17 Tips for better GoPro Pictures
Taking pictures on an action camera such as a GoPro for the first time can let you down, or any other action camera probably didn’t look as good as how you expected them to be, such as in the commercials. There is a couple of secrets which could help you get to that level.
Most cameras have multiple settings to mess with which help photographers get great looking pictures, action cameras don’t have many settings and are better left on automatic, GoPro does have Protune which gets you access to extra settings and gives you a bit better quality.
An advantage that GoPro has over most other cameras is that it’s very easy to carry anywhere and use in situations where you cant use another camera. All of its accessories also make it stand out and get unique pictures that you should use to your advantage and improve your results in both photography and video.
Chances are if you’re looking for GoPro picture tips and blogs like this, you already have a GoPro, but if you’re looking to buy a GoPro you can check out our review on the Hero 9 (Click Here). Or, you want to understand how to take amazing GoPro camera photos and action shots.
In this blog post, I’ve put together multiple tips and tricks to stand out from everyone else using action cameras such as GoPro.
To access GoPro’s settings you need to enable Protune. Protune is an advanced configuration that allows the camera to save much more information, thanks to Protune we have more advanced tools and can obtain better results of color, sharpness, exposure, or ISO. If you’re more familiar with photography the Protune on GoPro cameras would be the equivalent of RAW mode on SLR cameras.
Using the RAW format basically reduces all kinds of post-production carried out inside the camera to have the purest possible video and getting the best quality. With the camera not producing any auto postproduction the color profile will be less vibrant and less sharp, this is great for people wanting to edit pictures in postproduction or using presets (Check out great presets below).
Most action cameras including GoPro allow you to mess with the settings, in this blog were are going to go with GoPro’s settings but since most action cameras are very similar you will probably have these settings as well.
- FOV depends on what you’re going for, we recommend using Wide for good resolution and image quality, but you can also shoot linear for more typical camera looks.
- SuperPhoto analyzes the scene to be photographed and intelligently chooses the most suitable enhancement process. We recommend turning it off since it will slow down taking pictures and will look great without it and much better if you choose to edit pictures in post.
- Raw On
- Shutter on Auto
- EV Comp 0.5
- White Balance Auto
- ISO Min 100
- ISO Max 400
- Sharpness Low
- Color Flat
The Shutter and White Balance are best left in Auto since the camera does a good job of getting the best settings. EV Comp is the exposure or brightness of the photo, with GoPro you can adjust up to from -2.0 to +2.0, I find that 0 to -0.5 give the best results.
The ISO setting sets the GoPro sensor sensitivity to light. On the GoPro, the ISO ranges from 100 to 6400, the higher the ISO setting the more grain/noise it will produce in the image so it should only be used for low-light such as night setting even though I still don’t recommend going at the max. At day it’s best to leave it 100 to 400 max.
The Sharpness consists of increasing the apparent sharpness of the image, using software or the firmware of the camera itself, the details will appear more clear, GoPro comes with 3 settings: Low, Medium, and High, I suggest not using High since it will look too sharp and not too good, the best settings are Medium for those who don’t want to do any post-production and Low if you want to sharpen the image later with Lightroom or Photoshop.
GoPro comes with 2 Color configurations, Flat and GoPro color, GoPro color gives great results for those who don’t want to do any post-production and the Flat profile is great to work with on post-production on Lightroom or Photoshop.
Shooting underwater isn’t much different so you don’t have to change most of the settings. If you use SuperPhoto your underwater pictures won’t come up as good since there is a delay and the picture will come up blurry, so I recommend keeping SuperPhoto off underwater.
When shooting RAW underwater there will also be a small delay but the pictures will come up with the maximum detail so try to be still when shooting, not using RAW underwater will also give you good results.
If you are capturing a faster-moving object or animal and want to get the perfect picture try using the Burst with the same settings.
Plan Your Pictures
A good tip to get better pictures is as simple as taking a moment to plan your picture and visualize how it might look, try and use a gimbal if available, it will help get steady pictures. Try to find a good composition for your picture.
GoPro and most action cameras come with an LCD screen which will help you see what the final image will look like you can use that to your advantage.
Get Extra Batteries
Another useful tip when going somewhere with a GoPro is to carry extra batteries so you can quickly exchange the first battery for a fully charged one. You will also need a good SD card to store all your pictures and have enough space.
If you want to get an extra battery we recommend getting the originally produced battery from the brand, as they are the ones that perform the best and last the longest, even though the white brand’s ones might cost a little less.
Use Accessories to your Advantage
You can find endless accessories for your action camera, to enjoy the experience from different angles and better footage. If you just bought a GoPro or a different brand action camera, but you haven’t made the most of it when you go skating or snowboarding with your friends, you may not know many of the possibilities that accessories can give you.
Get a Unique Picture Angle
Action cameras are very easy to carry anywhere since they are small and light, you can use that to your advantage, and use take pictures of places you couldn’t reach with a bigger camera.
Even the best photographs in the world get inspiration from somewhere to create their unique and awesome picture, there are many incredible GoPro pictures on the internet, and you should use that as an advantage and see how other people take pictures with their camera.
Try using ND Filters
ND Filters for GoPro’s are becoming more and more popular, ND stands for Neutral density filters, and are used to reduce the amount of light entering the lens. They are colored neutral gray, there is where its name comes from, they interfere as little as possible with the tones and colors.
The concept of ND filters is pretty simple. When using ND filters, the exposure must be compensated, for example by reducing the shutter speed (an example would be to achieve the silk effect in rivers and waterfalls).
If you want to learn more about ND filters (click here)
Time-lapse is a great way of achieving great effects in travel photography, time-lapse. Time-lapses reduces and convert the duration of nature video recording, or continuous daytime photos, into small sequences of a few seconds. GoPro’s built-in time-lapse functions make it easy to shoot time-lapses.
As it happens in all the time-lapses, it will be necessary to use a tripod to avoid movements, a good memory card to avoid leaving us space, and some auxiliary battery. It is also recommended to use a motorized ball joint to obtain a more professional molt result.
Action cameras don’t do very well in low light so try to take pictures in bright sunlight. You can play with different angles of the position of the sun to obtain more unique images. Don’t be afraid to get special angles.
GoPro does have a Night mode to shoot pictures in Low-light which will help a lot to get good results at night, most action cameras don’t have night mode.
The golden hour: the golden hour is an expression used in the world of photography, it happens in the first hours of sunlight, the sunrise, and the last hours of light of the day, the sunset.
In technical aspects, the lighting is softer and more diffuse than at other times of the day. The shadows are very soft reaching, almost non-existent since the sun is below the horizon. Because of this location of the sun, the light makes a reflection in the atmosphere, creating an indirect light. During this time of the day, the sky and the sun make an orange and cyan color which are complementary colors and look great together.
Take the Perfect Action Shots
A big part of having an action camera is recording all the action, like videos you can get great action shots. To get great sports shots use the burst mode to get multiple pictures in a second and get the perfect shot. You can use the same settings as shown in the beggining.
GoPro has multiple ways of control to enjoy hands-free through the GoPro app on your phone. Furthermore, you can edit and share your videos and pictures easily through the GoPro app.
Most action cameras come with a Wi-Fi connection to connect to the smartphone app to control the camera through your phone. The GoPro App can also automatically back up footage to GoPro’s cloud subscription service (over Wi-Fi).
Use the Timer
GoPro has the ability to enable a timer for your pictures, a great feature to get pictures of yourself. It will help to capture the exact moment you are looking for.
Use Presets to Stand Out
Lightroom presets are a great addition to your pictures, easy and fast to use, and will give you great-looking results. For a Blogger presets are a great way to get your pictures on another level and stand out from everyone.
Every preset pack is different and every picture will look differently because of lighting and white balance settings, dominant colors, etc. If your photo doesn’t look perfect, you may need to make small adjustments to the preset, our pack comes with instructions if you needed to make these small adjustments.
I’ve put together different preset packs depending on what you are looking for, choose what pack suits you best you can also find a complete pack with all of them on the Shop (Check out here).