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9 Tips to Improve Your GoPro Photography

9 Tips to Improve Your GoPro Photography
GoPro photography
GoPro photograph taken by Gabriel M. at photornia.com

Is it GoPro photography an option? Have you tried before to take photographs with a GoPro?

Of course, it is! Even if GoPro was created to take stunning and high-quality videos, it does take amazing photographs.

And because of the very wide fish-eye lens, this makes the photographs to be unique.

I used quite a lot in the past my GoPro Hero 6 to take photographs mainly, along with my DSLR.

Here I do recommend few tips to improve your GoPro photography:

  • Take photographs in RAW version, not JPEG.
  • Choose the right settings for your GoPro.
  • Use your mobile phone to remotely take photos.
  • Have a small tripod attached to it, and do long exposure photographs.
  • Try low-level photography, for a unique perspective.
  • Try night photography with GoPro. Remember to bring the mini tripod with you.
  • Take underwater photographs.
  • Create a hyperlapse video from photographs taken with GoPro.
  • Be creative. Break the rules.

GoPro Photography Tip #1 – Take RAW Photographs

It is no questionable the fact that taking RAW photographs with any camera and not only this one, will allow you to post-process the image for better results.

But consider the fact that GoPro burst mode will not allow you to take RAW photographs, only JPEG.

Use the burst option only if you are photographing an action scene, such as snowboarding, surfing, biking and so on.

In any other situations, I recommend taking single RAW photographs.

The drawback of this, is that after each photograph you took (except burst mode), will take a few seconds to process and store it. It is annoying, as compared to any other cameras, is a relatively slow process.

GoPro Photography Tip #2 – GoPro settings

Above I spoke about RAW photographs taken with the GoPro. Further, I want to speak about other settings available for this camera.

As an instance, I would strongly recommend setting your ISO manually at max 100. Due to its small sensor size, increasing ISO will greatly increase the noise in your images.

Don’t forget to set also the maximum photo size from your settings.

And as you wish, you can set manually your white balance, but I always leave it to native, unless I have the time to set up my gear before taking any photographs.

Also, the colour settings should flat, to give you greater dynamic range in post-processing.

About the sharpness, it really depends on what you are aiming to photograph with your GoPro. As an instance, a normal scene mode, or longer exposures, I would set up to Low or Medium.

But if you are going to use it in action, I would aim for either Medium or High sharpness.

If you are unsure about what sharpness settings to choose, go for Medium. That will do.

GoPro Photography Tip #3 – Take Photographs Remotely

Unless you are willing to invest for a GoPro remote (which costs around £/$ 50), I would recommend using your mobile phone to take photographs with GoPro

The GoPro app allows you to connect your phone (or tablet) with the GoPro wirelessly, and have a live view of the camera, take photographs, change settings, view your photos and so on.

If you are taking long exposure shots, it is necessary to have this app, as you don’t want to create image shake when you are taking the photo by touching the camera

Don’t forget also that the shutter button on the device is pretty hard to press. Is an easy solution to control it with the app.

GoPro Photography Tip #4 – Tripod, long exposures

GoPro photography
GoPro Hero 6 long exposure waves and rocks. Photograph taken by Gabriel M. at photornia.com

GoPro is pretty good at taking instant sharp photographs, but you may want to take some long exposure shots.

You can take those shots without a tripod by placing the GoPro on a flat surface, but remember, due to its tiny size, your photos will frame the surface where is placed way too much (unless you’re aiming for that).

By using a small tripod, you should do just fine. You don’t need big DSLR tripods, there are small ones available on the market where you can attach your GoPro and remove it easily. They are relatively cheap also.

You can control the shutter speed on your GoPro manually. Try photographing darker scenes with long exposures.

I want to mention that you have to choose GoPro Night Mode settings from your menu, as the settings of the normal mode do not support longer exposures.

gopro photography long exposure, gopro hero 6.
Fish eye sea long exposure photograph taken by Gabriel M. with GoPro Hero 6 at photornia.com

GoPro Photography Tip #5 – Low-level photography

Even if this is not an official term, I am referring to the photographs taken from near-the-ground level, for a unique perspective.

Because of the fish-eye effect from the very wide lens, GoPro’s photographs are distorted in …a lovely way, to say.

And taking photographs from near the ground level in a specific angle, you can increase the fish-eye effect. The photo resulted can look fabulous, and unique of course.

If you own a GoPro, try to take some shots from the near-ground position. You can leave a comment in the section below if you want.

GoPro Photography Tip #6 – Night Photography

Same as taking long exposure photographs with the GoPro, you can take night photographs as well.

Just make sure that you set your camera for night mode.

I’ve used my GoPro Hero 6 to take fireworks long exposures during the night and it was working brilliantly. Sadly I do not have those photos anymore, but there are many examples on the web.

In this case, you will need a tripod and the GoPro app on your smartphone or a shutter release to take crisps photographs and for better control.

GoPro Photography Tip #7 – Underwater photographs

GoPro is one of the very few cameras available on the market for this quality level to be able to take photographs underwater.

This is no doubt that the GoPro capabilities in this scenario bring this camera on the top listed for underwater photography and videos

Therefore, If you like swimming, surfing, you live by the seaside or want to take outstanding underwater photographs, GoPro should be the answer.

I would recommend either the hero 6 or 7 black versions in this case.

GoPro Photography Tip #8 – Hyperlapse

A while back I’ve had taken a hyperlapse video from about 1400 frames. 1400 RAW photographs taken in sequence and created a hyperlapse video.

Imagine some outstanding photographs you can take with GoPro, being able to create a footage from them.

Because the files were RAW, I was able to edit one of them in Lightroom and sync the rest of them. Who on earth would edit 1400 frames for a footage? 🙂

But that’s not the point. You can, of course, to set up your DSLR to take multiple shots on a specific interval, but imagine the life durability you are decreasing for your camera, by simple triggering the shutter mechanism over 1400 times. And the space required for all those files.

As far as I remember, in my case with GoPro, the folder was about 30GB in size.

But as a point, you can create amazing hyperlapse videos from RAW photographs.

GoPro Photography Tip #9 – Be creative!

With creativity, you can have the most success in the photography business.

Taking photographs with this type of camera opens you a new area of creativity by the nature of those photos.

Consider the fact that this is actually an action camera made for filming and photography was not the main focus of this company, yet, I am using mine to take photos regularly.

I had even sold few of them on Shutterstock.

Below are few photographs taken by myself, as an idea.

Conclusion:

Don’t get me wrong at all: GoPro is an action camera. And is amazing at taking photographs.

For sure you’ve seen YouTube videos with GoPro used in space, or some other sent to space with weather balloons. Can you do that with a normal camera? Not so much. Or being melted by lava and survives.

With GoPro, you can take photographs or footage where unable to take before, and you can carry with you at all times because is half of the size of your mobile phone (maybe even smaller)

Due to the fact that I don’t have the licence to post some specific photographs on my website, have a CLICK HERE to get the results from google images of some photos taken with GoPro

Is it GoPro photography a thing worth to consider? Absolutely YES!

I hope you found this post helpful. You can have a look on few of my other posts below:

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9 Tips to Improve Your GoPro Photography
9 Tips to Improve Your GoPro Photography
9 Tips to Improve Your GoPro Photography
9 Tips to Improve Your GoPro Photography
9 tips to improve your GoPro photography
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