By Erik Sacino
My GoPro Tips
I have used every version of the GoPro Camera Systems in both professional and personal projects. There really is nothing like a GoPro, but as with any camera system, there are a few tricks of the trade to make sure that you lock in the perfect sequence that you have been dreaming of. Here are a few of my favorites.
Here are a few of my favorite GoPro Techniques:
Tip 1: If mounting your GoPro camera with the suction cup mount make sure that you clean the surface prior to adhering suction. Any particles or debris can cause the mount to fail.
Tip 2: When using the suction cup mount ALWAYS tie a thin string to tether the camera to something secure. For example, if your camera is on the hood of a car, tie a string to the windshield wiper arm. Make sure that your string is not too long and test the length to see if your string will catch your camera before hitting an object.
Note: the measuring is kind of critical here, don’t have your camera become detached from the suction mount with the idea of it being saved by the string tied to it only to have the camera swing and hit something say like a tree. Which in my case cracked the casing. Ugg.
Tip 3: If you are going to mount the camera to an ATV, Motorcycle, or BMX bike I tend to like the adhesive mounts reinforced with a little duct-tape or Premium Grade Gaffers Tape (black). Gaffers tape unlike duct tape will NOT leave adhesive residue behind when removed.
Tip 4: Make sure that you change the position of your mounting locations. There is nothing more boring then finally editing your video only to find that you have maybe 1 or 2 good perspectives. Think about mounting the camera where you would never dream of with a traditional camera. Some GoPro creative ideas I have used:
Mounting the GoPro to a boom pole and telescoping up 10 ft. This works awesome for shooting bands and getting above the crowd. Some of my best footage when shooting live events comes from this technique. Note: If your going to attach this to a boom pole or for that matter any tripod you will need the GoPro Tripod Mount. These little suckers are good to have and I typically have several with me on any shoot.
Warning: watch the ceiling though when using a boom pole and ALWAYS use a non-conducting material like plastic or wood. Never metal as you could hit a wire or open light and electrocute yourself.
Mounting the Hero to a wheel well of a car or truck.
Mounting the Hero to the fork of your bicycle and aiming it up at you or behind you.
Tip 5: If you are using the camera on the water for surfing or for your jet ski you will want to think about something. Some rigs can sink fast depending on your setup. I highly recommend the GoPro Camera Floaty Back Door as this little orange lifeguard will save your camera from certain doom if it falls off during a wet shoot. Plus the orange color makes it very easy to see.
Tip 6: If you are planning to use your kick ass GoPro in the water, or for that matter in the snow, you will want to invest in the Anti Fog Inserts. You may not even realize it when the change of temp happens fog becomes a factor and a very unwelcome visitor. This has happened to me 2 times (I finally discovered these gems) and it is something that WILL ruin your entire shoot if not remedied.
Tip 7: The most popular tip on this page this month. Don’t get caught on your shoot without a Wasabi Power Battery and Charger Kit There is a simple rule when shooting on location, make sure you have 3x the amount of power / batteries than you actually need. This is super important! Many factors drain power including fluctuations in temps and vibrational loss even with the replaceable lithium packs.
Tip 8: If you plan on shooting underwater footage (not just in and out of the water as in typical water shots) you need to have the GoPro Dive Housing to provide maximum photo and video sharpness underwater in all resolutions. Without this Dive Housing your imagery and videos will be blurry and the vignetting around the edges will make the footage unusable. Waterproof to 197’/60m, the Dive Housing is ideal for diving, snorkeling and any underwater filming scenario.
I recommend that if you have never tested this camera underwater you should do so before a shoot. It’s not as easy to use as a professional rig but it’s just a little tricky. The underwater footage you get will be worth every penny.