Why your GoPro isn’t taking Good Pictures
Taking pictures on an action camera such as a GoPro for the first time can let you down, the pictures probably didn’t look as good as how you expected them to be. Like any other camera, if you want to take great pictures there are many things to think about such as the lighting or the composition of the photo.
Most cameras have multiple settings to mess with which help photographers get great-looking pictures, action cameras don’t have many settings and some settings are better left on automatic, GoPro does have Protune which gets you access to extra settings and gives you a bit better quality when taking pictures or videos.
GoPro’s photo mode is separated into 3 categories: Photo, Bursts, and Night modes depending on what pictures you want to take you might choose one or another, we can also shoot Time Lapses. Each photo mode has different settings that can be changed. The typical pictures you see on social media of GoPro pictures are taken with the regular Photo mode, but if you’re planning to take a certain type of photos such as a sports picture or a night picture it’s important you take advantage of GoPro’s different modes.
The latest GoPro model (Hero 10) can take pictures up to 23 MP, older GoPro’s can take pictures up to 12MP. The Hero 10 being the latest model of GoPro’s is the one that produces the best quality overall but older models such as the Hero 9 or Hero 8 produce very similar good-looking results.
Choosing the Best Settings
Choosing good settings is important to achieving better pictures, 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.
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. There are many accessories you could use for underwater photography we recommend checking out this 50 in 1 accessory kit by clicking here.
- 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 I recommend turning off SuperPhoto 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
Tips To Take Better Pictures
I’ve put together a few tips to help you take much better pictures when shooting with a GoPro.
Use the Weather and Time to your Advantage
The best time to take pictures is when the weather is clear and you are getting a lot of sunlight, or in the golden hour which is the time when we can see the sunrise or sunset.
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.
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.
A different perspective will give your picture a much more unique look. Accessories will help a lot when trying to find new perspectives and angles to use.
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.
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.
Use Presets to Stand Out
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 Presets.
Understanding the protune settings.
The Shutter controls the time during which light arrives inside the camera. The shutter options are Auto, 1/125, 1/250, 1/500, 1/1000, 1/2000.
The White Balance controls the temperature of your photos and videos. Lower values such as 3000K will give your photos much warmer tones and higher values like 6500K produce cooler tones.
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.
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.
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.
How to capture a Time-Lapse
Capturing a Time-Lapse on a GoPro is pretty easy thanks to the different Time-Lapse modes on the newer GoPro’s. Just set up your GoPro facing wherever you want to shoot at, set the time-lapse mode on your GoPro and start the time-lapse.
The night-lapse is great to capture low light environments, such as when capturing the night sky for a specified period of time.
There are many different settings you can change to get different types of results, such as:
- Shutter: Auto, 30s, 20s, 15s, 10s, 5s, 2s.
- Interval: Auto, 1n, 2m, 5m, 30m, 60m.
- FOV: Wide, Linear
- RAW: On, Off
How to take 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 mess around with the burst settings to see what looks best for what you are going for.
To get the best action shots you want to get the most pictures possible to get the perfect photo, for this reason, SuperPhoto and RAW won’t work as well.
To get the best pictures sports pictures use the Burst with the same picture settings as above, the Burst comes with different settings: 3/1s, 5/1s, 10/1s, 10/2s, 10/3, 30/1s, 30/2s, 30/3s, and 30/6s.