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Winners - Underwater Videography Contests

July 2019 Video Contest Winner and Review




Winner: Fakarava 300 sharks by Sylvain Camps

Winning Video:

Oh….I don’t know…..How to pick a winner from such good films. Between them all we have emotive images, excellent camerawork, very good editing, perfect music, professional narration, well researched information, humor. I want to make everyone a winner. However there were three that stood out and linger in my thoughts. Fakarava 300 sharks – sylvain Camps, French Polynesia pearl of pacific – Serge melesan and Oman Melodrama – Craig J. Beasley. Spectacular images, wonderful colours, good lighting. As usual I have commented on each individual film. Please read them as well as your own. It may help you in the future.

Hunting flamboyant cuttlefish by Cindy Dalebout

Watch Cindy’s video here.

Wonder of nature. Well done for getting the food capture. It may just be me but I think the image is just slightly out of focus. If you are using a GoPro or similar try to determine just how close you can get to your subject before it goes soft. With a GoPro and a standard W/A setting any thing closer than about 12″ with not be sharp. You can get very good close up attachments which will help get over this.

Swimming featherstar by Cindy Dalebout

Watch Cindy’s video here.

Indeed it is rare to see them swimming, especially in daylight hours. You filmed it really well with good framing and keeping it in focus throughout. Music was a very good choice.

Stargazer-fish-diner by Cindy Dalebout

Watch Cindy’s video here.

Well done for entering three films. It’s great to see a variety. The image of the Stargazer fish dinner made me laugh out loud. One had to wonder what was going through the fishes mind.

Diving with the Giant Cuttlefish in Whyalla by Daryll Rivett

Watch Daryll’s video here.

Hi Daryll. Always nice to have a short location story before getting to the dive site. A few things I would mention though is if you are going to do this try to keep it short and punchy unless you are using the time to narrate and tell the audience of what the site is about. This would also help to minimize the wind roar on the sound track. I know how difficult it can be to get clean sound with a gopro when it is a windy day. Have a look at using a lapel mic, which are very inexpensive, or similar which can be tucked out of the way. This will give much better sound without the roaring.

You picked up the story really well later so in this instance I would have cut out the previous travel shots or perhaps added a little travel music.

I love diving with and watching cuttlefish especially at times like this when they are mating. Graceful and seemingly tender. All well shot and good music choice. The added information graphics were good too. What a fantastic spectacle. We used to have this happen here in the UK at one of my local beaches until one year the fishermen found out and tangled netted the lot.

Fakarava 300 sharks by Sylvain Camps

Watch Sylvain’s video here.

Good for you entering again. Love the opening. Real cinema. I guess I will say the same as before. Really liked the open coast shots where you created a perfect mood for the rest of the film. Good music choice too. I did like the cutting back to land to eventuate the feeling of peace and tranquillity which was then again reflected back into the water. I was totally spellbound from beginning to end. The slow motion schooling fish were magnificent.

French Polynesia pearl of pacific by Serge Melesan

Watch Serge’s video here.

Hi again Serge. A slight re-cut I think. I don’t have access to the previous film but from memory, well done. The opening is much stronger. Very cinematic. Tells a good story. Once underwater the music creates a very relaxed pace to the lovely images. The appearance of the wrasse was spectacular and the flipping turtle a real bonus. Don’t see that often. Turtle and diver was a nice touch. Throughout the film you have caught some excellent animal behaviour. That was a lot of sharks later on. What a wonderful sight. Fantastic Mantas and a perfect way to end. Eleven minutes is a long time for any video with just images and music but you made it work right through to the end.

I’ll catch you, I’ll catch youuuu! by Alexander C. Allgayer

Watch Alexander’s video here.

Short but absolutely superb. What an incredible thing to see.

The Mighty Napoleon Wrasse by Hank Hall

Watch Hank’s video here.

Was that really lucky or an abituated wrasse? Either way, wonderful encounter. Usually the large wrasse are very timid and that’s mostly down to spear fishing, but this one was totally relaxed with you. Good music to go with the images. I think I detected you were using a light but it failed to bring out the full colour. Perhaps a little more work in grading at the editing stage would bring out the full potential of the footage.

Deep in the Red by David Gwyer

Watch David’s video here.

Thanks for letting us know what cameras you used. It is can be really helpful to those who are trying to decide what to buy or replace with. Good to see a build up story which was shot and edited well and the narration was informative and interesting throughout. Excellent. One note on sound. When a particular track ends and another begins have a think about fading the music in as well as fading out. It gives a much smoother transition that way. Lots of underwater life all well filmed. The night dive sequence was good and a perfect change of pace from the previous images. Then the wrecks! What a trip. Good music choice for the wrecks. Very moody.

Oman Melodrama by Craig J. Beasley

Watch Craig’s video here.

Excellent written introduction thanks and loved the well researched and written narration. Very professional. Very well filmed with great camera work and good choice of music to enhance your images. The underwater camera work was also good and the narration kept the story going with interest and intrigue.

And the Winner is….

Fakarava 300 sharks by Sylvain Camps

In the end I had to ask a few friends for their thoughts and the general consensus was  Fakarava 300 sharks – sylvain Camps. Congratulations.’s August 2019 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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