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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 Goodman is the Editor-at-Large for 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

November 2020 Video Contest Winner and Review




Winner: Kelp Dreams by Colby Kammerer

Winning Video:

I don’t know……I have picked a winner this month four times now and keep changing my mind. Sometimes I feel this should be a showcase of films rather than a competition and each video have longer on our site for people to view and appreciate all the hard work and skill gone into each entry.

But competition it is and so for the fifth and final time, this month’s winner is Kelp Dreams by Colby Kammerer. The production of this video is not as complex or elaborate as a few of the others but the images of the sheer beauty of the kelp beds are captivating and go to show that sometimes simplicity can be best.

Good diving everyone.

To A Fish and A Fish Answers by Betsy Beasley

I love this even before I am 20secs into it. Good narration with good narrator. Good music too. I am hooked. The images are generally good to average, but it is the storey that compels the viewer to watch and hopefully thought provoking. It is an interesting concept and one well worth exploring further.

Wrecks and reefs by David Dwyer

Hi David, Thanks for the written intro on cameras and editing. It’s always good to know. Good opening. Certainly captured the essence of diving in poor weather. I felt cold and tired just watching. But then once underwater all that topside stuff is forgotten and the dive fully takes over all thoughts. Viz looked good. I liked your narration and the music fitted well. Also good camera work and editing.

Scuba Diving The Reefs of Puerto Morelos by Hank H

Nice camera work and always good to see species names on the screen when the purpose of the film is a simple catalogue of animals. Spot on with the lighting and framing. Although I said catalogue, I meant that in a good way as it is always pleasing to see so much life of such a great variety and colour.

The Dark Side of L’Estartit by Dmitry Lisenko

A feel good film with images and music sympathetically and creatively put together. You could have taken the same images and completely changed the mood and feel with other music. What you did felt right and was a joy to watch. One thought though. The music gradually built up in tempo and volume and created the expectation of a dramatic ending, which for me didn’t quite happen. I was waiting eagerly for something to be revealed in the darkness of the caves.

Planet Zeeland by Ronald Faber

Very good. Made me smile…..The film was well thought out and put together. Music and narration was of course perfect. Lovely camera work and editing with well lit, steady, well framed images. The fish/crab interaction was brilliant. AND the end credit was just right.

Fontem Vitae by Ronald Faber

A great video with excellent and meaningful script which was perfectly narrated. The videography was also excellent with good lighting and framing. The music was well suited to the script as was the pace of the film. My memory tells me you won the video of the year in 2016 with a very similar film. Good to see you are still making them.

Scuba Diving with Grey Seals at Lundy Island, Devon, UK by Daniel French

Such encounters always make my heart race. For me it’s one of the best aspects of diving. You captured the seals perfectly in both camera work and editing. I liked the overall structure of the video which had a good visual story in the timeline. The reaction of the seal to the divers jumping into the water was a nice touch. The music fitted well and lent an air of calm to the whole experience.The underwater/surface shots were lovely. Don’t see those often and the seal sleeping was just magic.

Our Vancouver Island by Colby Kammerer

Oh this brought back so many great memories of living and diving around Vancouver. What a place!

Love the film. Beautiful shots of the salmon and the surrounding environment. Very well edited and the choice of music gave a strong regal feel to the video.

Kelp Dreams by Colby Kammerer

A video about the simple beauty of kelp was well overdue. Stunning images set to perfect choice of music. The natural lighting in kelp beds can give rise to some of the most creative sequences in the marine word. Great steady camera work and image framing.

Discover Our Planet by Colby Kammerer

I remember Cabo St Lucas when it was literally a one horse town and the only bar there had swing doors. The marine life was abundant and spectacular. It is shameful that this and any part of the world should loose all that to over fishing and habitat destruction. Good to know at least life is returning to the park at Cabo Pulmo. Thanks for this video as it lends hope for the future.

The December competition is now open for entries. You can enter up to 3 videos by clicking here.

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Winners - Underwater Videography Contests

October 2020 Video Contest Winner and Review




A real pleasure looking at the entries this month and once again my life is made easy by having only two videos to look at. But what fabulous entries they were. Two very different films in terms of location, treatment, post production and content. There is no way to say one is better that the other so once again I am having two winners.

A Full review of Thistlegorm by Adutto

Before starting to watch any video entry I usually skip to the end just to see how long it is. My heart sank when I saw this one was 15 minutes long. But, it turned out to be a wonderful 15 minutes. Time just flew by as I was engrossed by the story being told.

Very professional video with a well thought out and executed introduction. It immediately caught  the my attention with a promise of wonderful underwater images and very interesting historical facts. Loved the graphics throughout the underwater shots showing where on the wreck site the  images were taken. Such a novel and useful concept. Also loved the narration in English and the addition of Spanish sub-titles. Once again really easy to do yet extremely effective. All beautifully filmed and edited with very nice music choice. The archive photos of the cargo and ship machinery were wonderful to see as was the historical film footage.

If it’s not already, then this video should be shown to all divers planning to dive the wreck. It will increase their enjoyment of the wreck ten fold. Thank you for sharing this with us.

Hunt for the hook-nose sea pig by David Gwyer

Lovely opening shots. Very atmospheric. The personal introduction from the divers was delightful. So nice to engage with people who are actually in the film. The music was perfect and the camera work and editing spot on. The length of the above water introduction was also perfect. Just the right amount of time to make me really want to see the seals underwater. And once underwater, the images and narration did not disappoint. Beautifully filmed in the low visibility with great seal behaviour. Magical. Wonderful film.

The November competition is now open for entries. You can enter up to 3 videos by clicking here.

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Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village is a Bedouin-owned resort with stunning views and a lovely private beach. It is ideal for divers as everything is onsite including the resort's jetty, dive centre and house reef. The warm hospitality makes for a diving holiday like no other. There is an excellent seafood restaurent and beach bar onsite, and with the enormous diversity of the Sharm El Sheikh dive sites and the surrounding areas of the South Sinai, there really is something for every level of diver to enjoy.

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