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Winners - Underwater Videography Contests

October 2021 Video Contest Winner and Review




Winner: Aliens of the Sea by Oliver Knopken

Winning Video:

Interesting variety of films this month and it was enjoyable watching them all. There were a few that stood out but in the end it came down to one particular shot that won the day. It was the cuttlefish catching the scorpionfish. So this month’s winner is Aliens of the Sea by Oliver Knopken.

Sand of thousand eyes by Oliver Knopken

Great drone opening and I loved the door opening to the underwater scene. First time I have seen that done. Wonderful animals, all well shot. The music gave a good lively full of life feel to the film. Good choice.

Aliens of the Sea by Oliver Knopken

Once again, great opening drone sequence and the door opening effect has worked just as well as the first time I saw it and once again good music choice. Beautiful animals in your video. The pulsating cuttlefish was amazing. If you ever get to re-edit, try to slow that particular shot down by 50% or more and show both versions. Just as I was getting used to seeing the cuttlefish do its stuff, my eyes widened as it went for the fish. Brilliant shot.

Rosalie Moeller by Alexander Laue

Interesting tour of the wreck. Always a challenge when working deep. Although the images are all good, eighteen minutes is a long time for any film with no information and commentary and may only be of interest to those who have or are about to dive the wreck. Have a think about putting together some facts about the ship as well as the dive and try a narration. It’s good fun to do and you may be happily pleased with the result.

Kingdom of the Jacks by Bryson Justus

Good written intro and good title. Nice opening shots which gave a feeling of quiet anticipation for the dive to come.  The shots of the Jacks were excellent. So good to see so many fish together which is getting rarer every year with over fishing. Such stunning animals to be with underwater. The ray was a nice addition. I thoroughly enjoyed watching.

Wreckdive on the MS Balena in Hurghada, Egypt by Scubabeat

Stunning wreck and really well filmed with great images. The viz looked a little poor but you coped well.

Fish life of Bunaken National Park by Pim van Schendel

Perfect written intro, thanks. Makes a big difference to the enjoyment of the film. Stunning images with excellent camera work and very good lighting. The close ups are superb. I liked the music too which gave a lovely relaxed feel to film.

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

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.

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Winners - Underwater Videography Contests

September 2021 Video Contest Winner and Review




Winner: Maldives Scuba Diving on Emperor Explorer Liveaboard in 4k HDR by Daniel French

Winning Video:

Not so in hotter climates, but here in the UK autumn is starting to show now and that means less diving due to weather (and cold). But all you lucky divers living in warmer places, or on holiday, get to keeping your fins wet. Where ever you are, it’s always good to see your videos from the place you live or are visiting. Keep filming and keep showing people what a wonderful place the marine world is.

Four films this month and after a lot of deliberation I felt the winner should be Maldives Scuba Diving on Emperor Explorer Liveaboard by Daniel French who produced quite superb images and edited them to a good choice of music.

Maldives Scuba Diving on Emperor Explorer Liveaboard in 4k HDR by Daniel French

Stunning opening aerials. What a fabulous place. I liked your choice of music and editing. Very effective. Then we get underwater. Great opening shot with the diver. The quality and style of the images are superb and all edited at a relaxing pace. The ident graphics are a nice touch. Loved the nurse shark sequence. Good change of pace with the anemone fish. Mantas…..excellent, as was the whale shark. A third change of pace. This worked well as it kept the whole film interesting and vibrant. The lighting on the yellow snappers was perfect. The turtle was a great finish. I always panic slightly when I see a film over 3-4 minutes as they seldom hold my full attention for the entire period, No such issue here. Great film.

Heal the Ocean by Milena Margaritova

Love the sentiment. The song works extremely well with the images which are all well shot and edited.  Some nice behaviour shots and well as good portraits. AS I mentioned last month, the baby fish in front of the divers mask was just charming and made me smile then and again now.

Scuba Diving Memoirs – A Musical Journey by Milena Margaritova

Hi Milena, thanks for sharing this lovely film again. Good uplifting music with beautiful images. Your love for the oceans is clear and I hope this film will inspire others to help take care of it. There is a fabulous variety of habitats and species. Makes me want to get into the water.

Sturzkampfbomber (STUKA) Junkers Ju87 in Kroatien by Gabriel Schmidt

Hi Gabriel. Good film and nice to see the images of the complete working plane. Always exciting as well as sad to see a plane wreck underwater. Excellent shots of the plane with good wide angles and close ups. It was very well edited and the music was a good choice. If ever you get chance, it would be nice to add a bit of history as either a narration or written graphics. There must be so much drama in the story of how she got to the bottom of the sea.

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

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