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Winners - Underwater Videography Contests

November 2021 Video Contest Winner and Review




Winner: Tiger (Shark) King by Clayton Conn

Winning Video:

Thank you all for some amazing films and thank you Andy for making me laugh out loud. Most of you took time to write an intro to your films which was much appreciated.

Timing is such a hit and miss thing with many things in life and on another day many of the films entered this month would have been winners. But as luck would have it, this was a bumper month for entries and the standard was very high. I do know how much time and effort you all put into making these videos and it is no small matter for me to try and pick a winner when all of you deserve to win on different accounts. There are so many different aspects to consider. Camerawork, lighting, exposure, framing, editing, effects, colour correction, story telling, narration, graphics, titles. The list goes on. So please don’t be dismayed not to win. Just keep on enjoying the art of taking underwater video and all the wildlife that discipline will take you to experience.

If it’s any help to anyone, have a look at a book I have just had published. ‘Action Camera Underwater Video Basics’.  You can buy it online if you are interested to read it.

After saying all that, I have had to pick a winner.

‘Tiger (Shark) King’ by Clayton Conn. A well told and filmed story with great script and presenter. This particular story is about sharks but it could be any animal anywhere in the world.

I need to give a special mention to ‘Save the Oceans’ by Katja Kieslich which was a wonderful film and I  hope many people will share it on social media and anywhere else they can.

Hunt for the big sturgeon by David Gwyer

Nice… Liked the premise and the execution of the story. All well filmed and narrated. The music fitted really well. The trout feeding frenzy was exciting but then the appearance of the sturgeon was just perfect. Great film.

Early morning by Serge Melesan

A beautiful opening with great drone and underwater images. The music gave a wonderful peaceful feel to the images but unfortunately as the narration was in French I didn’t really get the gist of what was being said. I’m sure it was lovely though. I think that unless you are aiming any film you make for a French speaking audience only, then English would the the better choice to make it more global. Perhaps even English subtitles.  The cinematography is excellent and the images do tell their own story in many ways but as there is quite a lot of live speech then as I say it is limited to a French audience. Perhaps that doesn’t matter to you. Anyway, stunning underwater images which are real joy to watch.

Red sea night mysteries by Noemie Stroh

Terrific. Such a good feel to the film with the stunning images and perfectly chosen music. Your  lighting is excellent. Lovely steady and sharp camerawork.

Relaxing Scuba Diving with Prodivers at Lily Beach Resort and Spa by Daniel French

What a stunning location. Lovely opening sequence. So peaceful.  The ray at the surface was gorgeous and the following shot underwater was too. The blue stripped snappers under the reef was so well shot and lit. I like the description graphics. They work really well. The sweetlips…wow. And, on the film went. One fabulous shot after another.

Exploring Sha’ab Quais Maksur (el Aruk Giftun) by Scubabeat

Thanks for the written intro. Really good. The identification graphics are also nice to see. Good camera work with steady, well exposed and sharp images. Looks like you had a real fun trip.

Into the Sea, out of this World by Milena Margaritova

Interesting written intro. I was was intrigued to see the video.  You are quite right. Poor (or alternative) video images can be made into a very watchable film with clever editing and a great sound track. While this worked at the beginning of the video, come half way through it had lost some of it’s charm. I think if you have chance to re-edit, cut the film in half and only use the most dramatic images. As they say. ‘less can be more’. Having said that I think it’s great to try an alternative approached to film making, so well done.

Underwater Party! by Milena Margaritova

Made me smile. Just shows once again how the music can affect the impact of the images. The bright pacey sound track truly enhanced most of the images. Excellent. Well edited too.

Next To Me by Bryson Justus

Excellent beginning with the music and editing. Nice camera work and lighting. A real good pace to the film which kept my interest right through. Loved the octopus. The rays were wonderful. The breaks back to the surface worked very well. Great film.

Manta Magic by  Bryson Justus

Excellent written intro thanks. Gave a real feel for the location. Stunning Manta shots. What a fantastic encounter. Good pace to the video with both editing and music. Thank you for sharing.

Tiger (Shark) King by Clayton Conn

YES – Such an important message. Excellent story and so well delivered. Loved the presenter and his script/narration was perfect. Beautifully filmed and edited.

Diving in Malta & Gozo by Domenico Pertschi

Stunning topside images. Such lovely colour. Nice film with good music choice. All well filmed and edited. I remember Malta fondly with good diving and lovely people.

Diving compilation Mozambique & Azores & Tenerife by Domenico Pertschi

Well done, you cut the images perfectly with the music and it all worked well. Stunning rays. All your wildlife and wreck images were excellent.

Under No Pressure by Rafal Michalczyk

Great topside images to start the film and give a sense of location. Very emotive music. Interesting treatment for the video and for me it worked. It portrayed the divers being slightly out of place, some confusion, new sights and wonder. I felt the divers relax as they moved further into the dive. It’s a good film and I am sure all those involved are very pleased with it, For me personally, it was a little to long and may benefit from some editing.

The Addict by Andrew Walters

Brilliant, if not a little weird. Loved it all. Hope you won your clubs film night.

Santa Maria Island in Blues by Gui Pinto da Costa

Oh my!  That was a special encounter. Perfect music. Loved the long continuous shot with no edits. I’m sure the ray could hear the music and was moving to it. Fantastic closing shot.

Blue Shark by Joan

Short but very sweet. If you get chance to re-edit, have a go at trying to colour balance all the shots to the same look.

Swim with dealy snakes by Jan Venter

Nice intro. The silence was powerful. Lovely snake shots and the music choice was quite dramatic. The video built to an interesting crescendo with the music. Good sharp steady and well lit camera work.

Colourful Shallow water treasures in Komodo by Jan Venter

The shallows are so under rated. I often spend an entire dive in 6 meters or less. So much colour, so much life, so much time to enjoy. You captured some stunning images with the most vibrant colours. Excellent.

Diving the wrecks of Chuuk Lagoon, October 2011 by Cris Katch

Like the opening sequence. Looks a fabulous place. Seeing wrecks underwater is always tragic and awe inspiring at the same time. Interesting using still images for the bulk of your film. They certainly portrayed the dives well but when using still images the quality should be top rate, other wise video works much better. I did feel that without supporting narration the film was a bit too long though.

Scuba Diving in Barbados by Cris Katch

Hi Chris, once again the ‘still images’ approach. As I mentioned previously, when using still images they should either be of top quality of have a definite purpose. They can always be enhanced by adding some information either narrated or written. Have a think about telling a story of some sort. It can be very simple just as long as it holds the audiences attention. Please don’t make my comment put you off at all. You are obviously well on the way to making some really nice videos. Just try to go that step further.

Diving the northern atolls of the Maldives by Cris Katch

Hi again Cris. Same comments as before really. You obviously have a good eye for shots but over use of still images is far better used in as a dive presentation to a dive club with script rather than a stand alone video. I know you have a better ratio in this film with video and stills but it still all applies. As a matter of interest you may be interested in a book I have just had published ‘Action Camera Underwater Video Basics’ You can buy it online if you are interested. Have a further think about editing. It’s not hard and extremely rewarding.

The Treasure of Abu Dabbab by Jens Maus

Nice to see the old countdown clock in the beginning. Lovely stylish opening with great narration and underwater shots. It’s a good script throughout and was heartfelt for sure. The camera work and animal behaviour is stunning. Really like the way you edited it. Great film Jens.

Episches Unterwasser-Model-Shooting mit Meerjungfrau Natalie im Jugendstilbad Gotha by Malu Dienst

Thank you Google Translator and thank you Malu for the English subtitles.  Always good to see other aspects of underwater filming. Your model Natalie is stunning and so at home in the water.

I did like the half in and out of water shots. (Why did the camera crew have wet suits when the models didn’t……….. ) It was a fun video to watch and I think it was great fun to make. It was however quite long and reparative. Perhaps a few thoughts from the model and photographer on the challenges and technicalities would  have made the difference.

How to ride a bike underwater with Violalovescycling by Malu Dienst

Hi again Malu. Another nice film. Liked the spoken introduction as well as the continuing narration. Amazing cyclist. Great location to do the shoot and fabulous quality images. The whole film was nicely put together with both filming and editing.

Lets play! Red Sea diving by Kristi Ruut

Hi Kristi. Thanks for sharing that clip. I am not always a great fan of feeding fish but occasionally food really does break down barriers and gives us a moment of interspecies communication.

Save the Oceans by Katja Kieslich

Lovely concept and very nicely put together. I loved the treatment and the narration which was perfect in both delivery and content. It is a film that should be shown around schools. I will definitely be showing it to my grandchildren. They will love it. Excellent camera work and editing.

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

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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