GoPro Creative Tips

Want to shoot like the pros? Look no further. The following tips apply to all GoPro users, whether you want to capture photos, video, or both. Review these tips before your next adventure, and you'll have everything you need to compete with the world's best GoPro creators.

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Keep your lens clean.

Believe it or not, snow, your fingerprint or even a water drop can ruin a golden moment. When filming in water, lick the lens and wait for it to dry, then dunk it in the water. Repeat as necessary. This simple trick works wonders. You can also use Rain-X if you have it. That works too.

Choose the best lighting.

There are two ideal times to shoot: early in the morning or late in the afternoon. When the sun is low in the sky, harsh shadows are reduced. This makes for more cinematic moments. And try to avoid cloudy days, as the lack of sun can make your photos and videos appear flat and uninspiring.

Shoot with a story in mind.

This mainly applies to video, but the principles are universal. When you begin a project, think about the story you want to tell in terms of a beginning, middle and end. This will save you tons of time when you go to edit what you've shot. When a story is truly directed from the beginning it can be far more powerful.

First, introduce yourself, and talk about what you're about to do. Then, capture the activity from multiple angles. Finally, show the result. One more thing: Plan for the unexpected. If you leave the camera running in between takes, you'll capture those unplanned moments that set your story apart.

Experiment with different angles.

Think of the best way or angle to capture what you're doing. What's the best mount to use? Does this angle help complete the story, or give the viewer a reference point? Will people be able to understand what you're doing? For a real advantage, try using the GoPro App or LCD Touch BacPac to frame your shot.


Get creative with GoPro mounts.

When you start to experiment with GoPro mounts, you may discover perspectives that have never been seen before. That's the goal. Don't be afraid to get creative. There's always a way to capture the shot you want.

The Frame Learn More
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The Frame is the smallest, lightest way to mount your GoPro. When you don't need waterproofing or impact protection, go with The Frame—but don't forget to attach the protective lens.

3-Way Learn More
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This ultra-versatile mount opens up a world of possibilities. Use it as a camera grip, extension arm or tripod, depending on the environment and the shot you want to capture. The extension arm is perfect for follow-cam, and makes it easy to capture selfies without the mount appearing in the shot.

Chesty (Chest Harness) Learn More
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The Chesty makes it easy to capture immersive video and photos from, well … your chest. It's perfect for skiing, mountain biking, motocross, paddle sports or any activity where you want a more engaging, lower-than-the-helmet view of the action. You'll capture more of your arms, knees, poles and skis while skiing—and more of your arms and handlebars while biking or riding your motorcycle. Fully adjustable to fit a wide range of adult sizes. The Junior Chesty is available for kids and adolescents.

The Handler (Floating Hand Grip) Learn More
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When you're shooting selfies, POV or follow-cam—especially in and around the water—grab The Handler. This buoyant grip makes for a more stable shot compared to holding the camera in your hand.

Tripod Mounts Learn More
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If you're shooting from a tripod, and seeking the absolute best image quality, try 4K30. This cinematic mode yields absolutely stunning footage and works for sunsets, beauty shots and more where slow motion isn't a priority.

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Shoot Time Lapses like a pro.

Some of the best GoPro videos use Time Lapse photo sequences to set the stage for the action to come. To capture fast-action sequences, use a shorter time interval (like 0.5 or 1 second) to snag the best moments. For longer events, like cruising around crowded city streets, try a longer interval such as 5 seconds.

One thing to remember: Time Lapse sequences don't have to take all day. Using 20 minutes of photos in a 30-second clip can be just as powerful as 24 hours of photos.

Capture epic follow-cam.

For static or follow-cam footage, use the 1080p60 video mode. This offers a perfect blend of image quality and slow motion capabilities. When shooting in low light, use 30 fps. One more thing: you should always use an extension pole or mount like 3-Way The Handler (Floating Hand Grip) or Jaws: Flex Clamp for handled shooting. This reduces camera shake that can occur when holding the camera in your hand.

Choose the right video resolution.

This can seem hard at first, but it's pretty simple. Remember, aspect ratio and video resolution go hand in hand. We recommend choosing your aspect ratio first, then select from the resolutions that produce that aspect ratio. When deciding on a resolution, another important question is: How will you view and share the content you capture?

For quick playback and sharing on your mobile device, or uploading to social networks, go for a lower resolution like 720p. For more professional productions and videos you plan to submit to the GoPro Awards, choose a higher resolution such as 4K, 2.7K or 1080p.

When in doubt, use:

Choose the right frame rate.

Frame rate, or frame per second (fps), means the speed at which the video is recorded–specifically, the number of video frames recorded per second. Choosing the right frame rate depends on a few things, including the lighting conditions, the type of shot and whether you want to play back what you captured in slow motion. Generally speaking, choose the highest possible frame rate for the lighting conditions.

Bright Light/High Frame Rate

  • Bright lighting conditions, like outdoors in full sun
  • Fast-action shots
  • Slow-motion playback
Low Light/Lower Frame Rate

  • Darker lighting conditions, like indoor shots or outdoors at sunset
  • Slow-to-moderate action shots
  • Achieving a cinematic look and feel
Capture the best sound.

If you don't need waterproof protection, use the Skeleton Backdoor orThe Frame to capture the natural sound from your activity and the environment you're in. Be sure to include this audio in your editing. Hearing the natural sounds helps inmerse your viewers in the experience–making them feel as if they were actually there, and making your footage even more engaging to watch.