10 Cool GoPro Ideas You Need to Try Out
The GoPro has ushered in an age where any amateur can create striking photos and videos with a single button press. While that’s great for documenting your memories, it led to an explosion of samey content. After all, how many strolls along the beach or downhill bike rides have you watched which weren’t your own?
The good news is that a GoPro is much more than a simple-to-use action camera! You can use it in many creative ways whether by tinkering with the camera’s more advanced options or investing in some accessories. Here are 10 cool ideas you should try to spice up your GoPro videos and start using the camera in ways you’ve never thought of before.
1. Take fascinating time-lapses
The time-lapse is one of GoPro’s most remarkable features, especially now that there’s TimeWarp on the GoPro HERO7 Black. Time-lapses let you condense minutes or hours of activity into shorter, more appealing videos. Shooting a time-lapse takes more forethought than your average GoPro video, but the results make all the planning and effort worthwhile.
It’s important to consider what you’ll be filming and when to choose the right settings for the job. Slow-moving scenes like sunsets or the tide require larger shot intervals than situations with more action like a busy street.
Using time-lapse is a great way of documenting a trip. Turn it on during long drives, boat rides, and hikes to condense your journey into a fast-paced story. Time-lapses create excellent filler content like heavy traffic or a building being constructed you can use to break longer clips into more engaging segments.
Time-lapses of the night sky are among the most breath-taking videos you can make with a GoPro, and they even have a dedicated mode. Night Lapse Photo lets you record the heavens all night long in intervals up to 60 minutes per shot. The mode has a strong exposure which ensures the footage is bright and detailed. Keep in mind you’ll need to hook your GoPro up to a powerbank if you plan on shooting for hours at a time.
Finally, don’t be afraid to move the camera as your time-lapse progresses. Turning TimeWarp on and dragging the GoPro on a children’s cart makes for mesmerizing shots of coves or mountains. You could modify an egg timer and strap the GoPro onto it and create 360-degree time-lapses too.
2. Slow down the world
The newest GoPro Black cameras have advanced processors named G1. These allow them not only to shoot in 4K at 60fps, but also to capture FullHD at 240 frames per second. You can then slow the footage down eight times and still have everything run smoothly as 30fps is enough for a fluid experience.
There are no limits to what you can pull off with slow-motion! You could express your artistic side and shoot soap bubbles as they grow & burst, or get every detail of a fantastic football play on video for later analysis. Slow-motion makes things appear strange. For example, hit a baseball with a bat and see how it deforms while absorbing the impact. You could also film yourself playing the guitar or drums and see how the strings & skins vibrate. Even the most mundane activities start to look fascinating when slowed down, so experiment freely and be pleasantly surprised.
3. Get up close & personal
One of GoPro’s few shortcomings is that it has a fixed focal length. That means you can’t zoom in to shoot small objects. Luckily, there’s a macro lens designed for the GoPro HERO5 Black and above which remedies that. Using a macro lens lets you get close to and record small objects in vivid detail. It’s easy to mount onto the camera and doesn’t cost much, so you should definitely consider adding it to your GoPro arsenal.
The possibilities a macro lens opens up are endless! You could take close-up pictures of flowers or dewdrops reflecting the light of the rising sun. You could find an ant and make a video documenting its day or film bees as they enter & exit their hive. Even mundane objects like electronics, sweaters, or pebbles become an intricate tapestry with unexpected details when viewed through a macro lens.
4. Capture the perfect moment with Burst and Continuous Photo modes
Your GoPro makes jaw-dropping videos, but don’t forget it’s also a beast when it comes to taking photos. It is able to take lots of them in as little as a second, which is a feature you’ll love if you’re into action photography. The camera lets you snap the exact moment of diving head-first into a bungee jump or catch the instant your friend’s epic dive-bomb is about to hit the water.
Your GoPro supports two types of rapid-fire photography – Burst Mode and Continuous Shooting. Burst Mode snaps a set number of photos in a specified timeframe. Its fastest rate is 30 shots per second! That number applies to optimum lighting conditions and may go down if the camera determines that 1/30th of a second won’t give the shot enough exposure. That’s actually a good thing since taking so many photos at a constant rate led to underexposed pics on older GoPro models.
Continuous Shot has similar limitations but takes pictures as long as you’re holding down the shutter button. That way you’re shooting only while the action is happening and don’t have to erase superfluous images.
You could also use slow-motion to extract pictures from videos running at 240 frames per second. The images you get that way might be usable, but they’re limited to 1080p, and you can’t blow them up to create posters or billboards.
5. Use a suction cup mount to get close to the action
The straps & mounts you get with the GoPro are amazing for POV shots, but you can’t use them to attach the camera to large surfaces. That’s where GoPro’s official suction cup mount comes in. Don’t mistake the way it works for flimsiness – the suction created by the mount holds your GoPro in place better than straps do!
What can you do with a suction cup mount? The most popular thing to do is to place it on your surfboard, skis, or snowboard. That way the camera is as close to the action as it gets. The resulting videos are fast-paced and convey a heart-pounding sense of speed since the GoPro is inches away from the water or snow. You can also attach the mount to your car and record your journey using time-lapse.
Since the mount adheres to flat surfaces, you can use it to turn the GoPro into an improvised security camera or a backup camera for a movie you’re filming. The mount’s flexibility means you get to experiment with different positions, including making videos from the ceiling!
6. Make half & half videos
GoPro videos where half is filmed underwater and the other half on the surface look amazing. Even though newer GoPro models are waterproof without a housing, they’re too small to pull that effect off on their own. That’s why you can buy an accessory called a dome port and get creative in the water!
The gadget consists of a clear dome, a part that houses the GoPro, and a comfortable handle. The GoPro is positioned at the dome port’s center which gives you the freedom to choose how much of the scene you want to be underwater.
Using the dome port allows you to capture unique videos. For example, you can hold it over the side of a raft and get never before seen footage of whitewater rapids. You can take it on a fishing trip and record yourself struggling with a prime catch. If you know of a nearby pond, you could shoot waterlilies and frogs. Lovers of snorkeling may use the dome pod and a selfie stick to make exciting videos with their underwater shenanigans at the center and a beautiful coastline as the backdrop.
7. Use your GoPro at home
The GoPro was designed to record the adventures of a lifetime, but there’s no reason to have it sit around in a box all year until it’s vacation time. There are loads of things you can do with the GoPro at home. All you need is a mount and some imagination.
Strap the GoPro to your ceiling fan, turn on slow-motion, and you’ll have a neat video of your living room captured in 360 degrees. The GoPro’s small size means you can attach it to almost anything and get a unique perspective.
Want to see how pancakes are made from the pan’s point of view? Stick it on the handle! Want to finally solve the mystery of whether the fridge light goes out when you close the door? Place the GoPro inside and find out. Don’t forget that the GoPro is waterproof, meaning you could shoot an epic battle with your rubber duck or place the camera inside your dishwasher and experience a new dimension of cleanliness.
If you get the macro lens mentioned earlier, your garden will become a treasure trove of movie ideas. Combine the lens with time-lapse video to record the blooming of your petunias or use slow-motion to immortalize the life of a butterfly. Have a suction cup mount? Attach it to your lawnmower and turn grass-cutting into a riveting experience.
8. See things from your dog’s point of view
Did you ever wonder what the world looks like to man’s best friend? Strap a GoPro onto their back and find out with the Fetch, GoPro’s official dog harness. It has two mounting positions – one on top so you get a view from the dog’s back, and one in the front. The straps are adjustable and accommodate dogs of nearly all sizes.
What you can get out of the Fetch depends on how active your dog is. Its most exciting feature is the low first-person point of view you get when strapping the camera to the front mount. Turn the stabilization on, take your dog out for a walk, and you’ll get cool shots of parks, beaches, or forests. Alternatively, secure the GoPro to the back mount and create grin-inducing videos of your dog taking a swim or fetching a frisbee.
9. Turn your GoPro into a bicycle dashcam
Zooming down a forest path on your mountain bike makes for exhilarating videos. However, your GoPro can also be put to the mundane task of acting as a dashcam. You just need to mount it onto the handlebar and keep recording as you ride regardless of the situation.
You’ll want to make sure that Loop Video is on first. This mode records for a preset time or until there’s no more space on the SD card before looping back to the beginning. Looped videos on newer models are shot at 1440p, 60fps in a 4:3 aspect ratio. These settings aren’t optimal for battery life, but you should get 70 minutes of continuous footage if you disable the touchscreen, GPS, and other power-hungry settings.
10. Use the GoPro as a backup camera
It’s best to get a dedicated backup camera to park your car every time safely, but the GoPro will do in a pinch. Using the camera in this way is simple – place a suction cup mount onto the back end of your trunk and attach the GoPro on it. Then, use the GoPro app on your phone to access a live feed as you’re about to park.