January 2016 Video Contest Winner And Review



Winner: Richard Stevens

Winning Video:

Great to see so many entries this month and the standard simply gets better and better. All good films, each with its own quality. Well done to everyone for producing such good material and I hope to see more in the following competitions.

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

Moray has a Mishap – Phil Medcalf

Watch Phil’s video here.

How neat was that. Well done for sticking with it. Nicely shot with good steady camerawork. Liked the descriptive text as well just in case viewers missed what was happening.

Manta Magic  – Richard Stevens

Watch Richard’s video here.

Lovely stuff. It’s why I love diving. Great music choice and I liked the way you took the music out early just to leave us with the Manta.

The Sharks of Brothers Islands & Daedalus – Richard Stevens

Watch Richard’s video here.

Well done Richard for having a go at narration and actually it worked pretty well. Very interesting facts over some lovely images. All nicely shot with good steady camera work. Well exposed, sharp and good colour balance.

Philippine Diving Favourites – Robert Suntay

Watch Robert’s video here.

Stunning images with such vibrant colour. The macro material was superb, clear, sharp and very steady with excellent animal behaviour. At first I was a little wary of the music choice but it made perfect sense after a very short while. All put together well with some very impressive mixes in the editing.

Wreck of the Carnatic – Chris Court

Watch Chris’ video here.

Nice ‘feel good’ film. The music choice certainly worked with the images. Good tracking shots with natural lighting inside the wreck. On your next video have a think about some static and closer shots of the marine life which would give a far more ‘alive’ feeling to the wreck.

Bonneville SeaBase: Utah’s Ocean – Dallas Staheli

Watch Dallas’ video here.

Interesting video. Had no idea where the location was and couldn’t make sense of the warm water with the snowy mountain background. Had to check out the web site. Then it all fitted together. Just shows what you can do in poor viz as well. I would be interested to know where the fish come from and if there are any conservation aspects to the centre.

Well put together film with a good pace and music. Liked the personal touches as well.

Lake Mohave Underwater Haunting – Dallas Staheli

Watch Dallas’ video here.

Well that was different. Probably won’t show it to my grand kids as they won’t sleep for weeks. All well thought out and planned and nicely shot. I assume it was all with a GoPro. Towards the end I was hoping the video would finish well rather than just fade out. And it did. Finish well that is.

Dive Addicts at Catalina Island – Dallas Staheli

Watch Dallas’ video here.

Hi again Dallas. Powerful opening with pacey music and snappy editing. The question was  would the video disappoint when it took us underwater underwater. The answer was no it didn’t. The pace kept going and the shots were high class. For me though the whole thing was ruined by the grabbing and taking of the crayfish.

A300 Plane Wreck – Tony Reed

Watch Tony’s video here.

Hi Tony, Openings are getting more and more Hollywood. Fun though. Liked the descriptive text to set up the video as well as the following graphics. Once again your topside shots were good but on this occasion the video fell down once it got underwater. You were obviously trying to deal with milky water conditions which are not helpful to good film making at the best of times. But on top of that I did find the music choice too fast and loud for the type of shots you managed to get. The music and the images were fighting each other.

50 shades of sharks – a painful looking shark bite – Sharkbuff

Watch Sharkbuff’s video here.

Great clip. Short, but good.

GoPro gets inked by an octopus & clawed by a crabsharkbuff

Watch Sharkbuff’s video here.

Hi Sharkbuff. Another short but good clip. Lots going on which made it interesting. As you progress into more clips, have a think about trying to keep the images sharp. As you are filming with a GoPro I know you are limited in how close you can get before the image goes soft. But there are quite good close up attachments for GoPro cameras that work really well.

Mantas on Acid – Stuart Green

I did sign into google and YouTube as asked but still couldn’t play the video. Perhaps enter the video again in February without the restrictions.


In the end I chose ‘The Sharks of Brothers Islands & Daedalus’ by Richard Stevens as January’s winner. Although well shot and edited, it was the informative and detailed narration that won me over. Congratulations Richard on being our first winner of 2016!


Scubaverse.com’s February 2016 Underwater Video Contest is now open. Enter here.

Jeff Goodman

Jeff Goodman

Jeff Goodman is the Conservation editor and also the Underwater Videography Editor for Scubaverse.com. 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.

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