Introduction: Get the Perfect Shot on a GoPro!
I love my GoPro, and I use it on a daily basis to take pictures and videos. Have you ever wanted to take that picture that you think would be the perfect shot but you just can't seem to get it right? Whether it's the camera settings or the angle or whatever, you just couldn't get it. Well this instructable will give you some tips and tricks about how to get the perfect shot on your GoPro camera.
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Step 1: Use the Right GoPro Mounts
I would say that the hardest part about taking a picture is getting the right angle. That is why a GoPro is so great. It can attach to many mounts to get angles that are impossible to get with your standard DSLR camera. However, there is still that challenge of trying to figure out which mounts to use in different situations. Below is some tips you can use to figure out which GoPro mount is best for different situations.
The accessory that I find most useful is the selfie stick. Depending on which one you use, it can fold up fairly small but also extend pretty far. This is mostly used when your face is the focus of the picture or video (a selfie), or when you just want to use it as something to carry your camera with.
Sometimes you will not be able to carry a selfie stick, in which cases you will need some sort of body strap. Whether you are biking, kayaking, or rock climbing, body straps are very useful. The Strap, which attaches to your arm, wrist, and leg, can get you some pretty creative angles. It is also very small, so you can pack it with ease. The Chesty and the Head mount are also great for attaching your GoPro to your body. As the name implies, the chesty goes on your chest and the head mount goes on your head, making it super easy to record without hands. The Jaws Flex Clamp is another of my favorites, able to clip on to anything .25" to 2" in diameter (tree branches, lacrosse stick, etc.) Finally, the Adhesive Mounts can be stuck onto any smooth surface, such as a surfboard, car hood, or drone. These are one of my favorites because they are super useful but also very small.
There are many more mounts out there, however, these mounts will work for 95% of shots. I also would recommend not buying name brand accessories (GoPro.com) because they are way overpriced. If you buy off-brand products from amazon or ebay you will get more for your money. (https://www.amazon.com/BAXIA-TECHNOLOGY-Accessories-Session-Silver/dp/B00VBO0BNU/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1490560470&sr=8-3&keywords=gopro+mounts)
Last thing: be creative! That is one way you can get awesome shots: just mix and match different accessories to get an awesome angle!
Step 2: Use Time-Lapse or Burst Mode
One thing that makes GoPro cameras difficult to use is the fact that you have a faint idea of where exactly your GoPro is positioned. It is hard to exactly position your GoPro so that your subject is in the center of the photo, or on the left side of the photo, etc. Unless you have the Hero 5 Black or the Hero 4 Silver, all other cameras do not have a way of previewing your shot. You can use your phone to connect to the app, I guess, but most of the time you won't have your phone on you (surfing, for example).
The solution is time-lapse mode. You can set your camera to take a picture every .5 or 1 second, so that when you look back at your pictures, you can pick the best picture of the bunch. You can also use burst mode, which takes a whole bunch of pictures in a short amount of time. This is good when you are, for example, jumping off a rock into the water, and afterwards you can choose the best photo and delete the rest. The picture above was taken with burst mode - 30 pictures every 2 seconds (30/2).
Step 3: Use Protune
Protune gives you even more control over your photos, and if you use it right, can make your photo 10x better. Now let's look into the different parts of Protune and how to get the perfect setting for every situation.
First let's look at white balance. This will adjust your color temperature for your video or picture. For most situations, auto works pretty well. Sometimes, however, you will want to adjust it on your own. When your white balance is at 3000 Kelvin, that is the bluer color. You can go all the way up to 6500 Kelvin, which is the warmest your video/photo will go. Camera raw will not apply any white balance correction, so it is pretty much native right from the camera. All these are shown in the first picture.
Next we have ISO. ISO is the amount of light you will have in your footage. So at night or at dusk your ISO will want to use your ISO setting. If you have your camera at a lower ISO setting (like 400), not as much light will come in, but it will be a clearer, less grainy picture. When you bump up the ISO (up to 6400) you will have more light in your picture, but it will be noisy or grainy. Generally, you will want your ISO to be lower, however sometimes you will need to bump it up in low light situations.
Next in the list is the sharpness settings. This is just the amount that the image or video seems sharp. There is three settings for this: High, Medium, and Low. High being more sharp and low being less sharp. Usually you will want to keep it at a High setting, but in some cases low or medium settings might be nice.
GoPro color is another setting you will find on your camera. By default it is set to the vibrant colors you see from your camera. However you can change it to the flat color profile setting to give it a more dull look.
Last on the list is the exposure compensation value. What this does is it sets the amount of light the camera lets in. Set it at 0 if you want no exposure compensation, set it below 0 if you want it under-exposed, and set it above 0 if you want it over-exposed. This is shown in the second picture.
So this is how you use Protune to your greatest advantage and how you can get the most out of your photo or video.
Step 4: Use Editing
Almost all of the GoPro pictures you see will have some sort of editing done to them. You should too if you want to maximize the photo's potential. As you can see in the picture, editing can drastically change the photo's color, exposure and more to the benefit of your overall picture. There are many editors out there, however some are better than others. Photoshop Lightroom is a great option for your photos. It might seem a little over the top for some people, however it can make your picture just that much better. And if you don't want to spend all that time invested into your photo you can always make some final adjustments with your phone and the filters.
Step 5: Some Final Thoughts...
One other feature that you can use is the night mode. At night you won't be able to use your normal photo mode because it is too dark. In night mode, however, you can set your shutter speed to up to 30 seconds. Just make sure you have a tripod or something to keep your GoPro still, or else it will be blurry. There is also night lapse, which is just time lapse mode for dark environments.
Another thing that you need to keep in mind is stabilization. Shaky video is not fun to watch for the audience. Try investing in a gimbal or stabilizer - this will help your video tremendously. I have a GoPro Hero 5 which comes with video stabilization built in, but if you don't then that might be something you should buy.
I have a drone that I attached my GoPro to and I got some pretty cool photos and videos. If you want to do the same then you should definitely get some sort of stabilizer. It is super shaky and will be close to impossible to get a good video. However, if you do it right, your drone footage can look amazing.
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