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View Full Version : I bought a GoPro! Anyone have any tips?



Mermaid Danielle
02-22-2015, 03:53 PM
I think this is in the right thread... if it's not, I apologize!

Guys, I'm so excited! I bought a GoPro (Hero4 Silver edition), and it's absolutely AWESOME! I can't get over how powerful this little camera is! I bought the camera for both personal use and for mermaiding, and I am just so psyched about having it! I've been saving for months (thank you overtime at work, lol!), and now it's finally here!

I was wondering if anyone had any tips for using this camera? I've read all of the manuals, and watched countless video's on Youtube, but I was wondering if anyone had anything more mer-related that I should keep in mind before taking it to the pool with me (photo angles, pool lighting vs depth, mounting, etc.)?

Thanks in advance! Best wishes!

Mermaid Enora
02-22-2015, 03:58 PM
Raina has a great vlog on cameras and on photography. Might be a good place to start

Mermaid Danielle
02-22-2015, 03:59 PM
Thanks!

Mermaid Danielle
07-12-2015, 11:45 PM
Here are some screen shots from this camera. Hopefully I'll be able to post some video soon. My computer is too old, lol, so I have to use another family members to upload and edit photos and video.

31389

31390

31391

Best wishes!

StellaTheSiren
08-03-2015, 09:56 AM
I've filmed my new video with my goldfish mermaid tail (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KElNpe1c5us) with the GoPro Silver Surf, and it is absolutely stunning. I filmed it with my GoPro and I also hired an underwater photographer who used his own huge camera. Though he obviously knew very well how to shoot beautiful clips, the material from the GoPro was simply superior.

Some tips:
Keep the camera as still as possible. The biggest problem in video-editing is always the shaking of the camera.
If you can't keep it as still as you'd like, just put it on the bottom of the pool and swim/pose in front of it. Works really well for me!
I also prefer to use the "narrow" view, not wide or even medium, as it deforms the picture quite a bit.
Be sure to shoot in 60 fps, because it gives a gorgeous slowmotion effect if you slow the video down :)
Good luck! =D
I've gotten some really fun material with a selfie-stick, as well!

Mermaid Danielle
11-27-2015, 11:44 PM
I purchased a new computer and can finally upload and edit my GoPro videos! I can't believe how clear everything is!

If anyone is interested, in the next couple weeks I will be creating videos of all of my mermaid practice from this year. A link to the first is below;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ow3Q7k4f3k8

Best wishes!

Mermaid Alea
11-28-2015, 12:43 AM
I don't have a GoPro but I really want one. I found this Youtube video to be very informative about filming underwater with a Gopro: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FW83FIlNZEM

Also most of MicBergsma's videos (the guy who made the above video in the link) are really informative for GoPro stuff.

Nerdmaid Faith
02-05-2016, 04:00 PM
I don't have a GoPro but I really want one. I found this Youtube video to be very informative about filming underwater with a Gopro: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FW83FIlNZEM

Also most of MicBergsma's videos (the guy who made the above video in the link) are really informative for GoPro stuff.
Oh yes this guy is great! I really like to use a suction cup mount. I can place it to the side of the pool however deep I want and swim to my hearts desire! I think they cost about 20-30 bucks.

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Spindrift
02-05-2016, 06:40 PM
Best tip: Don't leave it in your car. And only bring it out of the house if you are definitely going to use it. >.>

HamptonsMermaid
02-06-2016, 01:36 AM
I have a lot of experience in filming in the water with GoPros. My band's music video even got featured as GoPro Video of the Day on their website! To make this video we teamed up in Costa Rica with School of the World who offers a GoPro film course. Their pro team helped us make our concept with 100% GoPro video, featuring lots of underwater shots and I learned a lot working with them. I've since filmed more music videos in Puerto Rico and Hawaii with GoPros.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alolqULcTYk


Here are some tips I've picked up for using GoPros to make professional quality videos in and around open water. I'm often behind the lens, but if I'm the subject, I try to share these tips with whoever is filming. Even the pro videographers don't instantly know how to use a GoPro.



ALWAYS have a flotation device secured to the camera. GOPROS DO NOT FLOAT! They sink straight down. The floaty backdoor GoPro sells is probably the most secure. Also make sure you have a leash or wrist strap. If you're in a pool you're fine but anything in the elements, don't take a chance.
If you're shooting on location in the water, always have a friend or assistant. If you're swimming, always bring a life jacket or floatation device to rest between shoots, and you'll need an extra pair of hands to keep the floatilla from floating away.
If you have any snorkles, accessories or props tie everything down to the floats. I've lost sunglasses, snorkles, hair clips... Tie it all down!
Shoot at 60 fps if using the GoPro handheld in the water. B/c GoPros are so small and, they can be very shakey. 60fps allows you to edit in slow motion which gives a smooth gliding effect and eliminates shake. This may lower your overall video quality, unless you have the GoPro4 Black (which can shoot 1080p at 120fps). Note that in the water things already move quite slowly (which can get boring) so for the ideal shot you'd be moving quickly underwater which slows down to a nice graceful speed when editing.
If I'm just going after photos and not video, I'll often shoot video anyway and take screenshots. You sacrifice quality somewhat (fine for Instagram and basic online use), but you can get that exact moment when your tail is at a beautiful angle and the bubble is not blocking your face. You can also use the burst option if you don't want to sacrifice image quality.
Keep extra batteries charged and available. One is fine for just playing around but if you are shooting a full or half day you'll eat up those batteries. Esp if you're using the wifi app as a viewfinder on your phone.
Use the iphone app when you can to set up shots, turn it off once you have the shot setup to save battery (note: the app only works on land...as soon as you put the gopro underwater it loses signal to the phone)
The heat of the batteries can cause the GoPro lens fog up. Don't leave the camera on for extended periods when not shooting as it starts to steam any available moisture from the air in there. Switch out to a cool battery if on land. If you're already out in the water, cool the camera off by turning it off and keeping under water for a few mins. GoPro also makes little absorbant strips that will suck moisture and prevent fogging but I haven't tried these yet.
When using the GoPro in and out of the water or around splashing, constantly check the lens for water droplets. These can totally blur an otherwise awesome shot and it happens quite often. To help prevent water drops from sticking to the lens, lick the camera! It's weird but it works.
Before you get into the water, check that your lens is clean and dry. I've swam 20 mins out to a reef and then realized my lens had a smudge inside the case...no option but to turn around to get to dry land, get out of my tail, and wipe it off with a cloth.
GoPros have a very wide angle which takes some getting used to. On land you'll need to be closer to the subject than you think. In water remember that things are magnified, so when someone is filming me with a GoPro I have to back up from the camera more than I would on land. Selfie style underwater it's hard to get your tail in the shot without a selfie stick.
I almost always use a "selfie stick" on my gopro even when I'm not shooting any selfies. I use it more for camera stabilization and to make sure I can easily get the angle I want with just a push or pull of my arm instead of having to swim/walk closer/farther from the subject. The basic "GoPole" is good for working in the water. It's a lot of length but it gives you better control as you can get a close up of a fish or coral head much easier. If it's just you filming, you can also get a nice selfie shot that doesn't look like a selfie, where your head is sticking out of the water, you're holding the stick underwater but the camera is sticking out of the water filming you.
When shooting at the beach, take your selfie stick and simply stick it in the sand: Instant tripod!
Unless you have a model that has a viewscreen, GoPros are all about TRIAL AND ERROR. Do not get discouraged, just keep shooting. You might have an incredible shoot, only to get back and find out that you were constantly pointing the camera too high and cropped out the bottom of what you wanted in your shot (common issues). Just keep shooting and reviewing your footage, and soon enough you'll have a natural "eye" for how the shot is going to look without any help from screens. Again, you can use the wifi app to get the hang of it to check yourself.
If using scuba apparatus while shooting, you'll still need to hold your breath during takes. The bubbles from exhaling cause your arm to shake (see above about shooting at 60fps)
GET CREATIVE! GoPros are so small and versatile, you can use them in ways cameras haven't been used before. We got really unique shots by putting the gopro inside a guitar or underneath a swing. Swinging it around in a circle created a fun shot. If you have an idea, go with it!
If you use 100% GoPro cameras, you can submit your video or photo via Gopro.com for a chance to be featured and shared with thousands of viewers!


I hope that helps! If I think of anything else I'll add it.

Calizaire
02-06-2016, 01:49 AM
I've filmed my new video with my goldfish mermaid tail (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KElNpe1c5us) with the GoPro Silver Surf, and it is absolutely stunning. I filmed it with my GoPro and I also hired an underwater photographer who used his own huge camera. Though he obviously knew very well how to shoot beautiful clips, the material from the GoPro was simply superior.

Some tips:
Keep the camera as still as possible. The biggest problem in video-editing is always the shaking of the camera.
If you can't keep it as still as you'd like, just put it on the bottom of the pool and swim/pose in front of it. Works really well for me!
I also prefer to use the "narrow" view, not wide or even medium, as it deforms the picture quite a bit.
Be sure to shoot in 60 fps, because it gives a gorgeous slowmotion effect if you slow the video down :)
Good luck! =D
I've gotten some really fun material with a selfie-stick, as well!

Watched it. WOW!! You are so graceful! I was transfixed through the whole thing.
What the what with dumb YouTube comments?
"This was fake, she has knees and mermaids don't have knees"
People are such a-holes...that was spectacular!

Princess Pearl
02-06-2016, 04:53 PM
Watched it. WOW!! You are so graceful! I was transfixed through the whole thing.
What the what with dumb YouTube comments?
"This was fake, she has knees and mermaids don't have knees"
People are such a-holes...that was spectacular!
We've got a whole thread dedicated to stupid YouTube comments. Some of them get really ridiculous

StellaTheSiren
02-08-2016, 11:56 AM
Thank you so much Calizaire! ♡♡♡

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Nerdmaid Faith
02-13-2016, 01:34 PM
Thanks for these tips! I totally agree about the floatation or strap. Myself and some friends were paddle boarding in some choppy conditions and my friend dropped her untethered GoPro into the depths. It was a sad moment (especially since it was my old one that I sold to her)

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