GoPro cameras offer the user the ability to mount, wear or attach a highly durable and high definition camera in order to record in high detail some of their more extreme and exciting moments. While a digital camera with super high definition will suit you down to the ground for taking atmospheric photographs of sun sets and beaches, they won’t be much use when you’re hurtling down a mountain, in the middle of a paintball fight, leaping across buildings, or climbing great cliff faces.
Thankfully the GoPro cameras offer the perfect solution as super-durable high definition cameras that can attach to a car, a bike, an ATV, a helmet, your head, a backpack, your body, or anything else depending on the model you purchase. They can likewise attach to
That not only enables you to capture footage as you climb and jump and swim – but it also means you can bring them with you. That’s something you might not feel comfortable doing with a highly expensive and bulky DSLR camera – meaning you can’t use one to take those awesome panoramas once you reach the top. Or those underwater selfies!
That’s why knowing how to use a GoPro to take stunning photos as well as capture awesome video is such a useful skill.
GoPros Take Great Photos!
The good news is that GoPros happen to take excellent photographs. While they are primarily intended for filming, they have everything a good camera needs in order to be a brilliant shooter. They are:
- High definition
- Wide angle (meaning that you can fit a lot into the frame)
- Fast shutter speed (perfect for action shots)
BUT at the same time, you must remember that GoPros aren’t’ designed primarily with this in mind. These are action cameras and are most useful for video. Therefore, the optics might not always be to your liking: you may find that the ‘fish eye’ effect (that allows the wide-angle) isn’t to your liking for instance.
At the same time, while the shutter speed is fast, there is zero stabilization in the older models and only basic electronic stabilization in the newest, most expensive GoPros. That means that you’re going to benefit a lot from having a stand or a gimbal in order to keep your camera still.
There is no zoom, no pro-mode (meaning you can’t take manual control over things like ISO and exposure), and details are relatively low. Low-light is also less than ideal.
So, the first of our GoPro photography tips is this: know the strengths of weaknesses of this camera and play to them. Your GoPro is perfect for:
- Wide angle scenic shots – valleys, vistas, buildings and more
- Group selfies!
- Brightly lit photos
- Underwater shots
- Action shots
It is not so good for:
- Close up portraits
- Shots of animals, tech, and other objects
- Shallow depth of field effects
- Low light shots
Getting the Most From Your GoPro With GoPro Photography Tips
If you want to ensure you get the very most from your GoPro in terms of photography, there are a few things you can do that will make a big difference…
One of the most important purchases you can make if you want to get better at GoPro photography, is to purchase a gimbal. This is a hand-held device that will keep the camera steady and still at all times, even as you are moving around. That means you can take photos in slightly worse lighting conditions without them coming out blurred and smudged.
Get Lots In
That fish-eye lens is the GoPro’s greatest strength and its greatest weakness. It can distort close-ups and tall objects but it also lets you fit lots into a frame. So take advantage of that fact! Use your GoPro to take a group-selfie, or try to get as much of the amazing view behind you as possible. Make sure to think as well about everything that’s going to be making it into the shot – don’t forget to vet the extreme edges of your backdrop.
You can also use that fish-eye lens to great effect when you combine it with a fun perspective. For example, an upward angle of a staggeringly tall building can look awesome seeing as the fish-eye will actually make it appear even taller.
Something strange and grotesque can likely be made all the more interesting by the distortion. And extreme close ups of animals can be pretty cute and amusing.
Consider the Lighting
Think about your lighting when you take your photos. This is true of any good photography, but it’s all the more important working with a GoPro that doesn’t have the ability to compensate for poor light. Never shoot with the light in front of the camera if you can avoid it, and try to find the angle that will have the best shadows and highlights.
Fix it In Post
A lot of the limitations of a GoPro can be corrected in editing. If you have a Lightroom or Photoshop, then a quick browse through YouTube will help you to find plenty of tricks for straightening out those curved edges for instance. Likewise, you can improve your colors, or add interesting effects that will disguise any shortcomings.
Shoot in High Definition
Take your photos in the highest definition possible. This will give you the maximum amount of data to work with, making it more possible for you to perfect your shots in editing.
Want to get the most awesome action-shot possible? Even using a burst mode (which GoPros come with) can still be tricky if you want to get someone mid-flip. A great solution then, is to use the GoPro to film and then simply grabbing screen shots of the very best moments to save.
So, there you have it: a bunch of GoPro photography tips to get you started. Now get out there and capture some awesome shots!