Connect with us


The semi-annual underwater video competition at Red Sea Diving Safari



DCIM100GOPROTwice a year Red Sea Diving Safari run a video competition for all of their guests with the prize for each winner being a free stay at one of the RSDS villages. The competition is open to any video shot while staying with RSDS. Scubaverse’s Underwater Videography editor Jeff Goodman, one of the judges, runs RSDS’ video workshops and has donated to the winning entrant a copy of his book ‘A guide to Underwater Wildlife Video & Editing’.

Details of this competition and further events can be seen on the RSDS website.

Jeff praised the entrants for all their hard work:

“Congratulations to all entrants. This has been the highest overall standard so far and I have enjoyed watching all the videos. It’s great to see people getting so much out of interacting with our marine environment and being able to capture magic moments on camera to share with others.

As with all competitions, there has to be a winner (but no losers). It was difficult to pin this down to one entry but in the end the film that stood out more than any other was by Volker Staub. The music and pace of images worked perfectly together creating a magical, dreamlike quality to the video that portrayed a new feel to our underwater world.

I have commented on each individual entry below in the order they appear on the Red Sea Diving Safari website, but would urge each entrant to look at all the comments and not just their own.

***WINNER*** “Wadi Lahami, 2 to 4 August 2014” by Volker Staub

[youtube id=”Mb4OpP-MBqo” width=”100%” height=”400px”]

Well, that was different and I loved it. Quite surreal and artistic. Long steady slow shots with spellbinding music gave the whole video a dreamlike quality that kept me engaged all through the 7 minutes. It worked for me. Any other type of music would not have done the same job. Here is a perfect example of just how important music is.

“Red Sea Diving Safari” by Gery Beeckmans

[youtube id=”CjZWWKvMRKY” width=”100%” height=”400px”]

Really nice film with good steady shots and tracks. The images were all sharp and well composed. You obviously put a lot of thought and time into this.

Great Dolphin beginning and the music created a good atmosphere. Then coming to the wreck, it was interesting to get some information on the screen about her but perhaps a little more would have been desirable. Moody music with this section. It created a feeling of total desolation and loss which worked well if that was the intention. The following reef shots were very nice but for me the music was the wrong choice. It was too powerful and dramatic for pictures that had no dramatic action. Music is such an important part to any film and needs to reflect a mood or enhance what is happening on screen.

Having said that, the images were shot with good lighting and composition. Also good steady close ups on the reef. Having now produced such a nice film, try to go to the next stage and get animal behaviour as well as the portrait snapshots. All in all great film. Well done.

“Dugong” by Evert Hageman

[youtube id=”kxkhVVuVoNI” width=”100%” height=”400px”]

What a treat. Such great behaviour from the dugong and well done for capturing it. I was wondering what camera you were using as the exposure kept flashing. I would think the exposure was on automatic which was causing the fluctuations. See if there is a manual override so you have more control.

The entire film was one single shot and that worked really well. The sound of the diver bubbles was nice and so didn’t really need any music. Try looking at how to do a few titles. Hope you have more such encounters.

“Diving at Marsa Shagra with Red Sea Diving Safari” by Willem van den Broeck

[youtube id=”d9OPX2KRU9g” width=”100%” height=”400px”]

Great film, well done. I liked the intro with the resort and divers and good choice of music to go with it. Easy pace to the film with interesting story line which took the viewer into the water. Nice change of pace with shots as well as music. All shots were steady, sharp and with good exposure.

The night dive created a new feel to the film and change of pace with new music. The huge number of different species kept me interested right through. Finally I was pleased to see the Bedouins when the video returned to land for the closing section.

“Marsa Shagra 2014” by Marcel Bitten

[youtube id=”_2XO97-ZkUU” width=”100%” height=”400px”]

Good film with very good choice of music to enhance the images. All in all very interesting composition with sharp and steady pictures. There were some interesting colours throughout and if this was not intentional then I would suggest having a look at and learning a little about colour balance. Loved the turtle ending.

“Marsa Shagra Nov 2014” by Keith Sheldon

[youtube id=”IZQ-0xZKaRI” width=”100%” height=”400px”]

Nice opening shot with the sunrise and then good mood music with excellent underwater images. Great variety of species as well as shots including the close ups which were well lit. All sharp and steady. I liked the sound mix of music with divers bubbles.

“Egypte 2014” by Sylvia Opstal

[youtube id=”qGUXFyp97No” width=”100%” height=”400px”]

Looks like it was shot on a GoPro, which is an excellent camera although can be difficult at times to hold steady. I liked the opening and music which gave a good feel to the film. Throughout there was an interesting mix of moods and styles which worked well together. Looked like you had a great trip.

I always get slightly dismayed when I see videos that are over 3 or 4 minutes long as it is quite difficult to maintain a high interest level for longer. Running at 6.47 minutes I felt it was just too long, being cut to two different music tracks. Perhaps it would have been better to keep the length to just one track and only put in the very best of shots. Less is more as the saying goes. Always better to leave audiences wanting more rather than feeling they have seen too much.

“Marsa Shagra 2014” by Philippe Trojani

[youtube id=”NmZdXX8snEI” width=”100%” height=”400px”]

Good opening on land and underwater with nice choice of music. Loved the diver pointing to the turtle and then the shoaling fish. All sharp with good exposure and composition. The two octopus were a real treat and well done you for holding the shot so steady. But no close up? That really would have been special. When filming wildlife try to get on the same eye level as the subject as this usually gives a better perspective. Nice film though but perhaps a little too long.

“The Coast is Clear” by Mike Jansen

[youtube id=”hGLvTGPItYA” width=”100%” height=”400px”]

Pacey opening but do think about length of shots. Only keep them long if they are really interesting or you have something to say about them. Nice transition to the water. GoPro selfies can be good but once again please consider the length of shot. You obviously love your diving and are very good at it.

“Marsa Shagra June 2014” by Ahmed Helal

[youtube id=”jUbLu0NHoSM” width=”100%” height=”400px”]

Lovely opening images with good music. It all had a nice pace but a few of the shots later in the film were really too dark for me see what was going on. I think you would gain a lot from exploring the possibilities of lighting with a small movie light.


Are you interested in videography? Perhaps you’re a beginner, or maybe you just want to improve your skills. Jeff runs course in the Red Sea, Portugal and Cornwall in the UK. For more information, visit

Marine Life & Conservation

Jeff chats to… Jo Cutler, a contestant in the See You at the Sea Festival Film Competition (Watch Video)



In this exclusive Zoom interview, Jeff Goodman, Scubaverse Editor-at-large, chats to Jo Cutler, a contestant in the See You at the Sea Festival Film Competition. The See you at the Sea Festival was an online film festival created by young people, for young people.

Jo’s film – An Evolving Story – can be seen here:

Fifth in a series of six videos about the competition. Watch the first video HERE with Jenn Sandiford – Youth Engagement Officer with the Your Shore Beach Rangers Project and the Cornwall Wildlife Trust – to find out more about the Competition. Each day this week will be sharing one video in which Jeff talks with the young contestants about their films and what inspired them.

For more information please visit:

Continue Reading

Miscellaneous Blogs

The BiG Scuba Podcast… with Stephan Whelan



Next in a new series of podcasts shared by our friends Gemma and Ian aka The BiG Scuba Podcast…

Ian and Gemma chat to Stephan Whelan.  Stephan is the Founder and Publisher of His passion for the underwater world started at 8 years-old with a try-dive in a hotel pool on holiday that soon formulated into a lifelong love affair with the oceans and led him to become one of the leading figures in the diving media industry.

Stephan got bitten by the diving bug early in life. His first scuba experience was a try-dive when he was eight years old on a family holiday in Europe, and from that moment, he was addicted. He learned to dive properly with BSAC (British Sub Aqua Club) as soon as he could at school and then did his BSAC Assistant Instructor when he turned 16. By the time he was heading to university in 1996, he was hooked on teaching and diving as much as he could.

By the time he started studying at university, he decided to have a go at flexing his web-design skills by publishing some of the stories he had built up about various ‘challenging’ students and dives he had encountered, and so (as it was known then) was created. He published numerous personal stories until 1998 when other writers began enquiring about contributing to the site with their tales, and it was at this moment he decided to make it more like a magazine format and began asking for volunteer helpers. He got a couple of editors on board, and plenty of writers began contributing. (or DB as it’s become to be known) is now one of the most-popular diving websites in the world and has grown to publish over 9,000 articles covering all sorts of topics like Freediving, Scuba Diving, Ocean Advocacy, and Diving Travel all the while keeping over half-a-million passionate divers from the diving community connected every month through the forums, large social media following, mobile app, and recently launched podcast.








Find more podcast episodes and information at and on most social platforms @thebigscuba 

Continue Reading

E-Newsletter Sign up!


This is the perfect start to your 2021 diving season… and at an incredible lead-in price of just £885 per person.

Jump on board the latest addition to the Emperor fleet and enjoy diving the famous sites of the Red Sea with this fantastic special offer. This itinerary takes in the wonderful South & St Johns from 26 February – 05 March 2021.  

Subject to availability – limited flight seats at this price so don't delay!

Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email to book your spot!

More Less

Instagram Feed

Facebook Feed

Facebook Pagelike Widget