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Winners - Underwater Videography Contests

January 2022 Video Contest Winner and Review




Winner: Epic Double Poop Dive by Klaus Stiefel

Winning Video:

Hi everyone. So many good films again this month with a great variety of styles and techniques. Taking part in this competition lets you showcase your work and hopefully encourages further film making. Taking your camera underwater and showing people the wonderful diversity and beauty of marine life is a great way to promote and explain the need for conservation. Audience numbers may be as few as your immediate family or as many as the general public for a TV programme. Showing your film in a local town or village hall or perhaps your local dive club can make a difference. No matter who or what size your audience, get your film out there and let people see it.

This month the winner is Epic Double Poop Dive by Klaus Stiefel. It was a complete film, beautifully shot, excellent informative and witty script and good clear narration.

As usual, do have a look at my comments to films other than your own as there may just be something I say to help you improve your next production. Good diving and filming. See you next month.

Below the Surface of the Red Sea – exploring Sha’ab Abu Ramada East by Scubabeat

Thanks for the very informative written intro. Makes such a difference to know the background details while watching the film. Lovely opening shots, especially the reef edge. Good smooth camera moves around the corals. The on screen identification graphics worked well and the music was a good choice. A nice film.

Jellyfish Lake by Connor Finlen

Stunning animals and filmed really well. The music was perfect. Nice easy natural light makes such a difference and always looks good. I thought your steady camera work was excellent. Although a good relaxing film to watch, many of the shots were slightly repetitive. If through equipment limitations you were unable to get bigger close ups perhaps consider adding some interesting facts about the jellyfish and the habitat.

Into the light by Julian Moser

I love ice diving and I know the feeling and apprehension of loosing the escape hole to the surface. All down to planning. I assume from the image, the diver was free-diving which makes not loosing the hole even more crucial. Although there was only one shot in your video, it did conjuror up feelings of danger and mystery which was enhanced by the ambient sound track. Nice.

Similan Islands Abundance, Thailand by Skip McIlvaine

Nice opening. Love the quality of the images. Your camera work and lighting were excellent You certainly showed fantastic selections of wildlife which were a joy to watch. It’s a great film that celebrates the beauty and variety of the reefs but 19 minutes is a very long time to sustain audience interest without some sort of change of pace or added information. Without this, I felt the film could be cut down to 10 minutes with the very best images and still have had a great impact.

View from below by Maria Bereozka

Nice. That worked well. Why did the shot stop so suddenly? I wanted to see a bit more. The music also ended abruptly.

Hipnosis by Maria Bereozka

I Loved this. Fantastic shot with perfect music, but again it ended so abruptly. Perhaps a fade out for the image and music would work a little better. Unless of course I am missing your artistic intent and the film was meant to end in such a way as to reflect the fragility of the species and how quickly they could become extinct.

Stingray underwater dance by Maria Bereozka

Hi Maria, What a wonderful shot. Personally I would have ended the video just before you take another breath and dive again, as the image became wobbly and so slightly spoilt the magic spell of the first part.

Best Scuba Diving of the Pacific Northwest 2021 by Mark Hitchcock

Hi Mark, that was fun to watch. Just a little over-lit in places but that didn’t spoil the film at all. Nicely edited with a good pacey feel to it. Loads of great species.

North & Wreck Tour Egypt by Manuel Stucker

Beautiful opening shot and I really liked the slow and deliberate surface images. You captured some lovely images of the wrecks. Great lighting and camera work. I enjoyed the overall pace of the video and thought you edited it well with the music. Loved the dolphin shot.

Animal Encounters Marsa Alam Scubaworld Sol Y Mar December 2021 by Waldemar Moll

Excellent graphic for your name. Very original. First thing to say is, great quality and excellent camerawork. Loved the shoaling mackerel. Turtle images were superb. So much stunning wildlife.

Nightdive Marsa Alam December2021 by Waldemar Moll

Again, excellent camera work and lighting. Crisp and steady images.

Diving in Crete: The Italian Cave by Paul Donnerbauer

Liked the road travelling opening but I wanted to see a destination rather than going straight underwater. Nice caves. You filmed and lit them really well, The reef interlude was interesting. Although the images were good, I did crave for a little information on what I was looking at.

Diving in Egypt: The Deep South by Paul Donnerbauer

What a an excellent trip. Liked the topside introduction followed by beautiful underwater images. You are obviously a very good underwater cameraman producing well lit, steady and sharp images. Nice to hear your short commentary but as it was in German I’m afraid I didn’t understand what you were conveying. Perhaps some English subtitles would have been useful. While I can fully appreciate the amount of work you put into the film I did feel it was a little too long without a significant change of pace and some extended narration. Having said that, I thought you did a really good job with the editing and music.

Diving in Austria: Alpenaquarium Grüblsee by Paul Donnerbauer

That was different. Great land based images to start. Loved the tadpoles and the shoaling Char were wonderful. Good camerawork and lighting. Nice film.

Epic Double Poop Dive by Klaus Stiefel

Excellent narration and script. Very different and fun to listen to. I don’t think I have ever seen turtle  poo before. So much excellent information throughout the video and filmed really well. The wide angle shots with the big close ups worked perfectly. I feel like I have just attended a very good marine biology lecture. Great stuff. The Sea Cucumber poop shot and narration was quite excellent. Made me laugh, but in a good way.

Wreck Diving Course at Zenobia Shipwreck | Checking possible entrances for penetration | Cyprus 2021 by Markus Kaiser

Looked like a great dive and thanks for sharing. Interesting video and I am sure for those involved in the dive or the course itself, they would be very happy to watch it all. But, as a normal viewer I don’t think a video of the entire dive works too well especially for 28 minutes and with no narration or information. Having gone this far with the camerawork, try a little editing and script writing. It will make a huge difference to your video. It’s also great fun to do.

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

Jeff is a multiple award winning, freelance TV cameraman/film maker and author. Having made both terrestrial and marine films, it is the world's oceans and their conservation that hold his passion with over 10.000 dives in his career. Having filmed for international television companies around the world and author of two books on underwater filming, Jeff is Author/Programme Specialist for the 'Underwater Action Camera' course for the RAID training agency. Jeff has experienced the rapid advances in technology for diving as well as camera equipment and has also experienced much of our planet’s marine life, witnessing, first hand, many of the changes that have occurred to the wildlife and environment during that time. Jeff runs bespoke underwater video and editing workshops for the complete beginner up to the budding professional.

Winners - Underwater Videography Contests

December 2022 Video Contest Winner and Review





Winning Video:

Hi everyone. Happy Christmas and New Year. Just four videos this month. I felt the Maria Bereozka  film ‘Jingle Fish’ had the edge over the others by way of carefully executed shots and editing, which gave a good steady pace to the video.

Looking forward to more films next year.

If you are keen to advance in your film making skills, don’t forget to look at my book and/or take my RAID Action Camera course.

A love story by Ronald Faber

Synthetic voice – Really!!!  Didn’t know there was such software in existence. Should have know better really. Nice video though. I don’t get many entries with David doing the narration. Good story and well shot with great steady camera work and lighting. The editing was spot on as was the music choice. The David voice did give it a certain quality that no matter how good or poor the film actually was, the audience automatically assume it has to be professional and thus top quality. It’s a clever trick but not sure I like it.

Jingle Fish by Maria Bereozka

Nice thoughts and excellent images with great quality. All works really well. The video has a real good feel to it and I love the diver/animal shots.

Fish Dance by Maria Bereozka

Ah Maria, Once again it is your narration that lifts the film by 100%. although your camera work is very good with steady well lit shots.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year Dives! by Maria Bereozka

Not sure about this one. Didn’t quite work for me. It seemed to be a collection of loose shots put together to the music.

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 2022 Video Contest Winner and Review




Winner: Sharkydelity by Fredi

Winning Video:

Such good films this month. It took me a while to decide on the winner. I had to watch them all twice. But in the end my choice was Sharkydelity by Fredi. You can seen my comments on this film as well as all the others below.

If you are keen to advance in your film making skills, don’t forget to look at my book

Time to breath by Maria Bereozka

Yep!  Love it. So relaxing to watch and I really feel a bond with Turtle. Good camerawork.

Sharkydelity by Fredi

Lovely written intro thanks. Adds so much to the actual film. It’s a great story and stunning images.

A perfect blend of aerial, land and underwater sequences. Your music choice was perfect as was your camera work and lighting which gave wonderful clear, steady, sharp, well exposed and beautiful framed images. I liked your creativity with the editing, especially where you made the most of the music phrases.

Point of view by Maria Bereozka

The written intro was obviously heart felt and moving. It is so good to set up a video in this way. Once again it is your narration combined with your artistic skills and imagination that make your videos so unique.

Underwater Red Sea paradise by Maria Bereozka

Nice feel to the video which was well complimented by the music. My only suggestion is that for general reef shots you try some way to hold the camera steady. It’s not so important with moving subjects like the ray but when there is just coral and background fish the camera must be as steady as possible.

Banda Sea, Seram Sea and Raja Ampat by Daniel French

Sounds like a fantastic trip from your write-up. The on-screen identification captions work really well.  I like the slow motion throughout. The slow steady tracking shots and the slow animal movements. It creates a very peaceful feel and the music is perfect.  Great camera work and lighting. I also like your camera angle perspective on subjects where you get below the animals.

Maldives Far North Expedition with MantaTrust by ondrejv

Good written intro thanks. I liked the personal on-screen introduction. Wonderful shots of the mantas. What amazing animals they are. Having gone this far though with the shooting and editing I would have loved to have had some information on what you learned about the Mantas especially as you were with the Manta Trust.

Calm Indian ocean by ondrejv

Stunning opening shot of the Sweetlips. Fabulously sharp and well lit. You have captured some excellent wildlife images and the music fits really well. Loved the turtle turning to look at you.

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

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