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Winners - Underwater Videography Contests

November 2018 Video Contest Winner and Review




Winner: One day at Sail Rock dive site, Koh Tao, Thailand by Istvan Zoboki

Winning Video:

Yet again another excellent month for video entries. Loved watching them all. Especially good to see a few basic videos as well as the more polished. As usual please do read my comments made to others as well as yourself as this may well help you too.

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

Moments by Todd Kortte

Watch Todd’s video here.

You have certainly dived in some wonderful places and seen some stunning wildlife. Very nice film with emotive music. It was good to have the change of pace half way through.  Camera work is excellent with well exposed, sharp, well framed and steady shots. The ray settling on the gobi was great, as was the trigger fish eating the lionfish. Had the lionfish been speared? The seal climbing the steps was perfect.

Chelone, the nymph of the drop-off by Elsa Collet

Watch Elsa’s video here.

Everything was right about this film. The music, the subject and the way it was filmed. The turtle turning was magical and the mid shots of it on the drop-off were lovely. Then you decided to go wide. May not have been shot that way but in the edit order it was perfect. It gave me a real sense of place. A powerful glimpse at the world of the turtle. You did well then to keep the shot running and maximized your luck when the turtle came back towards you and up into the bubbles. Lovely. Thanks for the explanation of Chelone, that was a nice touch.

The Dive Shack Promo – Dean Spraakman

Watch Dean’s video here.

Hi Dean, Dive Shack must be pretty pleased with that. Nice graphics to open with. The aerial shots mixed well into the underwater where the fish around the pier were quite spectacular in the shafting sunlight. Sea horses were stunning as were all the other clips. The music was good and you did some nice editing to the beat. The macro shots really are superb.

Diving with Seals, Puffin Island, Anglesey by Graeme Parker

Watch Graeme’s video here.

The opening rib journey was a good introduction and the seal nosing the camera on the surface was delightful. You certainly had a great encounter underwater. The seal mouthing the divers leg made me laugh out loud. Made me long to be back in the water with seals. The music was nice and the images were all well filmed.

One day at Sail Rock dive site, Koh Tao, Thailand by Istvan Zoboki

Watch Istvan’s video here.

Spectacular opening. The music really caught the mood. The images were perfect and just got better and better. A real joy to see. Took my breath away. Lighting was exceptional. To think that all seas and oceans were like that once. The macro in the jellyfish was great and just when I though it was all over the music started to crescendo and ‘bang’ in came the whale shark. All beautifully filmed and edited but, had it been me, I would have finished with the shark as the bat fish were a bit of an anti climax.

Boat sinking at Koh Tao, Thailand by Istvan Zoboki 

Watch Istvan’s video here.

What a perfect opportunity for a film. Wonderful how quickly life will colonise if given the chance. Slow motion opening was very good but I personally found the music a bit over dramatic for the images. Your underwater camera tracks and moves are very good indeed and extremely effective.

Octopus by Carol Callan

Watch Carol’s video here.

Hi Carol. That was fun. Haven’t had an entry quite so short before. Never the less it was nice. A complete little story in ten seconds.

Moray eel decided he didn’t like what he saw and left by Carol Callan

Watch Carol’s video here.

Ah! Another Moray. Wondered what it was going to be. Quick tip. If you are using a fixed focus camera such as a gopro, try to remember the minimum focal distance, which is just how close you can get before the subject becomes unsharp. In this instance the second Moray was too close when you tilted down, so to compensate you could have eased the camera slightly further away.

Cuttlefish enjoying supper by Carol Callan

Watch Carol’s video here.

Hi again Carol. That was a good find. As with the Moray, there was an issue with the first part of the video being out of focus. Sometimes, if the subject is so good, then an audience will forgive this and this was one of those occasions. Another tip. With a fixed focus lens, rather that trying to get too close, keep the shot wider to keep it sharp and then zoom in slightly at the edit stage to make the subject larger. This will keep it sharp. Or, perhaps think about getting a close-up attachment for your camera. One that you can slip on and off while underwater.

Anacapa Octopus by Sheen Fischer

Watch Sheen’s video here.

Hi Sheen. Tricky things to keep the lens on, Octopus. You did well. Have a look at the comments I made to Carol about minimum focal distance. May help you too. It’s always tempting to get as close as you can to wildlife, especially octopus, but after you have a few good close-ups think about taking a slightly wider shot to help set the scene.

And the Winner is….

There were three videos that stood out this month but there can only be one winner, so I have chosen One day at Sail Rock dive site, Koh Tao, Thailand by Istvan Zoboki. Of course the location was spectacular and perhaps a bit unfair on those confined to less rich waters, but I do usually take this into account. On this occasion I have to admit the location did help as did the incredible abundance of fish. Having said that Istvan took full advantage of both the location and wildlife to shoot and edit a dynamic video.

Well done to everyone and look 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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