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Winners - Underwater Videography Contests

July 2018 Video Contest Winner and Review




Winner: Mucky Indonesia by Jesper Sjölander

Winning Video:

Some very good films this month. Each very different but all obviously had a lot of thought and effort put into them. Macro is becoming ever more popular to video now as affordable and easy to use technologies can produce stunning images. If in the future macro is the way you are thinking of going, try to go that bit further and rather than just producing a catalogue of pretty critters look for interesting behaviour or even add some information about the subject filmed. Time, perhaps, to go to the next level of film making.

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

Diving the Lair – Trevor Wayne Justus

Watch Trevor’s video here.

Interesting technique for the beginning sequence as well as seeing a striped catfish on its own out in the open. Looks a nice place to dive. Well done for putting this together with plenty of wildlife shots. If you are using a GoPro have a look at close up attachments which will help you to get in closer and keep images sharp. I did find the music a bit heavy and over dramatic. Music is a very important part of any film and should be used to reflect or enhance the mood of the images. The softer sound at the end of the film would perhaps have been more suitable right through.

Into the Blue –  Marc Eeckhaut

Watch Marc’s video here.

Loved the flag opening turning into blue. Very effective. Nice to see a few above water establishing shots just to give a feel for the location. The eel searching for food and the electric clam were really good with steady shots and lighting. You have put together an excellent mixture of macro and non-macro shots all cut to very suitable music. The two cuttlefish were a joy to watch and the turtle at the end was a pure gift.

Belomor – Kiril Ivanov

Watch Kiril’s video here.

That was fun and beautifully shot and edited. You built up the tension to the dive really well. Having done quite a lot of this kind of diving myself I well know the discipline and organisation needed to make it work and you certainly captured the feeling of being under the ice – alone…..

As for the narration, well I tried to make it work and was almost there but it lost me half way through. Perhaps I should watch it again and make up my own meaning.

Mucky Indonesia – Jesper Sjölander

Watch Jesper’s video here.

Hi Jesper. Are you the same Jesper who came on one of my video courses? Great opening with the aerials, the moving title and the very effective fade in to the cuttlefish. Music was good too. This was then followed by very beautiful macro. Sharp, well lit and exposed and rock steady. Loved the cuttlefish burying itself.  What an incredible range of animals.

Close Encounters of the Large Kind – Craig Beasley

Watch Craig’s video here.

That was quite refreshing. One of my favourite music tracks but not sure it really fitted with the images. But in the end it all comes down to personal taste. Nice shark footage though. Perhaps the tongue in cheek horror could have been more effective with shorted edits and a few effect zooms in post. Where the music did work really well was at the transition point to the Rays. What beautiful animals. Loved the dolphin ending. You certainly have had some wonderful encounters.

On the Sand – Muck diving in Puerto galera, Philippines – Kristian Mears

Watch Kristian’s video here.

Well done Kristian. Excellent macro of incredible creatures. All really well filmed with a very good choice of music. The lighting was nice and the images were all sharp and steady.

And the Winner is….

I think this month there is a very clear winner simply because of the technical excellence of the videography with both camera and lights. Ignoring the fact that the location did lend itself to some amazing critters and locations, the camera work and editing was extremely good.

The winning video is Mucky Indonesia by Jesper Sjölander. One may think it’s an unfair advantage being in such a location as Indonesia, but while it certainly gives more opportunities, it is the filmmaking expertise that I am looking for and the overall audience appreciation.’s August 2018 Underwater Video Contest is now open! Enter as many as three of your underwater videos 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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