Every trip is a unique experience: we meet new people, see new places, learn about new cultures – pretty much we step into a completely different world. And it’s natural that we want to have some remembrance of our journey. Many people like to collect souvenirs from the countries they visit, and photographs are one of the most precious souvenirs we can bring back from our travels.
Today taking pictures is rather easy. Practically everyone has a camera on their phone, and if your phone camera’s quality is not up to scratch, there are plenty of digital cameras available at to suit any budget. However, for people who prefer adventure activities, digital cameras might be too burdening and fragile to carry everywhere. If this sounds like you then an action camera could be a solution.
Action cameras are a superb piece of kit to travel with and allows you a great deal of freedom and creativity in your photography, and GoPro is undoubtedly one of the most popular brands available today. This type of camera is sturdy, durable, lightweight and also takes amazing video footage and photos. Moreover, it’s newer models have WiFi connectivity and you can send your photos directly from the camera to your smartphone to upload to social media!
If you want to invest in a GoPro or already have one, we have listed some brilliant tips that will help improve your photographic skills with this magnificent type of camera.
Understand how your camera works
This might seem like a basic tip, but it is surprising how many people simply un-package their GoPro and start using it without actually reading the manual or looking at the controls. GoPro cameras are not conventional – they only have a small screen and a simple array of buttons. Usually, there is a record button and a power button that also doubles as the settings control.
Learn the basics – how to turn the camera on, how to record, how to switch to photo mode, and how to change the settings such as image quality etc. Furthermore, consider installing the GoPro mobile app and learning how to connect it to your camera – the app can greatly improve your experience and allow you to record footage and take photos with ease. Once you understand how to operate your GoPro, you should find the whole process that much simpler.
Consider your equipment and accessories
GoPro cameras are really small – if you want to get the most out of your device, invest in some accessories. It is possible to purchase a variety of mounting equipment such as a chest strap, a head strap, or a wrist strap. These mounts will allow you to experiment with different angles and perspectives – for example, you may be enjoying a bike ride in the countryside and attach the GoPro to your helmet to take photos and record as you travel.
Alternatively, consider purchasing a small tripod such as a Gorillapod to improve your stationary photos or to take time-lapses. A small tripod or selfie stick can attach to your GoPro and provide you with stability for those trickier shots. You may want to take a time-lapse of the tide returning on a beautiful secluded beach – if you attach a tripod you can simply push it into the sand, stand back, and let the camera do its work!
Finally, if you want to keep your GoPro in good condition it is advisable to look at purchasing an exterior casing that can protect your camera from water damage, dust, and fogging. Once your camera is encased, you can have some fun experimenting with underwater photos, or more daring shot compositions without the fear of your beloved GoPro being destroyed.
Be creative and use your imagination
Now that you have learnt how to use your GoPro, and are kitted out with the necessary equipment, you can turn your attention to the actual photos. As GoPro cameras are small and durable they are perfect for experimentation and taking unusual and exciting photos that you would not be able to with a DSLR. Use your DSLR to take the usual travel photos such as landscapes, monuments and scenery, but use your GoPro to create true works of art. Here are some ideas to start with:
- Take photos from unusual angles. A GoPro doesn’t have to be attached to your body or pointed back at you to be useful. Mount the camera somewhere static; place it on the ground or attach to a tree for a new perspective. Or attach it to your friend’s bike and go alongside to get a nice video!
- Attach to the side of your vehicle to see how the view changes.
- Get your device underwater for some amazing shots and videos. Some of the newest models are waterproof; the waterproof dome can help with the others. Bring a selfie stick with you for underwater shots as well; it will help you to get closer to the animals without scaring them or get a great selfie.
- Get your camera in the air. One of the nice ideas is to attach your camera to the kite and shoot some amazing aerial photos and videos!
- Use time-lapse mode to capture a sequence of pictures. Turn that long hour video of a sunset, or some activity of your whole day into smaller footage. Or come up with your own story and film a short movie!
Quick tip: You may need a colour correction filter if you plan to go deep underwater
Your GoPro should be with you at all times when travelling and you should have it ready to take snaps of the unexpected. Going Skiing – use a head mount. Enjoying a hike – use a selfie stick. Swimming with sharks – use a wrist mount. The possibilities are endless – use your imagination and the end results can be truly awe-inspiring.
Consider the end product and exporting
As mentioned above, most new GoPro cameras have a built-in WiFi system that allows you to upload photos to your smartphone. Ensure that you have this function and that you understand how it works. This can allow you to create some cool social media posts in an instant. Furthermore, you can quickly review the photos you have taken and re-take shots if necessary.
Although uploading directly to social media is fun, GoPro photos are also easy to upload to your computer and then edit using post-processing software like GoPro Quick or Luminar. It is possible to turn a fantastic GoPro photo into something magnificent with a few small tweaks in a post-processing program. Once you have returned from your travels, consider uploading your photos and taking time to edit them. You can add tags to catalogue your photos, and change basic parameters such as white balance, colour saturation and contrast – even small changes such as these can make a huge difference to GoPro snaps.
GoPro cameras have truly added a new and exciting dimension to travel photography. What once appeared impossible, dangerous or unwise can now be easily attempted using a GoPro camera. Why not see what amazing travel snaps you can take with your own GoPro during your next exciting adventure?
This was a guest post:
Max Therry is an architecture student who is fond of photography and wants to become a professional photographer. He is also working on his photography blog about photo editing, modern photo trends, and inspiration. Feel free to reach him by email.