Since its original release as a 35mm film action camera a little over ten years ago, through the release of its latest HD digital camera GoPro has grown into a billion-dollar company. This, in large part, is due to the awesome results that come from these easy-to-use cameras. However, even though they are very easy to use, some simple tricks can make your GoPro videos even better.
- Plan the story that you want to tell
Your videos will most enjoyable to watch when there is a story or theme to each video. Thus, it’s important to plan your content. You don’t need to write a screenplay, but you do need to figure out the point of your video. That can be as simple as a downhill mountain bike run, a fine tuned highlight reel of your son’s football game, or seeing just how lazy your dog really is, but it helps to plan that theme or story ahead of shooting.
- Use different angles and unique points of view
One of the cool things about the GoPro is that you can set it to capture video at different angles, ranging from wide to narrow. Each angle setting gives you a vastly different perspective, so your video can be up close and personal or capture a sweeping nature view.
When you combine different angles with unique points of view, you can capture some truly unique footage. For example, shooting at a wide angle with the camera held very close to the ground will provide a completely different look and feel than holding the camera at chest height with a narrow angle. Fortunately, there are various accessories, like this handle grip that converts into a tripod, that allow you to easily shoot from a low point of view.
A tripod will also allow you to set the GoPro up in a fixed place and continuously capture a given scene (unless of course you want the freedom to remotely control when you are capturing, which you can do with a wireless remote).
- Explore different mount options
You can mount a GoPro to almost anything using one of the many mounts available. And because your GoPro is virtually indestructible, you should!
Mounting your GoPro in different places helps you pick the story you want to tell, in the way that you want to tell it. Do you want people to see what you see, like while biking or skiing? Mount it on your helmet. Do you want your video to be a selfie-style with the ability to change views on the fly? Consider mounting the camera to your hand with a glove mount. Want to capture your commute? Mount it outside your car with a suction or adhesive mount. Or how about seeing the day in a life of your dog? Well, there’s a mount for that.
Playing with different mounts is one of our favorite GoPro experiments. The possibilities to capture something interesting and unique are virtually endless.
- Learn how to edit your videos in post-production
While you can use your videos straight out of the GoPro, taking the time to edit your best videos in one of the many available editing programs can greatly improve your end result. By taking a few minutes, you can cut out boring or redundant parts of the video, add music (and eliminate wind noise), or our favorite – turn certain parts (or the whole thing) into a slow-motion video. With the increased frames per second rate of the newer GoPro models, you can slow the action down in post-production tremendously while retaining high-quality video.
- Keep your GoPro clean
Okay, so this one is not so much of trick, but a word of advice. If you are really taking advantage of your GoPro, it is going to get dirty and wet. Make sure you are carrying lens cloths or a lens cleaning pen so that you can keep your lens clean while you are out. There is almost nothing worse than seeing a spot from a dirty lens on the screen throughout your video, except for a dead battery.
- Get it wet!
Some of the coolest GoPro videos that we’ve seen involve water. You don’t have to be a pro surfer to make interesting water videos. You can use the GoPro to create videos while diving, white water rafting and kayaking, at water parks, or even playing in the pool or at the beach with the kids. With the ability to shoot above and below the surface, you can be sure to capture some great video.
A word of caution: water is a great place to lose your GoPro. Protect it with a floating grip that you can strap to your wrist. Thank us later.
- Capture some cool still photography
Yes, the GoPro is a video camera. However, it has an interesting time-lapse feature that allows you to take a still picture at random intervals, ranging from a few second up to one minute – perfect for, well, time-lapse videos.
But the time-lapse setting is also really useful to capture random moments of your day. Imagine that you were at a wedding or a festival or just hanging out with friends and family, and you could have the GoPro on your chest taking pictures throughout the day. At the end of the day, you will likely delete most of them, but there will likely be some keepers of great candid moments. One of the most interesting uses of this feature we have seen was in street photography, due to the small, unimposing size of the camera, the photographer was able to capture some great pictures.
We hope that the above helps you use your GoPro better and provides inspiration to get out and get creative. We’d love to see what you are making, so post below in the comments.
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