I live in Costa Rica which means I’m often participating in cool adventure activities such as zip-lining, canopy tours, sea kayaking, snorkeling etc. Anyway, enough about my awesome life. Recently I’ve gotten a lot of questions about how I capture all my crazy adventures. Well, the answer is, I typically rely on my GoPro. I have a normal digital camera as well, but having a GoPro allows me to easily capture action that is not really possible with a normal camera. If you don’t already have one I highly suggest buying one (or asking family and friends for one as your next birthday present). I’ve had a GoPro for three years now and along the way, I’ve really mastered some great tricks and tips for capturing the best pictures and videos. These tips will take you from a normal GoPro user to next level status.
Grab a Gimbal
If you don’t know, a gimbal is a tool that will stabilize your GoPro. Although the GoPro produces great quality, it is sometimes difficult to keep it steady while filming. Have you ever seen shaky GoPro videos? I bet you have because it is a common problem. A gimbal will not only keep your camera more steady, it actually takes steadiness to a whole new level by using motors within a three axis system for stabilization. Choosing the right gimbal for you can be a bit overwhelming because there are so many different price points, models, and stabilization features. However, you can easily compare them and choose the best gimbals for your GoPro needs. Seriously, having a gimbal has turned my previously amateur video and photography content into something that I’m actually very impressed with due to the smooth quality.
Invest in a Red Filter
If you take a lot of underwater pictures and videos, it is worth it to invest in a red filter. Without a red filter, your pictures and videos will turn out almost murky looking. This is something I wish I knew before taking tons of underwater videos while snorkeling in Key West. Seriously the quality difference is absolutely amazing.
Get the GoPro App
The GoPro app is free and totally worth the download. Basically, the app allows you to control your camera from your phone. You can adjust settings, preview shots, create short clips to share online, and more. I didn’t even know about this app until recently and I must admit I was so disappointed that I’d been making my life so much more difficult all this time.
Be Mindful of your Battery Life
When you are out on a long day of adventures, your GoPro battery life can go fast. I strongly suggest in investing in extra batteries. They are not cheap, but totally worth it. There is nothing worse than having your camera die right as something amazing happens and then completely missing it. Trust me, this happened to me recently when I just happened to be in extremely close contact with a sloth. It was a once in a lifetime interaction and I completely missed capturing it on the GoPro. Clearly, I’m still a little bitter about the whole thing.
Also, don’t keep the wifi on when you don’t need it. It uses up a lot of the battery life. You could also consider investing a portable charger so you never have to worry if your batteries are charged (as long as you actually remember to bring the portable charger.)
Use GoPro Edit Templates
GoPro templates are the way to go when trying to edit your photos and videos in cool new ways using GoPro Studio (which if you haven’t been using GoPro studio you should get on that now). These templates are easy to download. All you have to do is click “Step 2 Edit” within the studio. You can then click on “Download more here” when your new screen pops up. From there you just follow the steps outlined on the page. I’m a fan of the templates because it makes editing short videos a painless process and I think it really forces me to pick only my best footage. As you get more familiar with using GoPro Studio, you might start to shy away from the templates, but at least to start they are extremely helpful.
Buy Anti-Fog Inserts
Living in Costa Rica where it is constantly humid, is often a problem for my GoPro. The lens often gets fogged up from the humidity which makes it really difficult for me to take videos or pictures. This is also bound to happen if you are in a cold environment. To keep this from happening, I rely on anti-fog inserts. You just put these little inserts into the side of the GoPro and they will prevent fogging. They are really cheap and reusable. However, I read recently that instead of purchasing anti-fog inserts you can actually use pieces of paper towel instead. I have yet to try this out yet, but if anyone else has any experience with this, let me know! I’d love to hear how it worked out for you.
And there you have it! With these tips, you will be well on your way to taking amazing adventure photos and videos that will make all your Instagram and Facebook followers jealous.
If you have any other great GoPro tips, leave them in the comments. I’d love to hear them.
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