- Create Photography Magic With These GoPro Photography Tips
- Required Gear for a Landscape Photographer
- Explore Formatt-Hitech's GoPro Filters and Accessories
- The Best Filters to Have in Your Bag (and Why You Need Them)
If I were to give prizes for the devices that have changed photography the most in the last decade, I'd give first place to smartphones and second place to GoPro.
If you don't agree, just hear me out on this...
I'd pick those two devices really for just two reasons: accessibility and mobility.
I mean, let's face it - not everyone can afford a DSLR, and no one wants to lug around a big digital camera when they're on an adventure.
Smartphones and GoPros solve both of those problems.
And even though they might not be as capable of taking the same quality of shots as a DSLR or mirrorless camera, they've both certainly come a long way.
In this article, I'd like to outline a few tips for improving your GoPro photography. Who knows, you might even fool people into thinking your photos are taken with a more traditional camera!
You Still Need to Plan
As I've already noted, one of the best qualities of a GoPro camera is that they're incredibly mobile.
That feature means GoPros are ideal for off-the-cuff shots in difficult situations, like in the water.
However, off-the-cuff shots are seldom very good quality, so even though GoPros are great for spontaneous photos, if you want quality photos you still need to plan your shots.
That means considering how you want to compose and frame the shot, thinking about lighting, and having a strong subject in the frame.
That also means using tried-and-true photography rules to improve the visual interest in the shot - the rule of thirds, leading lines, and incorporating foreground interest, to name a few.
And since we're talking about a highly mobile camera, think about finding unique perspectives from which you can compose the shot. Put your GoPro on the ground, mount it to your bike handlebars, attach it to a trekking pole and hold it above your head. The possibilities are endless for your creativity!
You'd never go out on a photo shoot with your DSLR or mirrorless camera without a tripod or a remote or a set of filters (at least, hopefully, you wouldn't!).
So why would you not take those things along when you're shooting with your GoPro?
I'm not saying you need to strap a full-size tripod to your back the next bike ride you go on with your GoPro attached to your helmet, but it's a good idea to take along a mini tripod, a jaws clamp to mount your GoPro to virtually anything, and a good set of filters, too.
The advantage of a tripod and a jaws clamp is that you have a means of providing a stable base for your GoPro to get tack-sharp images, and you're able to attach it to just about anything to find unique perspectives for taking your photos.
But something that some GoPro photographers neglect to think about is taking along a set of filters for their camera.
Formatt-Hitech makes a complete line of GoPro filters and accessories that will help you elevate the quality of your photos to another level.
For example, their Hero3+/Hero4 Elite Kit shown above includes a camera holder, three clear protectors, a UV filter, a circular polarizer, and two neutral density filters.
Not only does that mean you have a way to protect your GoPro from damage, but in the case of a circular polarizer, that also means you can get images like the one below, which have improved contrast in the sky, less atmospheric haze, and reduced glare from the water.
Additionally, the inclusion of a 0.6 and 0.9 neutral density filters means you can take long exposure shots.
You can blur the movement of the water or the clouds, or since we're talking about a camera for adventure, you can even blur the movement of a friend (or yourself!) as you ski, surf, or ride your bike through the camera's path.
The beauty of these filters is that they're made from the same high-quality glass used in Formatt-Hitech's award-winning filters for traditional cameras. They're just slimmed down for use with a GoPro.
That means you can get even more creative with the images you take and get results that are sure to wow.
Use Your GoPro's Settings to Your Advantage
Sure, your GoPro doesn't have all the bells and whistles and settings of a pro-level DSLR, but it's no slouch either.
That means that you need to learn how to use its settings to help you take improved photos.
We all know that GoPros are good on land and at sea, so take it with you whether you're on the beach or a boat. A GoPro Hero4 like the one shown above is good up to more than 131 feet underwater, so take it down to the depths with you too!
And it's not just good for daytime shots, either.
With an ISO range up to 6400, when dusk hits, you can just boost the ISO to help you get better low-light shots.
The Hero4 also has several white balance settings to help you combat color casts in your images, continuous shooting speeds up to 10fps for fast-action shots, shutter speeds to 30 seconds long for pleasing long exposures, and even up to +/- 2EV to help you brighten or darken your images as you see fit.
And, of course, that's not even to mention its 4K video capabilities for creating stunning action movies.
The point here is that GoPro cameras are much more capable than you think. And when you combine its capabilities with some purposeful compositional choices and a kit that includes a tripod, jaw clamp, and high-quality filters, you've got a recipe for GoPro photography success.
If you need a little inspiration for GoPro photography and videography, check out the video above by GoPro.