Owing to their durability and versatility, adrenaline junkies from all over the world have chosen GoPros as their first choice of action cameras. From something as extreme as a supersonic skydive to your leisure bike commute, a GoPro is the perfect camera for capturing all your exciting adventures.
In this article, I’ve compiled ten GoPro photography tips that will help you get some epic shots. You’ll also get to know about some of the best GoPro Photo Settings that will help you capturing amazing pictures with your GoPro, easier than ever before!
Without further ado, let’s get started!
Is GoPro Good for Photography?
Although a GoPro is best known for shooting videos, it can also be used to capture still photos. With a lot of models having different picture modes, such as burst mode and time lapse photo mode, a GoPro can prove to be a great camera for photography.
How to Take High Quality Photos with GoPro
Here are some of the GoPro Settings that I suggest for great photography.
Protune Advanced Settings available in Photo mode of your GoPro provide users more control over things such as white balance, saturation, exposure, and ISO.
If shooting under bright sunlight, you may want to lower the exposure level to avoid having parts of the image look washed out. Locking in daylight white balance while shooting outdoors is another good idea. It keeps the colors consistent even as you move in and out of sunlight.
For low light photography, it is recommended that you shoot in RAW mode and choose a low shutter speed for obtaining brighter and smoother colors. Attaching your GoPro to a tripod in difficult lighting situations also helps keep your photos smooth and blur-free.
Lastly, in case you plan to edit or color grade your photos later, it is better to shoot in RAW mode and select neutral/flat Protune color option.
Use HDR (High Dynamic Range)
The HDR feature of your GoPro enables you to bring out details that may otherwise be lost in the shadows and highlights. It does so by layering multiple images taken at different exposure levels and creating a composite image that has the best details from each. This setting is best used when shooting a brightly lit subject from behind.
Have a look at the two images below to know about the difference between a shot taken in standard contrast vs in HDR.
HERO5 Black and later models provide you the option to capture images in RAW (.gpr) format in addition to the standard JPEG format. Although a RAW format image is heavier and incompatible with many devices, it has a definitive edge over the JPEG ones. RAW images are of significantly higher quality as they store more information for a given image, especially in low-light situations. Such images are perfect if you want to edit or color grade your pictures as they capture more data.
👉 Have a look at the GoPro Handbook for a detailed description about the suggested GoPro settings to achieve great photographs.
10 Tips for Taking Better Photos with Your GoPro
Here are the 10 tips to get the most out of your GoPro camera in terms of photography. These tips will ensure that you get noticeably better photos using your action camera.
- Use Vertical Orientation for Epic Instagram Photos
There are a lot of people who prefer taking photos in horizontal orientation (landscape). Although this orientation is also okay, shooting with vertical orientation which provides a lot more landscape to work with. Therefore, capturing shots with portrait/vertical orientation provides great quality, Instagram worthy pics.
- Shoot in RAW (Protune Feature)
Shooting in RAW format has a definitive edge over shooting in the standard JPEG format. With RAW images enabled in Protune, you get significantly higher quality shots, especially in low-light situations. Such images are perfect if you want to edit or color grade your pictures as they capture more data.
- Use Color Presets to Transform the Mood and Style of your Photos
Colors are most important when it comes to editing an image or a video. They can transform a dull-looking photo into a bright and vibrant one. LUTs or Filters are essentially color presets that can set a specific color profile to your images and videos with just a click. So there’s no need to manually color grade your photos in this way, saving you a lot of time during the post production process.
With our Cinematic LUT filters designed for color grading Photos and Videos, you can change their mood and style with just a click! That’s how quickly these filters can be applied to get footage with great cinematic effects, irrespective of the fact whether you are a professional filmmaker or a novice.
Our Cinematic Pack of 106 GoPro Color Grading LUTs Filters work with most photo and video editing software, like Lightroom, Photoshop, Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro, Filmora, etc. It can change the look of your photos & videos and make them perfect for Instagram!
Have a look at the video below:
- Use a selfie stick or tripod for Selfies
A tripod is perfect to be used for time-lapse and night photography with your GoPro. It is necessary to keep your camera steady, and the level makes the set up easy. Through tripod, you can take awesome selfie shots with a wonderful view of the surrounding landscape. A selfie stick is also an extremely useful and portable gear that secures your camera while taking great group selfie shots from a variety of angles.
Visit this article for the Top 15 GoPro Selfie Sticks in the market today.
- Think out of the box and get creative
To get truly amazing pictures with your GoPro, you must think out of the box and get creative! I love using my GoPro for shooting inside out of something. There are many different and unique ways by which you can put your GoPro inside something and capture some great perspectives, which is otherwise impossible to do with a bigger camera. For example, attaching your GoPro to a vehicle, your pet or even your shoe lets you capture creative and cinematic shots of your adventures.
- Include a subject (and get close ups)
I would definitely suggest having a subject in your photo. GoPro provides some great wide-angle shots with a large perspective of the landscape. If you have a person in the shot, it would make it much more interesting! A person doing some interesting, adventurous stuff in the photo (while not looking directly at the camera) makes the photo look authentic and natural.
- Use the Rule of Thirds
For a great looking shot, you would like to keep in mind ‘the rule of thirds’. It’s a concept that helps you take the placement of your subject into consideration. This rule makes your photos look well-balanced, visually appealing, and interesting to look at.
The rule of thirds involves breaking an image you want to photograph into thirds, horizontally and vertically. So, you get nine equal parts. According to the rule, if you place the main subject of your photo in the top, bottom, left, or right sections of the grid, you’ll get a perfect picture every time. You should also keep your foreground in the bottom third, your horizon in the middle third and your sky in the top third for an appealing shot.
- Shoot at Sunset/Sunrise (Golden Hours)
The periods just after sunrise and just before the sun sets are referred to as the Golden Hours for photography as the light during these hours is at its most spectacular. But, what makes the golden hours so special for photographers? Well, it’s the fact that the sun is low in the sky during this time, which gives the light a soft, golden quality, and bathes the scenes in striking light, rich colours and contrast.
However, though the golden hours are magical every day, rainy or cloudy situations can make even these hours look bland. So, you need clear days with a strong sun for golden hours to be truly golden!
- Use GoPro Accessories
To get the best out of your GoPro camera, you need some of the most useful GoPro Accessories. These accessories help in enhancing the quality of your shots by performing important functions, like: balancing your camera, a helmet mount for adventurous rides, or a protective housing to take deep underwater.
There are different GoPro accessories in the market like chest or head mounts, suction mounts and many more.. These mounts enable you to take creative shots with your GoPro. Have a look at this article for more information about some of the best GoPro Mounts and Accessories.
- Make Photo Time-Lapses
If you feel that burst mode takes a bit too many photos and you don’t actually need that many of them, the time-lapse mode is a great alternative for capturing things that move really slow (like clouds for instance). When you make a time-lapse photo, GoPro would take a photo every X seconds (this depends on the time interval set) for a long period of time (10-20 minutes for instance). These photos can be later edited into a video sequence and used as establishment shots in your videos.
👉 For more info on how to make time lapses check out: GoPro Time Lapse: Beginners Guide (Step-by-Step) + [VIDEO TUTORIAL]