10 Ways to Capture Great GoPro Video - dummies

10 Ways to Capture Great GoPro Video

By John Carucci

From the place where you mount the camera to the conditions you shoot the scene, making movies with your GoPro can be a lot of fun. It’s even more fun when you transfer the footage to your computer and see that it turned out exactly how you expected, making it like that feeling in kindergarten when you got the smiley face sticker for a job well done.

So if you want your footage to match your intention, consider the following.

Understand the situation

The more you know about the subject, the better your footage will turn out. Having an idea of what will happen in a scene before it actually happens means that you can set and position the camera effectively.

Use the right mount

GoPro makes a mount for every situation, and the success of your video depends on using the right one for the situation. Don’t use a mount that lacks stability for an action sequence, for example, and don’t use a body mount that puts you in an awkward position.

Use the GoPro App as your viewfinder

The camera’s lack of a viewfinder makes it hard to know how the scene will appear. So unless you’re a fan of closing your eyes before taking a picture, use the GoPro App to monitor the scene. Be aware, however, that it has a slight delay of about two seconds.

Set the camera through the GoPro App

The GoPro has three buttons and lots of controls. If you have to touch the camera each time you capture a scene, you risk moving it out of position or pressing the wrong button. It’s better to make adjustments through the GoPro App, as well as use it to start and stop video capture and to take still photos.

Keep an eye on the light

Light makes a picture, so how you use it affects your images. Make sure that the light falls on the subject, not behind him or her. Also, be aware that the camera’s 170-degree view makes it hard to keep the sun and other light sources from shining into the lens.

Come away with a great variety of shots

Variety is not only the spice of life, but also food for compelling edits. Even when all the shots in a sequence are captured perfectly, they may not work next to one another because they’re too similar or not right to follow or precede another clip. A great movie uses successive shots that look different from the previous one. Capturing the scene from a few angles helps you make a great edit.

Get close to the action

The lens on this camera is too wide not to be intimate, so success comes from putting it so close to the subject that the camera could catch a cold. The image benefits from the camera’s unique perspective.

Capture a photo burst

The GoPro App has a 2-second delay, making it hard to capture a still image at the decisive moment. The solution is to set the camera to Burst mode and capture a burst of still frames to get the perfect one.

Shoot to edit

By capturing the necessary scenes and some variations of each scene, you can assemble your movie efficiently, using just the shots you need. It’s not much different from the old school method of editing in the camera, or the poor man’s way of making a movie. Of course, that was hardly editing, and it was more about trying to build the movie by sparingly capturing scenes. But with shoot to edit, you will have variations to choose.

Have fun

If laughter is the best medicine, fun has the same effect when it comes to making a GoPro movie. Being able to take this camera just about anywhere and attach it to almost everything means that you can let your imagination run wild. Keep trying to impress yourself with new and exciting situations.