Connect with us

Winners - Underwater Videography Contests

July 2020 Video Contest Winner and Review




Winner: Weird, But True by Betsy Beasley

Winning Video:

It would be so easy if there were a few terrible films in each months competition. But there aren’t. Every entry is a joy to watch and technically excellent. So how to choose a winner? Videos can often be judged partly by the quality of the camera work; the lighting; the editing; the style; the music; the information imparted to the viewer; the rarity of the subject; the length of the film; the graphics, and so on. But when all the films are technically excellent there are only a few criteria left. Congratulations to everyone. As usual please do read comments made on other films as well as your own just in case you pick up a useful tip.

Fijian Blue by Jay Shipp

Watch Jay’s video here.

Beautiful beautiful images and I loved the way you cut them to the music. The entire video had a very relaxing pace to it and was a joy to watch. Excellent camera work and very nice lighting. Perfect ending too.

Weird, But True by Betsy Beasley

Watch Betsy’s video here.

Brilliant opening and the graphics were exceptionally good. The narration is compelling and easy to listen to. The script is perfect. Not too laborious. Just short and interesting accompanied by stunning images. One thing that did slightly bother me though was the pace of transition from one animal to another. I felt you could give the narration a few seconds break each time to allow the viewer to assimilate what they have seen and prepare for the next event.

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

Watch Daniel’s video here.

Hi Daniel. First of all thanks for the written intro and telling us what camera you were using .  Good start to the film with nice aerials, coastal and harbour shots. It set up the location perfectly. The dolphins on the boat journey over to the island were a real bonus. Then came the diving and the seals. Excellent. Great encounters and well filmed. Good quality. What a brilliant trip.

Dancing Stars by Catrin Pichler

Watch Catrin’s video here.

Another excellent film from you. The music choice for the Pom Pom Crab was great fun. Your macro work really is exceptional. Great lighting on the Coleman Shrimp. Iv’e never seen an Emperor Shrimp before. They were extraordinary as were all the other species. The Donald Duck Shrimp, who would have guessed it. I have to stop naming now all the remarkable species you have filmed. They are all stunning and so is your presentaion of them. Perhaps you would like to consider making a single species video and take just one of the animals to make a full feature on it with narration. I think you could do that well.

In The Sheepy Realm – The Costasiella Seaslug by Catrin Pichler

Watch Catrin’s video here.

Loved it. What more can I say.

Caballitos de mar (Seahorses) by Casiano Pérez

Watch Casiano’s video here.

Fantastic opening shot. I loved the mystery of it and the the incredible revelation of the seahorse. Magnificant. Very well filmed and excellent music choice.

And the Winner is….

When all the films are technically excellent there are only a few criteria left. Enjoyment and lasting impression and so it is with this in mind that this months winner is Weird, But True by Betsy Beasley. Sometimes I really hate picking a winner because you are all winners and I mean that. Thanks to all those who entered and I hope you are able to use the Scubaverse video competition to help showcase your work.

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

January 2021 Video Contest Winner and Review




Winner: keep it clean by lutfu

Winning Video:

Hi everyone. Lots to look at this month with a huge variety of styles, topics, treatments and stories and great to see some new names. As usual I have written my thoughts on each film and hope you will have time to look at others as well as your own in case there is something I have said that may help you as well.

Standards are very high as usual but this month in my mind there was one clear winner for both quality and innovation. Keep it clean by lutfu. Along with a crucial environmental message  this was a visually inspirational film which asked the viewer to re-evaluate the underwater experience.

See you next month. Good diving.

Kingdom of the Jacks by Bryson Justus

Nice opening drone image with title graphics. Always good to see people going that extra bit further with their productions. Great travel shots and then a really effective water entry sequence with perfect music cut to the underwater Jacks. What spectacular fish they are. Good camera work and lighting and I liked the short addition of the ray. The only shot that didn’t work for me was the final drone image which was way underexposed. Better to have just left it out.

Green Sea Turtles of Indonesia by Charles Rousseau

Lovely. You opened your film with one of my favourite images. Green Turtle with Ramora on it’s back. Clear water, sandy sea bed and blue water. Perfect. A very simple film and very relaxing to watch. Excellent camera work and editing. Music fitted well. The Bat fish was a bonus.

Sipadan, one of the world’s top dive points by Chungjin Son

Pacey start. This style is quite hard to do well and often fails. But you got it just right with good images, fast editing and fast music. However, I felt the transition to a slower pace in the film was a little too abrupt. Perhaps a three or four second pause in the music would have helped. I liked the travel shots which gave a real feel good edge to the film. All in all a very different and new production style for this competition. It was good to see.

One summer day when fishes poured like rain from the sky by Chungjin Son

I really liked the use of slow motion images put to fast upbeat music. It worked extremely well. Good camera work and very interesting framing. The whole film was good to watch, but, for me personally, I was disappointed and saddened to see the triggerfish struggling for air in the boat.

Scubadiving in South Korea by Chungjin Son

Hi Chungjin, Very stylized video pretty well in the same style as your other two. I think I preferred the first two. On the music side, I love rock, heavy metal etc. but I’m not sure it fitted with your video. It felt like the music was fighting with the images for the viewers attention.

Ocean Dance by Armel Ruy

Wow! Loved the opening ocean shot. A very good underwater marine life film. The strong images and the fast pace kept me fully attentive as I didn’t want to miss anything. Had a really good energy to it. Not sure about the seal as it was out of place and you really didn’t need it as all the rest of the film was exciting enough.

Underwater Music Video “Skin” with Natalie by Marie-Luise Dienst

That was different. A beautiful lady very well filmed. Excellent lighting. What’s not to like. As you say in your introduction, a huge test for the makeup. Choreography is usually the hardest part of making videos like this and you did it really well.

The squid dance by Nanni Bassetti

Well done Nanni. Always fun to see squid at night. It was an enjoyable video but I would re-think the title if it were me, ‘The Squid Dance’ builds up a great expectation of seeing either a lot of squid moving gracefully through the water, or, a few squid doing some extraordinary and captivating movements. It was great to see the squid shots you had but the bulk of the film was of the reef. All good but just needs re-titling.

Reti ed axinelle by Nanni Bassetti

The hard life of axinellas sponges with the ghost nets. A good title! Thanks for the translation graphics at the bottom of the screen into English. You have showed well, some of the horror and impact of ghost nets on the sea bed. With such a strong subject I think I would have added some narration just to explain a little of what was going on. Well done for tackling such an important topic.

Isla Guadalupe 2019  by Alejandro Topete

What a trip!  Good to see the people in the boat saloon at what I assume was the dive briefing. Then straight into the underwater shark footage. Great. Perfect conditions. You filmed and edited it all nicely. Good to see shots of the island.  Liked the still photos at the end.

keep it clean by lutfu

I’ve run out of adjectives this month so I’ll start again. Love this film. Underwater art. The upside down shots are extremely well thought out and effective. The ‘waterfall’ and snorkeller shot is inspirational. The whole upside down treatment gives a completely new aspect to the marine world.  Music is perfect. I forgot to mention the globe in the plastic bag. Yes!! A perfect world with the ever present threat of plastic. As for the sinking globe in the plastic bag slowly dropping into the dark depths of despair……that was truly inspirational.

Comunicacion by Kiril

That was fun. Beautifully shot. Liked the effects of the small depth of focus between subject and diver. That worked really well. Very good macro shots.

Scuba diving Hitra Norway by Jesper Haav

I think you have captured diving in Norway perfectly. Good camera work and excellent lighting. The camera exposures were spot on and on occasion wonderfully moody. Music fitted well. The Angler fish caught me out. Wasn’t expecting that. Brilliant. Good to see the ‘live’ action shot for the end credits.

The Muck Chronicles by Dennis Deavenport

Perfect intro with video shots, graphics and narration. Your macro camera work is extremely good as is the lighting and framing. It’s a good story and you told it well, both entertaining and educational and I loved the behavioural images. Music was perfect in that it kept a good pace going without being obtrusive.

The invertebrates of Kapalai reef by Scubabeat

That was the longest written introduction ever. But it was good. Gave a real taste of what the area has to offer. Question is, was it backed up by the video. Yes it was. Perfect macro camera work and lighting and as promised, a fantastic selection of invertebrates.

Scuba Diving at Manta Ray Cleaning Station, Maldives by Daniel French

As you say in your introduction it was certainly a rare and incredible lifetime experience. Stunning opening aerial shot and then a perfectly matching underwater image of the divers, reef and manta. It seems there was little to do except sit and wait for all the action to come to you. How wonderful. The shots of the Mantas coming towards you across the top of the reef are magnificent. The shot of the shoaling fish revealing the manta above is even more magnificent.

Diving Tolo (Ol’Blue) on Bonaire by Scubabeat

Love your written introductions. They make me feel I know the place well. As I watched your opening shots and listened to the music, I felt a great desire for a rum punch and some sun tan lotion. Perfect. Beautiful wildlife shots and so good to have the names written on-screen.

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

Continue Reading

Winners - Underwater Videography Contests

December 2020 Video Contest Winner and Review




Winner: Out Of The Ordinary – A Wonderpus Poem by Catrin Pichler.

Winning Video:

Hope you all had a very happy Christmas. Shortest day gone so spring and summer on their way soon.

Five entries this month and all lovely films. David, one of the nicest films I have seen from the Cove. Daniel, a real feel good video to remind us of some of the beauty of the underwater world. Catrin, as always very professional and well done with the narration. Kiril, Wow, my eyes were wide open throughout. A very stylised film. Betsy, once again a wonderful video.

I have to pick a winner but don’t want to lessen the amazing quality of the others.

Apart from all the technical aspects of making a good video, one of the most important elements is the enjoyment factor of the audience and this can be quite subjective. People will forgive many technical errors if the story is captivating. All the films this month were technically excellent and so it came down, again, to the one I enjoyed most and on this occasion it was. Out Of The Ordinary – A Wonderpus Poem by Catrin Pichler.

Please read my comments for each film in case there is something there that may help your own films in the future.

Down in the Cove by David Gwyer

Nice. Thanks for the written intro. You use the same system as me. GoPro5 and Premiere Elements. Cost effective but does the job really well. Good opening with perfect music and very good narration. Great camerawork and lighting. You must be pleased with the film. You created an interesting and eerie mood to the dive. The wreck images were sharp and well framed and the perch were a nice touch.

Maldives Underwater by Daniel French

Good to see all the technical details of the camera and light being used. Beautiful opening shot of the turtle with excellent music. The lighting was perfect and just how I like to see it. Subtle in terms of exposure but very effective in adding colour back into the scene. The whole video had a nice easy feel to it. Very relaxing with a steady pace. Lovely shoaling fish.

Out Of The Ordinary – A Wonderpus Poem by Catrin Pichler

The Wonderpus Octopus is both charismatic and mostly unafraid of cameras and you captured it on video perfectly. Extremely good camerawork and lighting. The narration was both well presented,  informative and easy to listen to. You then seamlessly migrated the narration into a poem which  added a complete new dimension to the whole film. Loved it. Image quality was outstanding.

Jellyfish and Free Diver by Kiril

Wow, that was exciting. I don’t recommend anyone doing the same unless they are very confident and knowledgeable about this deadly little animal. The images were extremely good with beautiful lighting and framing. I liked the ‘static’ effects which gave an even more menacing feel. It was fascinating to see the jellyfish react so definitely to the close hand in front of it.

Box jellyfish have 24 eyes made up of 4 different types. Four of them are much like our eyes (image forming) and the other 20 are light/dark sensors for obstacle avoidance. They can make out shapes and distinguish between prey and predators quite easily.

Symbiosis by Betsy Beasley

Very good!…..As well as the usual high standard of videography, the narration and script were wonderfully informative and easy to listen to. The music was perfect and very well blended with the narration. It just goes to show that what at first seem to be ordinary wildlife images can, with a little research, become interesting and fascinating behavioural clips.

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

Continue Reading

E-Newsletter Sign up!


Explore the amazing triangle of Red Sea Reefs - The Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone on board the brand new liveaboard Big Blue.  With an option to add on a week at Roots Red Sea before or after. 

Strong currents and deep blue water are the catalysts that bring the pelagic species flocking to these reefs. The reefs themselves provide exquisite homes for a multitude of marine life.  The wafting soft corals are adorned with thousands of colourful fish. The gorgonian fans and hard corals provide magnificent back drops, all being patrolled by the reef’s predatory species.

£1475 per person based on double occupancy.  Soft all inclusive board basis, buffet meals with snacks, tea and coffee always available.  Add a week on at Roots Red Sea Resort before or after the liveaboard for just £725pp.  Flights and transfers are included.  See our brochure linked above for the full itinerary.

This trip will be hosted by The Scuba Place.  Come Dive with Us!

Call 020 3515 9955 or email

More Less

Instagram Feed