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Winners - Underwater Videography Contests

May 2020 Video Contest Winner and Review




Winner: Bunaken National Park by Pim van Schendel

Winning Video:

As soon as this lockdown is over I am going to find the biggest air tank and sit at 25′ for as long as possible and just soak it up.

Hope you are all well and keeping safe. One thing about lockdown is it has given me the incentive and time, to sort out all my old video material which has been a job long overdue. It’s been fun looking back on all the past years of diving. Here are my thoughts on this month’s video entries:

Floating Freely by Catrin Pichler

Watch Catrin’s video here.

Beautiful images with perfect music. What a stunning experience. Loved all of your shots which were sharp, well framed and nicely exposed all in quite difficult conditions with the viz and current. The Butterfly fish pecking on the black manta were delightful.

Clowning around in Marsa Shagra by Mick Crowley

Watch Mike’s video here.

This little video just goes to show how important the choice of music is to any production. The images of the clownfish on their own are quite simple, although nicely shot, but it is the addition of the soft guitar that creates a tranquil mood that make the viewer relax and enjoy the beauty of the fish. Great film.

Squid Ballet by Catrin Pichler

Watch Catrin’s video here.

First thing to say is how well the music fit the images. The soft piano accentuated the gentle and flowing movements of the squid. Very Science fiction. Loved it. Camera work is spot on with good sharp, steady well framed and exposed shots.

Diving Meno Slope, Gili Meno by Albino Titan Triggerfish – Beat Travels

Watch Beat Travel’s video here.

Nice camera moves in the boat and very nice effective plunge into the water. No messing about. The following underwater images were very well filmed. Clear and sharp. The identification  captions at the bottom of the screen were a great touch and added immensely to the overall enjoyment of the film. The Paddle-Flap Scorpionfish was a real treat. The Albino Titan Triggerfish was indeed a good draw to the video but I was slightly disappointed that there was only one shot of it. I was expecting more. On this note, although the film was good to watch, I think it would have benefited from a short story rather than a straight forward catalogue of animal snapshots.

Bunaken National Park by Pim van Schendel

Watch Pim’s video here.

Thanks for the written intro. Makes a big difference to what I am looking at. Excellent pace and tempo to the opening shots with well timed edits to the music. The rest of the video followed in the same way. A real pleasure to watch. Lovely camera work. Steady and well framed. The scorpionfish  with the turtle was a great find and the timing for it swimming off was perfect. You captured some brilliant animal behaviour and managed to edit it all in a concise and clever way, The Octopus at the end was amazing.

And the Winner is….

Portrait or snapshot videos can be good and do have a place in any viewing gallery, especially if they are accompanied with suitable and complimentary music. They can also become a little predictable, even if every individual shot is a masterpiece. But if you can go just a step further and do two or three shots of each animal, then you begin to tell a story which can be far more captivating. Bunaken National Park by Pim van Schendel did just this and so is this month’s winner.

Stay safe everyone, Won’t be too long before we are allowed to go diving again.

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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