4 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your GoPro
I recently returned from a week’s vacation on Cape Cod where I put my new GoPro HERO6 Black to work documenting my family’s beach and lake adventures. I especially enjoyed capturing my 8-year-old boy underwater.
But there was one problem…
A crack somehow showed up on the back LCD screen!
(There was no moment of impact that I was aware of.)
Previously, I had attached a plastic screen protector to the LCD in anticipation of this kind of unsettling moment.
Protect Your LCD
I think it clearly makes sense that if you’re going to put your GoPro in harm’s way, you have to give it some additional ‘armor.’
(They’re not tanks.)
I originally went with a lens and LCD protection kit made by GoPole. It comes with a lens cap and two clear covers for the lens and LCD. These near-invisible shields are made out of ‘shatterproof, tempered glass.’
But, clearly, they’re not ‘crack proof.’
Not that anything is… but I still decided to choose a different manufacturer for my second attempt at GoPro protection.
It’s received good reviews on Amazon and costs less than half of the GoPole kit. Plus, it comes with two sets of screen and lens protectors and two lens caps.
$8.99 on Amazon
The Deyard protection plan may not necessarily be any better than GoPole’s. The fact that there are backup items in the Deyard kit perhaps reflects the reality that any screen protector is not impervious to in-the-field abuse.
As for having multiple lens caps… that’s a super idea, because lens caps have their own special way of disappearing…
If you want to avoid risking unnecessary damage to the glass on your GoPro, you’ll probably need to spend a few bucks every so often replacing these protectors, no matter which manufacturer you go with…
Minimize Ghosting by Turning Off HDR
In a portion of my vacation photos showing people, I ran into the problem of ghosting, where certain body parts displayed echoes. It was as if my GoPro had trouble locking in the action.
It’s so weird, because this happened in bright sunlight where most cameras don’t have this kind of problem.
So, I had originally turned on the HDR mode when I set up my GoPro. I figured… “Why not?”
HDR quickly takes several photos at different exposures and stitches them all together to create the best image possible.
But that extended sequence can lead to the ghosting problem… which makes total sense.
So, turn off HDR if you’re having issues freezing the action in your GoPro photos.
(And don’t forget to hold the camera steady!)
If you continue to use HDR, you’ve also got to pay attention to whether you’re moving!
Did I mention you might want to turn off HDR?
Keep People Towards the Center of Your Shot
I’ve previously mentioned my infatuation with my GoPro’s wide angle lens and how it reveals so much more of an image’s story.
The challenge is keeping your subjects out of the distorted fringes of the wide angle. Otherwise, they’ll look like aliens with warped heads.
This can be especially challenging when you’re snapping a photo with multiple people crammed in. Those on the ends will be at risk.
The good news is the wide angle lens should naturally provide plenty of safe space around everyone in your shot unless you intentionally try to fill the frame by walking up really close.
Even if you’re going for a group selfie, you should be fine as long as you keep the shot centered.
Download a QuikStory Video
I’ve also talked about how impressed I am with GoPro’s QuikStories video-editing smartphone app, which quickly throws together and shares a short music video using your GoPro’s action videos and photos.
The only glitch you may experience when sending out web links of your Quikstories to your family and friends is that they may not know how to ‘save’ them.
Your videos will play back online embedded in a GoPro web page, which I believe will eventually disappear when you delete the specific QuikStory project from your smartphone.
So, the web link is not forever…
Some folks may want to save your video file for their ‘happiness’ archive.
To do that, they need to click on three really tiny dots on the bottom right of the page with the video. Doing that will reveal the download option.
Not that all of your GoPro QuikStories are forever masterpieces… but it could be important for someone to know how to save one of them…
The Human Factor Still Matters
My GoPro HERO6 Black has proven it has many tricks up its sleeve. But like any piece of tech, it’s not magic.
A little human care and operating knowledge can really make all the difference when you take it on your next family adventure!