner fish was perfect, in fact I had to stop the film and watch that bit again. The various shoals of fish were stunning to see. All in all the film was a visual treat.

Mr.Turtle’s noon walking by Vicky Lee

Watch Vicky’s video here.

This is my kind of film. A long slow look at one animal. So relaxing to watch. Well shot and edited with great music choice.

All films were excellent in quality and subject matter, but for me one stood out. This month I am going for ‘Sand by Dennis Deavenport’. As well as great images and music he went the extra mile to make the video a well rounded story with easy to listen to narration and interesting facts. I know it takes a lot more time to research and develop a meaningful script and narration but the final product is well worth the effort in both audience appreciation as well as self satisfaction.  I am not advocating that all films should be talked over, especially when the images are self explanatory and beautiful in there own right and accompanied by the right music, but often a narration enhances rather than detracts from a video. Give it a go…..

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