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Winners - Underwater Videography Contests

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!

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

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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