It’s no secret I’m in love with my Sony CSC camera, but I find myself reaching for my GoPro Hero4 more and more often. There are so many features that just make it more convenient: its small and compact, its waterproof, and its design makes it easy to take great GoPro photos when traveling solo. Best of all, it manages to have all those perks while still maintaining amazing image quality!
While it’s definitely an easy camera to use, it took some time and practice to really understand the workings of the GoPro and how to get those great shots. To save you some time, I put together some tips on how to take amazing GoPro photos:
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Best GoPro tips for taking amazing travel photos
Use Time Lapse Mode-
I’m a big fan of taking multiple photos of what I’m trying to capture and thankfully the GoPro has this option already programed! There are so many instances where you should use time lapse:
- When asking others to take a photo of you- Usually, when you give your camera to other people, you end up with terrible shots. Time lapse mode can help with that! Simply, put the GoPro in time lapse mode and then show them how you want the shot set up. This way you can change up your pose and get several different photos.
- When taking a selfie- Put the GoPro in time lapse and change your angle just a bit. Since the GoPro is so wide lensed, tilting the camera just a little bit can change the whole photo. Just be sure to move slowly or you will end up with a bunch of blurry shots.
- Sunsets & Sunrises- This one is sort of self explanatory but I have gotten some beautiful sunset shots using my GoPro. Just be mindful that the GoPro doesn’t shoot to well in low light settings to choose your timing wisely.
- When driving- If you invest in a good car GoPro mount, you can take some amazing scenery shots using the time lapse setting. I also took some fun time lapse photos cruising around as a passenger on the back of our motorbike in Southeast Asia using my GoPole.
Invest in the Right GoPro Mounts & Accessories-
After you buy your GoPro it can be tempting to buy all of the accessories available but you’ll probably only end up using a few of them. I ended up tossing a few of the accessories along the way since they were just taking up space in my bag. To save you time and money, here are some essential GoPro mounts and accessories:
- GoPro 3 in 1– This is a must have if you’re serious about taking nice photos with your GoPro, plus its super convenient. The GoPro 3 in 1 is a camera grip that can be extended to a pole and has a built in tripod. It’s also waterproof so you can take it diving. If you buy one mount or pole, let it be this one!
- GoPole– If you want a pole that extends a little further, the GoPole is it! I use this when taking photos and videos when there is a large crowd like the Full Moon Party or I’m trying to take a selfie. The extra few inches that the GoPole extends allows you to get a lot more background in your shot.
- Floating Hand Grip– I’ve seen to many GoPros fall into the abyss to not recommend buying a floating hand grip. If you are planning on bringing your GoPro in the water, then this is an essential! You can also get a floating wrist strap if you prefer to hold your GoPro.
- Suction Mount– Suction Mount- You can use this mount to stick your GoPro to any surface including car dashboards, sides of boats and helmets. This little gadget has helped me capture some pretty cool shots. Just make sure that you invest in a reliable option. You don’t want to loose your camera to cheap suction cups!
- Head & Chest Mounts– If you want to capture some cool POV shots, these are the mounts you need.
Use the App-
I didn’t download the GoPro app until a few months into my trip and, boy, was I missing out! The app has so many features that will up your photography game. First of all you can use the app to set up your shot and remotely take the picture. This is perfect for trying to take a back of the head selfie or if you have your shot set up on the tripod. Also, you can edit your photos on the app and even screen grab an image from a video. If you want to take good GoPro photos, the app is definitely worth the download!
Pack Extra Batteries-
One downfall of the GoPro is its battery life. When shooting video the battery can drain very quickly. I always carry several extra batteries on me and actually prefer Wasabi batteries to the GoPro batteries. I find that the Wasabi brand batteries hold a longer charge. They have a really great bundle where you get three batteries and a charger that can charge them all at once. Click this link to check out the Wasabi bundle and other options!
Pro tip: It helps to turn off the wifi when you aren’t using it. Doing this can really extend your battery life, allowing you to take more awesome photos!
Invest in Dive Filters-
If you plan on taking lots of GoPro photos underwater, I definitely suggest purchasing some dive filters. These filters help counteract the lack of white balance in underwater photos. It will help the colors in your photos come out closer to what you see with your naked eye. Check out the difference in the two photos below to see what I mean!
If you’re serious about getting good dive photos, plan on investing in a decent filter. The cheaper options don’t always have the right balance and can lead to over saturated shots. I suggest the PolarPro Red Filter— it’s great quality and is super easy to snap right on your camera.
Play With Perspective-
While you can get amazing photos by just taking traditional front-view shots, don’t be afraid to get creative with your angles and perspective. Just changing up your angle can give you a brand new shot or the moving POV of the camera can change the whole feel of the photograph.
My favorite trick for this is to put your GoPro in a hole! Dig a small whole in the sand or dirt and place your GoPro in. This reverses the fisheye affect and can be really fun!
Protect Your Photos from Fog & Water-
There is nothing worst then getting home from an incredible adventure only to find that all of your GoPro photos turned our crappy due to fog or water droplets! Save yourself this agony, and prepare for it in advance!
Because the GoPro is in casing, moisture can get in there and cause your photos to fog up. This is exceptionally common in humid climates. The easiest way to stop this is to purchase GoPro fog inserts and use them whenever you’re in a humid climate or around water. These GoPro fog inserts will absorb any moisture in the casing and keep your photos nice and clear. If you’re in a bind and need a quick fix, a few pieces of uncooked rice will do the trick!
Also, be sure to check your lens for water droplets frequently. These can get in the way and ruin your shot. The quickest and easiest way to do this is to lick your GoPro lens between each shot. This has always worked for me, but if you feel to uncivilized licking your GoPro all the time, they do make hydrophobic lens covers that will do the trick.
Edit Your Photos-
If you want truly awesome GoPro photos then you need to spend some time post-editing them! I find that sometimes my GoPro photos don’t have as much vibrant color or sharpness as the scene had in real life. Thats were editing apps come in! Here are a few of my favorite iPhone photo editing apps:
- VSCO- I love this app because it has some beautiful preset filters that I use with my social media images. This app makes photo editing quick and easy.
- Snapseed- This is my #1 editing app! I never post a photo on social media that I haven’t tweaked in Snapseed. I love how the selection feature allows you to edit bits and pieces, making edits look more natural.
My favorite GoPro Gear-
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