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Winners - Underwater Videography Contests

June 2020 Video Contest Winner and Review




Winner: Youngsters by Catrin Pichler

Winning Video:

This has been the most difficult choice I can remember! I probably say this often but it’s true. So many excellent films and so much hard work and talent gone into them all. 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.

I am Ion by David Gwyer

Watch David’s video here.

Hi David, first of all thanks for the very complete introduction to your video. Very nice treatment and very well produced. Ion has a good on screen presence. An excellent insight into the world of diving instructors. The script was easy to listen to and the accompanying video footage fitted perfectly. Beautifully filmed with excellent camerawork. I should think this will certainly encourage others to take up the profession.

Scuba Diving the Galapagos by Hank

Watch Hank’s video here.

Nice titles. You have put together some wonderful marine animal shots and cut them well to the music. Love the sea lion. The on screen identification type worked well. Overall a very good feel to the video.

Maldives Scuba Diving with Tiger Sharks in Fuvamulah, Grey Reef Sharks, Green Sea Turtles and more! by Daniel French

Watch Daniel’s video here.

I’m always a sucker for drone shots to establish a location and yours did that really well. The following underwater footage was impressive and fitted well with the music. Your camera work is very good. Thanks for the on screen identification of each species. Makes quite a bit of difference to the overall enjoyment of the film.

Observing Spotted Eagle Rays by Hank

Watch Hank’s video here.

Hi Hank. Good written introduction to the video with lots of important and interesting facts. Then lots more great information written on screen throughout the video. Just one thought for you….Try taking your next videos up a level by trying a spoken narration. That way you can impart some emotion as well as facts. Beautiful shots of the Rays. What magnificent animals.

Underwater Alphabet by Betsy Beasley

Watch Betsy’s video here.

That was great. Wonderful idea. I’m going to send a link to my grandchildren. They will love it. I did find the identification frames to be a little too short though and would have preferred them to have lasted a few seconds longer and then remain with the actual animal images. The sound effects will go down a treat with kids. At the moment I would have to be very quick on the pause button otherwise the kids would miss to much. By the way, my wife who was a primary school teacher loved it too. Excellent images all very well shot and lit.

Diving at Maldives by Ondrej Vysek

Watch Ondrej’s video here.

Well done Ondrej, a good litttle film. The Batfish were a treat. Not sure about the idiot with the crawfish on his head though. Nice camera work and lighting with good steady and sharp images.

Diving at Zanzibar by Ondrej Vysek

Watch Ondrej’s video here.

Plenty of life there for sure. All well filmed and edited. Music fitted well. Now and again the subjects are slightly over lit where the light is a bit to close. Hence there are ‘burnt out’ areas. When editing it is important not to be precious about material even if it took a long time to get. If an image is not perfect or telling an important part of a story then cut it out. In the past when working in TV, my cutting room floor or ‘trim bin’ (this was in the days of film, not video) was always littered with shots that I loved but that didn’t quite work.

The Seasnakes of Manuk by Catrin Pichler

Watch Catrin’s video here.

That’s a lot of snakes. Good opening with very effective music choice. You have put together some lovely shots of the sea snakes but I was crying out for some information either written or spoken. Have a think about putting a script and narration to this, it could turn a good film into a great one. Loved the shots of the snake behind the diver.

Ambon’s Fancy Figures by Catrin Pichler

Watch Catrin’s video here.

Again, a lovely opening. The drum was perfect as were the people. The change of pace to the underwater worked well. Extraordinary animals the Scorpionfish and you captured their character with some great camera work. The whole film was fascinating to watch. Most of those you filmed I had never seen before. They were straight out of science fiction. Good music choice.

Youngsters by Catrin Pichler

Watch Catrin’s video here.

Stunning. Your close up/macro camera work is excellent. Some of the fishing behavioural shots were  exquisite. The variety of animals you filmed were amazing to watch. Music was good but try to audio mix the different tracks rather than cut.

Melissa’s Garden – The Pearl of Raja Ampat by Scubabeat

Watch Scubabeat’s video here.

Good clean direct opening. Liked the way you cut the image motion to the music and the effect zoom into the Wobbegong was terrific. The identification graphics were well worth doing.

Macro life of Marmara Sea by Peter Salvatore

Watch Pete’s video here.

Packed with fantastic images. The opening had a good fun feel to it with the slight camera movement and the music which continued with some wonderful close ups of well chosen subjects. Your camera work and lighting were excellent. Loved the music change three minutes in. It created a beauty and the beast theme. Don’t know if that was intentional but that’s what my mind told me. The blenny in the mussel shell was great.

And the Winner is….

So….the winner this month is Youngsters by Catrin Pichler. To be utterly truthful, it was no better than all the other films either creatively or technically and once again it came down simply to the video that left the most lasting impression.

Stay well everyone!

Jeff Goodman is the Conservation editor and also the Underwater Videography Editor for Jeff is an award winning TV wildlife and underwater cameraman and film maker. With over 10,000 dives to his credit he has dived in many different environments around the world.

Winners - Underwater Videography Contests

September 2020 Video Contest Winner and Review




Only two entries this month which is a shame but also great as it means I can have two winners without feeling guilty. Two very different films and both excellent in their own way.

Transformation by Dennis Deavenport

Absolutely loved this video. Artistic license used to the full and thoughtfully produced. Wonderful images creating a surreal and magical feel to our beautiful marine life. Excellent music and very well edited.

Ambon’s Hairy Ones by Catrin Pichler

Hi Catrin. As always your close-up and marcro videography is top class. Sharp, steady, well framed, perfectly exposed. Over the past months you have introduced me to animals I never knew existed. Can I assume that Frogfish are your favourite. Wonderfull. You caputured some great behaviour in this video and cut it extremely well to the music.

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

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Winners - Underwater Videography Contests

August 2020 Video Contest Winner and Review




Winner: Sand by Dennis Deavenport

Winning Video:

All films were excellent in quality and subject matter, but for me one stood out. As usual please do read comments made on other films as well as your own just in case you pick up a useful tip.

The Blueringed Octopus by Catrin Pichler

Watch Catrin’s video here.

Hi Catrin. More excellent films from you. Thank you for showing them to us and thanks for the written intro to this one. Once again as always the camera work is perfect with exceptional quality. Steady shots, smooth tracking, nice framing and very good sympathetic lighting. Yes indeed you were lucky to get the mating sequence, but more often than not luck usually comes hand in hand with effort and time put into just being there.

There was only one small blip for me and that was the audio transition at around 1:50. Although you did mix from one music track to the other, I felt it happened a little to quickly and felt slightly abrupt. Perhaps think about a greater gap in between with some natural reef sounds to bridge. Then use a slower fade in for the second piece of music. Nice music choice by the way.

Rhinopias by Catrin Pichler

Watch Catrin’s video here.

Beautiful in every way. Subject, camera work, editing, music. The images are stunning and very entertaining, The video would make a fantastic screen saver, I am aching to know some details on what I am looking at though. As you are a brilliant videographer have a think about progressing to the next stage. Tell us why the colouration and physical adaptations? Is there specific behaviour going on? Are they endangered? What do the prey on? And so on……

Sand by Dennis Deavenport

Watch Dennis’ video here.

Nice story. Well thought out, planned and executed. So good to have a full and comprehensive narration that informs as well as entertains. The videography was very good as was the music choice. Well edited too.

Sweetlips by Hank

Watch Hank’s video here.

Excellent opening image. These are one of my favourite fish species to see and film. The colours and patterns are stunning. The images you have created are excellent in both camera work and lighting. I did like the on screen information but not sure about the music change for each species as I found that doing this broke up the natural and easy flow of the video.

Macro Fish & Critters of North Sulawesi, Indonesia by Pim van Schendel

Watch Pim’s video here.

Hi Pim, thanks for the written intro and telling us what camera you were using. Loved the film. You have some great shots in there and extremely well edited to the music. The quality of your macro is superb.

Diving the red sea by Roberto Piroddi

Watch Roberto’s video here.

That was nice. Had a good feel to it. Very relaxing and easy to watch. Liked your use of the diver shots. The land images were fun. I love seeing the camels on a truck. Camera work was good with slow steady moves and subtle lighting. It was very Red Sea.

The colour of water by Maurizio Agliani

Watch Maurizio’s video here.

Liked your opening graphics. Very stylish. The following images were also stylish as well as lovely to watch. There were a few notable editing moments of images and music that were inspirational. This film is very different to many I see and I enjoyed it thoroughly.  Underwater video art.

Great whites of Guadalupe by Martín Moscovich

Watch Martin’s video here.

Wow, what a stunning opening. I think I would have held the opening coastal shot a little longer though. The following shark shots were magnificent. What a animal! Quality of the images were very good indeed as was your camerawork. Music and editing worked well. Liked the short break back up to the surface.

2019 Diving Memory in Kohtao Island,Thailand Gulf by Vicky Lee

Watch Vicky’s video here.

Hi Vicky, loved the opening shots and the Barracuda with the cleaner fish was perfect, in fact I had to stop the film and watch that bit again. The various shoals of fish were stunning to see. All in all the film was a visual treat.

Mr.Turtle’s noon walking by Vicky Lee

Watch Vicky’s video here.

This is my kind of film. A long slow look at one animal. So relaxing to watch. Well shot and edited with great music choice.

All films were excellent in quality and subject matter, but for me one stood out. This month I am going for ‘Sand by Dennis Deavenport’. As well as great images and music he went the extra mile to make the video a well rounded story with easy to listen to narration and interesting facts. I know it takes a lot more time to research and develop a meaningful script and narration but the final product is well worth the effort in both audience appreciation as well as self satisfaction.  I am not advocating that all films should be talked over, especially when the images are self explanatory and beautiful in there own right and accompanied by the right music, but often a narration enhances rather than detracts from a video. Give it a go…..

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