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Winners - Underwater Videography Contests

November 2017 Video Contest Winner and Review




Winner: Mediterranean Slow by Lutfu Tanriover

Winning Video:

Well done everyone for your entries into November’s contest. All very good films with a variety of styles and techniques. It’s a real pleasure to see these videos reflecting the wonderful diverse marine wildlife from around the world. Videos of the standard entered over this last year have clearly shown the time and patience given by all.

Let’s take a look at November’s entries:

Bahamas Sharks – Sealife DC2000 – Henry Hall

Watch Henry’s video here.

Not a great fan of feeding stations for tourism but having said that I thought the video was very nicely shot. Good clear steady images with nice colour balance. The editing was also good, with attention paid to cutting transition points to the pace of the music. Also liked the information subtitles. Great.

A little mix from my previous dives on Koh Tao – Istvan Zoboki

Watch Istvan’s video here.

Love the aerial opening shots. Drones seem to be becoming a standard part of the kit now days. Excellent underwater shots, all well filmed and great quality. The variety of wide angle and macro was very good. The whale shark was particularly spectacular, as was the closing jellyfish.

HTMS Sattakut wreck – Istvan Zoboki

Watch Istvan’s video here.

Dramatic opening music which created a great sense of expectation for the coming shots. Unfortunately that didn’t happen. The images that followed were quite normal. Nice, but normal. However, the following shots of the wreck were very good. Black and white was an interesting choice though. All in all it didn’t quite work for me. The use of black and white should have purpose; it needs to emphasise a feeling or statement, and needs to do that in a powerful way.  It was a good idea but just needs a bit more thought.

Mediterranean Slow – Lutfu Tanriover

Watch Lutfu’s video here.

Underwater slow motion is an interesting concept where generally many things are slowish anyway. But it actually works really well, especially with the larger animals where it adds a wonderful feeling of power and grace. The Music was a good choice and complimented the action well. The octopus was lovely and the ray out of the sand was quite spectacular. The ctenophora (hope that’s right) at the end was out of place and perhaps should have been taken right out of the video as the ray would have been the perfect ending.

Barracudas Of Malgrats – Kiril Ivanov

Watch Kiril’s video here.

That was nice. I do like short single species videos. It means that you have spent some time with them and looked to tell their story. Very nice images with some lovely close ups. The music was just right. The length for an images only video was good. If it had been any longer then I would have liked to see some information about the Barracudas either as subtitles or narration.

And the Winner is….

The winner this month is Mediterranean Slow by Lutfu Tanriover which held my attention throughout as well as giving me the feeling that I need to get into the water again soon.

Well done to you all. Looking forward to seeing your entries for December!

[hr style=”single”]’s December 2017 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

February 2021 Video Contest Winner and Review




Winner: Anglerfish at night by Colin Garrett

Winning Video:

To save me typing this out for each video, thank you all for taking time to write an explanatory introduction to your films. It is always good to read background information on the making of each video.

Seventeen videos this month and every one of them deserves praise and recognition for being top quality. There were a few that stood out, but there was one that grabbed my attention from the very first few seconds and did not disappoint at all through to the end. The film was ‘Anglerfish at night’ by Colin Garrett. It was extremely well filmed and edited and the lighting was perfection. A stunning film all round.

As usual please do read comments made to other entrants as something there may well be of help to you in making future videos.

Diving the Salt Pier on Bonaire by Scubabeat

Nice feel right from the start with a good pace from the editing. Music works well and as always I do like the on screen species name graphics. You have really nice slow steady camera moves and the images are all sharp and well exposed. There does seem to be an issue with some of the shots being too red. If you are on auto white balance then there is little you can do while shooting but in the edit it is simple enough to lower the red cast. The pier uprights and the shoaling fish are lovely.

The Landslide by Scubabeat

Excellent written introduction. Sets the whole film up. What a fabulous wild place. I do remember it well. Raw diving. All nicely filmed with good well framed sharp images. Music was an interesting choice. I think I can see what you were trying to do in injecting some drama and pace via the sound. It worked for a while but then became a bit out of place as nothing dramatic happened visually. Perhaps a piece of music with a little variety in its tempo would have worked better. But, Filming and editing is all very subjective and this is only my opinion.

Mischievous Sea Lions by Hank H

Diving with Sea Lions is one of the most exciting and fun types of dive to have. They simply love to play and are usually completely unafraid of us as divers. You captured this well with good camera moves and editing. The on-screen notes worked well. Brave little Puffer Fish.

Maldives Underwater Highlights by Daniel French

Hi Daniel, thanks for the additional camera information. Always good to know what people are using. Stunning quality. Crispy sharp, extremely well lit with good colour balance and exposure. I love your slow smooth tracking shots. The blue anemone and clownfish was stunning. As I watched your video I had assumed you had put the best up front. But no. Images just got better and better. Music was perfect.

Scuba Diving at KudaRah Thila by Daniel French

Once again Daniel, fabulous quality. Great camera work and lighting. You have the balance of artificial light to ambient light working perfectly. Your framing and camera moves are also spot on. The shoals of snapper are stunning. My only comment would be that for an eleven minute film I would liked to have had some sort of story. I know the images tell their own about the wonderful biodiversity of the area but I felt it needed more information to pull all the stunning shots together. Perhaps a narration?

Scuba Diving with Nurse Sharks at Alimatha, Vaavu Atoll – Maldives by Daniel French

Beautiful opening drone shot. What amazing colours. The mix into the first shark was terrific. Once again great quality especially being available light only. The sharks themselves are quite magnificent. Nice to see one shark nosing the sand. Like the easy style of editing and the music fitted well.

Swimming with green sea turtles red sea Egypt by Ebrahim Hamdy

Lovely to see a free diving video. Everything is so majestic without the air tanks. The music and the diver flowed really well together with the turtle. A beautiful video. Well shot with good camera work and editing. Like to see more films like this.

Next to Me by Bryson Justus

You created a great opening with the images and the music. The edit to underwater worked very well. You have many beautiful images in the video and all are perfectly cut to the music. Not always easy to do but you certainly made it work. Good lighting too. You also captured some good behavioural shots. The rays were super. I did like the way you were unafraid to experiment with camera moves as well as editing effects.

Three reefs and a wreck by Mark Ponte

Excellent variety of wildlife. Liked the yellow eel. I was wondering what camera and light you were  using.  A small tip if I may, try to film animals at their eye level if at all possible rather than shooting everything from above. (Taking care of the coral at the same time of course)

Anglerfish at night by Colin Garrett

Woahhhh. Stunning opening shot. I haven’t seen an Anglerfish that big for many years. Wonderful animal. Your camera work and lighting are absolutely spot on and the quality is superb. The swimming towards camera with mouth open is a shot to be seriously envied. Music was perfect. The shots with the John Dory were amazing. I did question whether or not you put the Dory into the shot but then thought better of my scepticism and just sat back and enjoyed the rest of the video.

Close Encounters by Colin Garrett

That was nice. What a treat dive. Difficult conditions I think. Good choice having natural sounds only.

Mantas Lake by Aleksandar Rakovski

Lovely shots of the Mantas. Must have been a wonderful dive. Very stirring music. The applause at the end made me smile.  Did you get bumped by one of the Mantas.?

Non au shark feeding by Aleksandar Rakovski

Good  message told in a few strong moments. Excellent. It was very dramatic and effective. The camera work was excellent and created a worrying and poignant scenario. Well done.

Norway in my mind by Aleksandar Rakovski

Very cool. Excellent stylish opening with great music. So nice to see the underwater world used as an art medium. The piano player was inspirational and the girls smile was enchanting as well as infectious. Lovely film.

Diving in Sudan – A Red Sea Odyssea by Noemie Stroh

The opening shot made me yearn for sun and sea. Lovely drone shots to follow and then perfect merge to underwater. The music was good and instrumental in creating the different moods of the film. Good camera work and lighting. Stunning image quality with a beautiful abundance of marine life. Lighting was perfect. Your editing to the music was spot on.

All is in Motion by Guido Schmitz

I loved this. We should see more of this kind of film. Exciting to watch and the music fitted well. The sound effects were very creative. A perfect glimpse into part of the marine world.

Lion’s Mane Jellyfish – Exploration by Niklas Jansson

Jellyfish are a very under rated subject for filming. I think they are stunning animals and well worth the time taken to video. You created a mystical feel to the film with the slow moving images and music. I enjoyed it.

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

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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.

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