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Winners - Underwater Videography Contests

March 2019 Video Contest Winner and Review




Winner: Critters of the Muck by Dean Spraakman

Winning Video:

Four good films this month. A good contrast in subjects as well as film makers abilities and experience. Generally even if the more highly polished film wins, it should and does not detract in any way from the others. Making videos is not easy and making good ones is not easy at all. Patience, perseverance, knowledge, skill and of course luck are all needed and all of these are only gained by time and effort. If you didn’t win this month it in no way reflects on your skills as a film maker. It’s just that someone else’s was that bit better. In all this rambling I guess I am trying to say keep videoing and keep sending in your entries and most of all enjoy.

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

Free Convicts by Elsa Collet

Watch Elsa’s video here.

Hi Elsa. First thing to say is that your film was really nice and easy to watch. The images were sharp, steady and well exposed. Framing was also good and the music fitted well. You covered the shoal fully with wide angles, mid shots and close ups. You made good use of slow motion in the edit which gave the audience time to enjoy the spectacle.

For a short film you ticked most if not all of the boxes. If you wanted to make the film more informative you could have added a descriptive title and perhaps some narration to tell why and what the fish were doing. Was this a typical sight or a special event? Short musical/visual videos are pleasant to watch but unless what’s happening on the screen is spectacular then it is often better to go for the fuller informative product where you could talk about behaviour or conservation. Hope this helps.

Ambon scorpionfish vs Skeleton shrimps by Jack Pokoj

Watch Jack’s video here.

Hi Jack. Interesting shot but there were a few focus issues. It is often difficult to get images crisp and sharp when doing close ups or macro, especially without specialist gear. Rather than trying to get too close with the camera, try filming from a little further away so that the subject is in focus and stays sharp even with a slight bit of camera movement. Then you can use the edit programme to zoom in slightly to get the desired framing. For further reading about depth of field or focus. There are plenty of articles and videos on this. Here are a few:

These are generally for semi pro and pro cameras but it is still good knowledge to have even when using GoPros.

Bumble Bee shrimp by Jack Pokoj

Watch Jack’s video here.

Hi Jack. Short but sweet. Again, not sure what camera you are using but it looks as if the autofocus is spoiling your shot. If you can, once the focus is set, turn it to manual so that it stays where you want it. Otherwise really nice shot.

Critters of the Muck by Dean Spraakman

Watch Dean’s video here.

Excellent beginning with the drone setting the scene. Then a good dramatic cut to underwater with both music and image. The first critter you showed was very well shot but the second animal was    unsharp and over lit. Not sure what the animal was but even if it was rare and extraordinary, the poor quality shot detracted from the rest your video. Best left out. The rest of the film was superb. Great animals and really well shot with both camera work and lighting. I like your use of slow and sped up motion. Very effective.

Size doesn’t matter – Daryll Rivett

Unfortunately the video won’t play. Please enter it in next month’s competition.

And the Winner is….

Critters of the Muck by Dean Spraakman

Well done to everyone and looking forward to next month.

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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