GoPro Life Hacks

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Let's talk about Gopro hacks.

A GoPro camera can be the perfect combination of compact design and durability. A great camera for all kinds of outdoor recording, it can be simple to use but difficult to get professional-looking results. You can take your GoPro skills to the next level and capture high-quality content with these simple life hacks.

GoPro cameras are known for their versatility and handiness in situations that other cameras wouldn’t be able to withstand. You can polish up your GoPro skills and improve the quality of your photos and videos by taking advantage of these tips and tricks.

20 GoPro Hacks for Success

Whether you’re a veteran GoPro photographer or a newbie looking for an edge, these life hacks can be great to keep in mind when using your camera. Some of the hacks can be practical ways to get the most functionality out of your camera, while others are more focused on what you can do to give your photography a more artistic and professional look.

1. Explore Mounting Options

One of the beautiful things about a GoPro is its wide range of mounting options. You should never feel limited to just one way of mounting the camera. By adjusting the view to meet the needs of whatever situation you find yourself in, you can be ready to take the best pictures possible, no matter what your angle. Among the more generic mounting options are the straps, suction cup mounts, and clamping mounts, but there can also be more specialized options available.

Some sport-specific mounting options can include:

  • handlebar mounts
  • roller bar mounts
  • scuba mouth mounts
  • mic stand mounts
  • dog harness mounts

No matter what activities you’re planning on using your GoPro hacks to capture, you can likely find a specialized option mount to fit your needs. Having a wide variety of mounts can give you a lot of options to capture the perfect shot.

2. Test Your Angle

It can be heartbreaking to think that you’ve captured an epic moment from a GoPro mounted on your head only to later discover that the image is cut off by part of your helmet, hair or another obstacle. Testing the angle of your mounted GoPro can be vital to ensuring the shot will work out before the chance has passed.

As part of nailing the perfect angle, you may have to mount your GoPro in an unexpected way. You should feel free to experiment by attaching it to the side rather than the front of a helmet or even using some duct tape to come up with a new mounting solution to get the best results possible.

3. Embrace a Selfie Stick

When all other mounting options fail to give you the results you want, or when you’re trying to take a photo of yourself or a group of friends, there can be few mounting options more convenient than a selfie stick. While it may seem a little silly, a selfie stick can actually be an incredibly useful tool for photography. It can be worth the temporary use of a selfie stick to snap the perfect photo.

4. Enlist Help

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Owning more than one GoPro or finding a friend who has one to help you with your project, can be a great way to get different perspectives of the same event. Primarily useful for video, multiple cameras can help give you the option to create a finished product that includes shifting points of view. For example, your edited video may show imagery taken from the GoPro hacks mounted on your head, then shift to footage of you doing an amazing trick from your buddy’s camera angle and then change to another view of the trick from a spare camera mounted nearby.

5. Don’t Overlook Editing

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Post picture or video editing can take bland results and turn them into exciting works of art. By using editing software to crop, cut and enhance your work, you can improve its overall quality. One pro tip that can be especially helpful if you’re planning on posting a video on YouTube or another platform is to keep the content short and to the point. Even if you have a twenty-minute long video of something amazing, you shouldn’t necessarily post the entire thing. By cutting the video down to a few minutes that include only the most interesting parts, you can get a better response from your audience.

Using editing software, you can also find amazing pictures within your videos by going through them frame by frame and saving the still images you want to keep. The editing can allow you to focus more on videoing your activities and worrying less about missing out on all the great photo opportunities.

6. Take Advantage of Time Lapse

If you’ve ever spent time finding the perfect photo opportunity only to get home and realize the few snapshots you took didn’t turn out how you wanted them to, then you should know the value of having backup pictures. The time lapse setting on a GoPro can be used for more than just long-term videos. By getting creative, you can also use it to capture dozens of pictures when you may otherwise only snap one. Time-lapse can help ensure that you have a better chance of getting at least a few great-looking shots. The additional pictures can be a great way to get some extra insurance when you’re using a selfie stick or letting a friend take your picture because you’ll have a lot of frames to work with instead of ending up with one single blurry picture that didn’t turn out.

7. Snap Perfect Action Shots

Trying to capture a clear action shot can be one of the biggest challenges a photographer faces, but a GoPro camera can offer a simple solution to the problem. The burst mode capability allows the GoPro hacks to snap around 30 shots per second, which can be great for capturing a wide array of motion. The burst can be the perfect way to capture acrobatics, diving, bungee jumping, and other fast-paced sports. While some of the shots may not be the best, you’re likely to end up with at least a few good pictures per session.

8. Protect Your Water Shots

Since a GoPro should be entirely waterproof, it can be tempting to just dive in and begin taking pictures, but there can be a few obstacles that occur when using the camera while doing water sports or taking pictures in rainy conditions. If water splatters onto the lens, the droplets can cause distortion and ruin your pictures or videos. Fog can also cause problems if it starts to build up on the camera lens, but there can be a few ways to prevent these problems. For fog, you can purchase inserts to keep the lens dry. Water or rain may be kept off the lens by applying a water repellant, but you should make sure that the one you’re using isn’t going to damage the camera. If you’re ok with being a little more hands-on, you can follow a tip that some pros use and lick the camera lens to keep the water away.

9. Remove the Casing

You can take your GoPro photos to the next level by removing the protective casing from around the camera for clearer shots of beautiful scenery or other subjects. While it can be useful when you’re trying to get high-quality photos, this is a trick that should be used with caution, as without the casing the camera can easily be damaged, especially by water.

10. Don’t Run Out of Juice

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While it may seem obvious, it can still be vital that you always have backup batteries with you. No matter how good you are at using your GoPro, running out of batteries will always ruin your project. You should keep in mind that some of the newer models of GoPro cameras may take a different type of batteries than the older ones, so it can be important to make sure you have the right style when purchasing spares.

11. Experiment With Perspectives

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It can be true that using a camera is an art form that can require you to think outside the box to get good results. An object that may make for a boring picture head-on could turn into an interesting piece of photography if you take it from an interesting angle. When snapping pictures, you should try to experiment with different perspectives. Try crouching down, standing on your tiptoes, taking photos that are zoomed in and zoomed out and so forth. By allowing yourself to be creative, you will likely find that you’re not only having a lot more fun with your camera but that you’re also getting stunning results that go a level beyond basic everyday photography.

12. Pair Your GoPro With a Smartwatch

You can connect certain brands of smartwatches to your GoPro in order to display information such as altitude, speed and your heart rate over the video that you are taking. The smartwatch can give you some seriously cool results, especially if you’re taking videos of extreme sports. However, syncing might not work with just any smartwatch, and it can be important that you do some research before investing in any major purchases.

13. Upgrade Your Sound Quality

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Tired of the distant, grainy-sounding audio that you get from trying to use the GoPro’s built-in microphone? You can upgrade the camera’s sound-recording capabilities by adding an external microphone as an accessory. While a microphone can make the camera a bit less compact, it should be worthwhile if you’re trying to take video in any situation where sound matters. You can find a wide variety of microphones online that are compatible with the GoPro. The prices can vary from a few dollars to around $$$, with most falling in the middle around $$.

14. Use a Drone

Drones can be some of the newest and most exciting technology out there, and a drone with a GoPro can be a powerful combination. You can use a drone to take your camera to new heights, snapping amazing aerial photos and videos. Similar to pairing your GoPro with a smartwatch, matching your GoPro to a drone can require some research to ensure that you’ve got the right partner. Some drones come with built-in GoPro mounting capabilities while others may not be compatible at all.

15. Invest in a Wireless Charger

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Since GoPro cameras are known for not having a long battery life, you’ll likely have to charge your camera a time or two while on vacation. You can make charging your GoPro less of a hassle by buying a wireless charger. Not only is a wireless charger cool, modern looking tech, but it allows you to charge the camera without removing the casing. You can just charge and go on your way, worry-free.

16. Build a Handle

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You can find dozens of videos on YouTube about how to construct a simple handle for your GoPro. Building a handle can be a cheap DIY solution to the shakiness that can sometimes occur while taking videos. Not only can it make keeping a grip on the camera easier, but it can allow for smoother looking imagery as well.

17. Understand Protune

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If you’re using a newer GoPro, the camera should have a built-in capability called protune that can allow you to have more control over the camera’s features. Many photographers may overlook this setting because selecting it can initially leave you with a grainy-looking image; however, by tweaking the settings you can get amazing results.

18. Use Filters

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While you may think of filters as something to be added in the editing stages of your work, you can find physical filters to put on your camera during the recording or photographing process. One great use for these physical filters can be to help remove the color draining effects of content recorded underwater. Additionally, snow sports enthusiasts can use a filter to counteract the glare effects that occur when sunlight hits snow or ice.

19. Clean Your Lens Often

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Taking a second or two to make sure that the camera lens is clean can be an important step to assure your content comes out clear. Smudges or dirt can ruin entire photography sessions by distorting the images or leaving strange shapes on the finished product.

20. Plan Ahead

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If you are planning on taking some casual photos or videos for your own enjoyment, you shouldn’t be too concerned about scripting the results or planning ahead.  On the other hand, if you want something to use in a public display, then pre-planning the photographs or videos can be a good idea. When working on videos, a simple written script of what you will record and a list of goals or images that are necessary for the completion of your project can help ensure that you don’t forget anything while recording and that in the end, you have great results that you can easily work with.

Practice Makes Perfect

As with any activity, GoPro hacks photography and video can be something that takes a bit of practice. You shouldn’t feel discouraged if your first attempts don’t turn out to be masterpieces. By learning from your mistakes and using your GoPro often, you should start to see real improvements in the quality of your work. With practice, you should get to a point where you know what every function on the camera does and how you can use each setting to your advantage.  

The Good and the Bad

Since a GoPro can be smaller, lighter and more durable than most other cameras, carrying it with you shouldn’t be an issue. Being light-weight can make it the perfect travel camera. While it may not always be up to the standards of a professional photographer, a GoPro’s unique features can still make it one of the best choices for hobbyists.

Positive Capabilities

Among the positive features that make GoPro a great camera are its wide-angle capturing capabilities and its ability to give you clear results even when you’re just pointing and shooting. The waterproofness and durability of the camera can also allow you to take it places where a normal camera simply wouldn’t survive. Being waterproof can also make it the best choice for people interested in snapping pictures or recording videos of themselves doing extreme sports or other outdoor activities.

Where a GoPro Can Fall Short

While it can be great for action-packed situations, a GoPro may not be without its downsides. One of the most common problems with a GoPro camera can be its short battery life. A dead camera can be a real issue, especially if you’re traveling and find yourself without a spare charge. The zoom capabilities of a GoPro can also be severely limited, which can make it hard to focus on specific objects or people without cropping the image. Most of the problems with GoPro may not be very big setbacks if you’re planning on using the equipment as a rugged and well-functioning outdoor camera, but if you’re going for the professional subtleties of a more high-end camera, then a GoPro probably isn’t going to serve your needs very well.

Get Out and Explore

When it comes down to it, the best tip for getting great results from your GoPro can be to get out, practice and try new things. You will find that the more you experiment, the more you improve your overall skills and learn to be a master GoPro photographer.

Using the tips above and doing further research with videos and tutorials on the internet can be a great place to start. The durability of this camera means that it is a very good option for you to be creative with, and that means you can be free to think outside the box.