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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.

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

April 2021 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: Gems of Southeast Asia // Thailand & Myanmar by Andreas G Fiskeseth

Winning Video:

Great month for entries where the art of story telling seems to be growing. The use of drone shots along with pre-dive sequences is also on the increase as affordable technology makes the hardware more accessible. But even with that extra technology the underwater sequences are of a very high standard and a joy to watch. This month, based simply on the camera work and editing, the winner is ‘Gems of Southeast Asia // Thailand & Myanmar’ by Andreas G Fiskeseth.

Even if you did not win the month, please do read my comments to other entries as there may be something there to help you with your own films.


The eyes of Komodo by Celine – Travel2Sea

Just read your written intro and yes indeed you are very lucky to be have been able to dive Komodo during Covid. Very jealous. Fabulous opening to your film. Love the mixture of above and below shots along with the drone footage and the music really set up the film well. The drone dolphins were excellent and loved the way you cut into the underwater. The whole film has a great feel to it with momentum and power. The camera work is spot on with sharp, steady, well framed and exposed images.

Mawar, the dugong of Alor by Celine – Travel2Sea

Excellent story and very well told. Lovely opening both visually and with sound, although I thought there were a few minor sound level issues throughout. All beautifully filmed and poignant thoughts from Pak Oneh. Having gone this far in making a thoughtful and environmental film could I suggest that it would have been good to know why the dugong was alone and it would have been very powerful to have heard Pak’s voice telling us why he does this.

Nounours, the Teddy bear who wanted to become a scuba diver! by Celine – Travel2Sea

That was fun and very well done. Loved the music.

Dive the Red Sea by David Gwyer

Hi David. Well done for putting this together. Lovely to hear the narrative. I did feel though that it was fighting the music track in places for both space and volume. Have a look at it again, keeping the music track on a slightly lower level.

Gems of Southeast Asia // Thailand & Myanmar by Andreas G Fiskeseth

Good powerful opening images cut well to a dramatic music track. Was the lady on the dock one of the Gems of Southeast Asia? Nice well filmed wildlife images with good camera work and lighting. Often when a dramatic sound track is used throughout a film, the images don’t always manage to be equally dramatic. But this was not the case with your film as you made it all work together to the end.

Branksome Beach by Jonathan Bailey

I’ve had the same conversation with people on the beach but more often than not it is with fishermen who want to know if there is anything worth catching. I always have to say ‘no, nothing out there mate’. Liked your introduction. Had a good feel to it which told a story. Nice to see so many UK species. The on screen written information worked really well and made the video far more interesting. The jellyfish and cuttlefish were fun.

Amongst the Critters 4k by Marcelo Johan Ogata

What a place! Very stylish drone shots and land based opening which established a perfect moody feel for the film. The underwater images are stunning and the music is perfect. Your camera work and lighting is exceptional. I love the slow steady camera moves with the great variety of shot sizes and angles.

Eckernförder Delphin (1) by Ulli Nilsson

Hi Ulli, what a fabulous encounter. Where was it? The shots of it playing with your hand on the surface are wonderful. Although the encounter itself is spectacular, for a fifteen minute film it would have been nice to have had a bit of background information on what is happening. Is the dolphin male or female, how old, why is it alone, is it a regular visitor and so on.

Delphin (2) by Ulli Nilsson

Hi again Ulli. Same comments as before really. Perhaps have a go at some editing just to shorten the film and concentrate on the highlights to make the film more powerful.

The Rockfish swim by Alison Smith

That was nice. One single developing shot with a curious fish. Perfect. No need for any editing and the short length of the film did not need any extra ingredients like music or narration.

The Melibe Leonina Family by Alison Smith

Same comments as with the Rockfish, except this time, as the subject was not so charismatic, perhaps a little music would have been worth considering.

Monterey bay – Monestary beach by Alison Smith

You have a very visual style and your videos are relaxing to watch. Did I recognise your favourite Rockfish?

Sharks and caves by Brandon Hannan

That was quite lovely. So simple yet extremely moving. I loved the brief glimpse of a moment in time of the shark. The music fitted perfectly. The image itself was well framed and exposed.

Eckernförder Delphin (3) by Ulli Nilsson

I applaud your enthusiasm for the encounter.


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

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Winners - Underwater Videography Contests

March 2021 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: Breathing under the sea by Noemie Stroh

Winning Video:

Oh I don’t know! Every film once again was top quality and everyone must feel proud of their work.  For me this month the most outstanding film was Breathing under the sea by Noemie Stroh which just had that little extra in it’s editing and overall treatment.

Thanks to everyone for your amazing entries and look forward to seeing more next month.


Mediterranean sea by A deep forest by Claudio Valerio

Hi Claudio, thanks for setting up your film with the excellent written introduction. Fabulous quality right from the start and I loved the slow pace of the film which was edited perfectly to the music. Great lighting, which brought out all the amazing coral colours to their full glory. I loved the slow camera moves in your close up shots which gave the video a real cinema feel. The cutting to and from the divers worked well. The video was a perfect visual treat. What a beautiful area to dive!

Breathing under the sea by Noemie Stroh

Wow, that was terrific. Great quality of images with wonderful wildlife. Your commentary worked very well and having a French accent didn’t do any harm. The words and sentiment were well thought out and moving. I have to say again that the wildlife images were fabulous and very well lit. Great film.

We are Swanwick Divers by David Gwyer

Thanks for the intro David. Swanwick Divers must be pleased with this. Good pace and nice bright music. Camera work was good as was the editing. Although it’s always good to use your own footage in this type of promo video, it may be an idea to think about incorporating 3rd party clips as well. As long as you list the names of contributors and edit yourself, then that is perfectly fine. I only mention this because I’m sure that over the years various people from the group must have caught some exceptional moments that would boost the clubs profile even more. I do the same myself when shooting a promo for lets say a tourist board. I do the trip and then ask around for anyone who has great video clips that I would have no chance of capturing during my short visit. I then give credit where it’s due and everyone is happy.

Similans – Thailand // Liveaboard experience by Andreas Fiskeseth

Very nice. Loved the anemone tracking shot with the wreck behind. Good touch with the freeze frame and really well cut to the music which was the perfect choice for the videos treatment. The drone and life on board sequence was terrific especially with the slow motion. Great wildlife images all beautifully shot and lit. Great film.

Turtle moments by Zaflee Bin Md Suibarek

Your opening shot was wonderful. For me it could have lasted for another minute. I felt I was peeking in a secret moment of the turtles life. I love the simplicity of the video and the music choice was perfect.

Treasure Bay by Craig Beasley

What an adventure! Very exciting story in the written introduction which carried on into the video. Nice that you did the music yourself as well as the very professional narration. Excellent rock steady macro camera work and lighting on stunning creatures.


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

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