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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 is a multiple award winning, freelance TV cameraman/film maker and author. Having made both terrestrial and marine films, it is the world's oceans and their conservation that hold his passion with over 10.000 dives in his career. Having filmed for international television companies around the world and author of two books on underwater filming, Jeff is Author/Programme Specialist for the 'Underwater Action Camera' course for the RAID training agency. Jeff has experienced the rapid advances in technology for diving as well as camera equipment and has also experienced much of our planet’s marine life, witnessing, first hand, many of the changes that have occurred to the wildlife and environment during that time. Jeff runs bespoke underwater video and editing workshops for the complete beginner up to the budding professional.

Winners - Underwater Videography Contests

December 2022 Video Contest Winner and Review





Winning Video:

Hi everyone. Happy Christmas and New Year. Just four videos this month. I felt the Maria Bereozka  film ‘Jingle Fish’ had the edge over the others by way of carefully executed shots and editing, which gave a good steady pace to the video.

Looking forward to more films next year.

If you are keen to advance in your film making skills, don’t forget to look at my book and/or take my RAID Action Camera course.

A love story by Ronald Faber

Synthetic voice – Really!!!  Didn’t know there was such software in existence. Should have know better really. Nice video though. I don’t get many entries with David doing the narration. Good story and well shot with great steady camera work and lighting. The editing was spot on as was the music choice. The David voice did give it a certain quality that no matter how good or poor the film actually was, the audience automatically assume it has to be professional and thus top quality. It’s a clever trick but not sure I like it.

Jingle Fish by Maria Bereozka

Nice thoughts and excellent images with great quality. All works really well. The video has a real good feel to it and I love the diver/animal shots.

Fish Dance by Maria Bereozka

Ah Maria, Once again it is your narration that lifts the film by 100%. although your camera work is very good with steady well lit shots.

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year Dives! by Maria Bereozka

Not sure about this one. Didn’t quite work for me. It seemed to be a collection of loose shots put together to the music.

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

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Winners - Underwater Videography Contests

November 2022 Video Contest Winner and Review




Winner: Sharkydelity by Fredi

Winning Video:

Such good films this month. It took me a while to decide on the winner. I had to watch them all twice. But in the end my choice was Sharkydelity by Fredi. You can seen my comments on this film as well as all the others below.

If you are keen to advance in your film making skills, don’t forget to look at my book

Time to breath by Maria Bereozka

Yep!  Love it. So relaxing to watch and I really feel a bond with Turtle. Good camerawork.

Sharkydelity by Fredi

Lovely written intro thanks. Adds so much to the actual film. It’s a great story and stunning images.

A perfect blend of aerial, land and underwater sequences. Your music choice was perfect as was your camera work and lighting which gave wonderful clear, steady, sharp, well exposed and beautiful framed images. I liked your creativity with the editing, especially where you made the most of the music phrases.

Point of view by Maria Bereozka

The written intro was obviously heart felt and moving. It is so good to set up a video in this way. Once again it is your narration combined with your artistic skills and imagination that make your videos so unique.

Underwater Red Sea paradise by Maria Bereozka

Nice feel to the video which was well complimented by the music. My only suggestion is that for general reef shots you try some way to hold the camera steady. It’s not so important with moving subjects like the ray but when there is just coral and background fish the camera must be as steady as possible.

Banda Sea, Seram Sea and Raja Ampat by Daniel French

Sounds like a fantastic trip from your write-up. The on-screen identification captions work really well.  I like the slow motion throughout. The slow steady tracking shots and the slow animal movements. It creates a very peaceful feel and the music is perfect.  Great camera work and lighting. I also like your camera angle perspective on subjects where you get below the animals.

Maldives Far North Expedition with MantaTrust by ondrejv

Good written intro thanks. I liked the personal on-screen introduction. Wonderful shots of the mantas. What amazing animals they are. Having gone this far though with the shooting and editing I would have loved to have had some information on what you learned about the Mantas especially as you were with the Manta Trust.

Calm Indian ocean by ondrejv

Stunning opening shot of the Sweetlips. Fabulously sharp and well lit. You have captured some excellent wildlife images and the music fits really well. Loved the turtle turning to look at you.

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

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