by Chris Brinlee Jr.

The quickest, most fun way transform gnarly climbing footage shot on GoPro—from clips collecting virtual dust into a perfect send fest—is with Quik. GoPro’s new smart and intuitive editing app allows almost anyone to make great edits quickly. Quik achieves this by replacing the clunky user interface associated with traditional editing apps with one optimized for touch—while also introducing uniquely themed templates, smart cuts with slick auto-transitions, and auto-synchronization to an extensive built-in library of great music tracks.

Put simply, the app instantaneously automates what until recently took professional editors, using multiple specialized programs, countless hours to do—making it the perfect choice for hut-traveling, crag-hopping, or van-dwelling climbers: people who would rather be outside doing than inside sitting.

SETTING UP YOUR GOPRO

Great edits start with great footage—which is easy to capture with GoPro. The first step in capturing great footage is optimizing your settings. For climbing, where moments alternate between quick pumpy moves or slow glacial slogs, balance is key; this set-up works best for me.

CAMERA SETTINGS

When setting up a GoPro to capture climbing, the two key takeaways are with regards to aspect ratio and Protune. A lot of climbing will be filmed using Point-of-View (POV;) action dictates that the hands are often reaching high and the feet are stepping low. Recording in a 4:3 resolution allows for cropping latitude in post—enabling you to choose the best part of the frame to feature in each clip.

The natural environment where climbing takes place is dynamic. Lighting changes on a whim when clouds move in, snow reflects everything, and rock chimneys may be shrouded in darkness. As such, it’s important to maximize a camera’s dynamic range; Protune enables this on GoPro by shooting higher quality video that is flattened out—allowing users to make more poignant color corrections in post.

Here’s an overview for my settings:

Mode: Video
Resolution: 1440 (4:3)
Frames Per Second: 60
Field of View: Wide
Low Light: Off
Spot Meter: Off
Protune: On
White Balance: Auto
Color: GoPro Color
ISO Limit: 1600
Sharpness: Low
EV Comp: 0 (Adjust Depending on Ambient Brightness)

MOUNTS

While climbing, the best footage will be captured from the climber’s POV. That provides us with three different main mounting options:

HEADSTRAP

The Headstrap is best-used when not wearing a helmet, for instance while bouldering.

CURVED ADHESIVE

The curved adhesive mounts create a secure, low-profile mount on hardshell climbing helmets. Heat the adhesive with a butane lighter before mounting it to achieve maximum stickiness. Placement should be in the center of the helmet, slightly above the forehead and slightly below the top.

VENTED HELMET STRAP

The vented helmet strap is useful as a removeable mount; it can easily be removed when not in use.

For all climbing POV mounts, make sure that the GoPro is positioned at about a 60-degree angle, which will allow it to capture hands when looking up and feet when looking down.

To mix things up a bit, try these other mounts:

THE STRAP

The Strap’s hand mount works great for capturing 3rd person shots of yourself while climbing slabs, faces, or mountaineering (but it’s not so great while climbing crack.)

QUICKCLIP (included with Headstrap)

Try clipping this to your chalk bag to get some unique perspectives.


GETTING THE SHOT

While climbing, you’re constantly moving; and rarely in the same location—while placing protection, clipping in, coiling ropes, tying knots, belaying, drinking and snacking, not to mention the act of climbing itself. As such, your hands are going to be occupied most of the time; that’s why POV works best. Plus, it allows others to step into your boots or climbing shoes and see the mountains like you do.

That being said, all POV shots don’t have to look the same. In addition to getting POV shots of yourself while climbing, use the head’s natural stability to shoot third-person clips of your partner as they climb.

As the environments vary, so too should the shots that you capture. Document everything from glacial approaches to steep sections of rock or traverses along knife-edge ridges. Don’t forget the summit selfie celebrations either! Also vary the types of shots: each action in climbing (belaying, placing protection, coiling ropes, etc) provides visual interest and variation from just climbing.

IMPORT CLIPS WITH CAPTURE

Don’t let the dust settle. Once you’ve finished climbing (and grabbing a burger,) import those clips! Gotta share the stoke! Connect to your phone or tablet to your GoPro and start browsing the footage. Choose the best sections (15-30 second clips will do) of your favorite shots and save those out to your device.

MAKE A SWEET EDIT WITH QUIK

Now it’s time to bring your edit to life. The app’s touch controls are easy, intuitive, and fun to use. Quik also renders transitions and settings in real-time, allowing you to see what you’re making—as you’re making it. The following is a basic overview for any project in Quik.

  1. Select Media

  2. Choose a Theme - Action is my personal favorite.

  3. Select a Soundtrack- Each theme has a couple of suggested tracks to choose from by default, but more tracks from the library can be easily accessed, sampled, and selected.

  4. Edit  - Tap the pencil icon over the video player to bring up additional controls.

    1. First, adjust the timeline sequence by dragging clips to reorder them. Think about the buildup that you want to create while doing this.

    2. Second, trim each individual clip to select its best moment.

    3. Next, crop each individual clip to create the best frame composition.

    4. Then, longer clips can be trimmed to form shorter ones. Repeat the previous two steps as desired.

    5. Finally, when finished with the sequence edit, return to the project’s menu.

  5. Tweak Options in the Creative Menu

    1. Set the Duration - Quik automatically and intelligently adjusts clips’ cuts and syncs transitions to music based on the video’s duration.

      1. The automatic option is selected by default (designated by the Quik icon) and represents the app’s best suggestion for the edit.

      2. The music icon represents the best music ending for the video (this can be adjusted by tweaking the “Music Start,” which is the icon near “Duration.”)

      3. The Instagram icon represents the best length for sharing on Instagram (videos posted to IG by standard users at the time of writing must be 1:00 or less.)

      4. Max is the maximum length that the video can be, based on the selected clips and music.

    2. Format - Switch the format between “Cinema” (16x9) and “Square.”

    3. Music Start - Choose the specific point where the audio track begins.

    4. Filter - This allows Instagram-like “filters” to be applied to the video; they affect a variety of factors including color, contrast, and saturation.

    5. Palette - Choose between light or dark themes for the titles.

    6. Font - Choose the typeface used in titles and text.

    7. Outro On/Off - Toggle the GoPro Quik Outro on or off.

  6. Export & Share - Once you’re stoked on your video, it’s time to Export & Share. This is easier than ever—just follow the on-screen instructions.


That’s all there is to it! Thanks to GoPro & Quik, capturing, editing, and sharing videos of you and your friends sending the gnar is easier and more fun than ever.

 

Chances are that Chris Brinlee, Jr. wrote this from the road (or on a boat, plane, or train) while traveling around the globe. Wanna see what he’s currently up to? Follow his adventures and stories on Instagram.