If you want to capture the greatest moments of your long-awaited travel, there is, probably, no a better option other than to take a GoPro camera with you. Of course, there are fancier and more feature-reach camcorders and DSLRs that can produce pictures of a better quality. But is the picture quality really that important? Consider this:

You’re on your vocation and want to have some relaxing and exciting days to spend along with your family and friends. If you’re not shooting your travel videos for a living, your vocation is not the right time to carry a large camera on your shoulders all day long.

I see this all too often, when people spend hours or even days choosing a camera based solely on technical specifications. They buy some expensive stuff, then take a few pictures, get some minor “not so impressive” results and then leave their cameras stay at the hotel most of the time, while taking pictures and shooting video with their smartphones. 

To get a great and memorable video, there is so much more than just to have a fancy camera. In fact, no camera can output professional-looking videos if you don’t know how to operate its manual settings, write a scenario prior to shooting the video, care about additional lighting, take some props with you and prepare your models. 

So, why wouldn’t you just take a small pocketable GoPro instead and just have some fun? It’s so much a better experience and a relief when you don’t have to carry the heavy camera and constantly think on what settings to choose from. The life is so much easier when you shoot clips with GoPro. And, as a result, your output videos look much more vivid and exciting.

GoPro is fun to use for sure. It’s all about the experience you get with this camera. Despite its compact size, GoPro is capable of producing stunning video clips. It’s also very durable, waterproof, and features a wide lens, perfect for travel videography.

Earlier, we already shared a handful of tips on how to shoot with GoPro like a Pro. In this article, we’d like to add a few more tricks, which will help you make your GoPro videos stand out even more. And who knows, maybe one day you will also win the GoPro’s video challenge!

Image Stabilization 

Image stabilization allows you to avoid shakiness in both steady and motion captures. This is something that really makes your video look professional. The latest GoPro Hero7 Black features an in-built electronic image stabilizer (EIS), called HyperSmooth. This is a revolutionary technology that delivers gimbal-like stabilization for creating smooth, professional-looking clips. 

If you have an earlier version of GoPro, we recommend to use a gimbal. And if you don’t have one, it’s probably a good idea to consider upgrading to Hero7 Black instead of buying a separate gimbal. The reason is, there are no decent gimbals that feature durability and water-resistance, meaning you won’t be able to use the gimbal with your GoPro in some aggressive weather conditions. Having the in-built image stabilizer solves this issue. 

Use Authorized SD Memory Cards

GoPro cameras are quire demanding in terms of memory cards. When shooting at 4K and with a high frame rate, the cameras produce a tremendous amount of data, which needs to be saved on the SD card instantly. This is why you should use only the SD cards that have been tested and authorized by GoPro. You can find the list of supported SD cards on this page

Another thing you should remember, is that GoPro cameras may fail to finalize a video clip when the camera shuts off unexpectedly. This may happen if the battery runs low on power, or if you don’t stop the recording prior to powering off the camera.

If this is the case, a video file may get corrupted and won’t play in media players. You won’t be able to edit it with any video editing software too. Luckily, there is a solution to this issue. All you have to do is to fix the damaged header of the video file. There are tools that can fix broken GoPro videos with just a few clicks. For more details on how to repair corrupted GoPro video files, read this article.    

GoPro Accessories

Another reason why GoPro cameras are so fun to use is a wide range of accessories that allow you to shoot videos from virtually any angle – something you can’t do with a regular camera or a DSLR. 

Depending on your travel destination and activities you’re planning to have, you may consider to take a waterproof case, various mounts, a hand grip and a tripod. In particular, we recommend to have at least a hand grip and a tripod, which may be useful in many scenarios. A tripod is absolutely necessary if you want to shoot time-lapse videos, for example.

We’d also like to mention about GoPro filters. Different filters are useful in certain environment conditions. For example, if you film in a sunny and a very bright environment, the lighting may be too harsh. Your camera will have to expose the picture based on the amount of light that reaches your camera’s sensor. Since GoPro sensors are quite small, they do not have that much dynamic range to properly expose a bright sky with direct sun lights and a much darker close object at the same time. As a result, the sky may get washed out and the resulting image will be far from expected. If you plan to film in such conditions, we highly recommend to try a neutral-density filter, which will reduce the amount of light passing through the lens. 

If you’re going to shoot videos under water, a red filter may reduce the blue and green colorcast, which is usually inherent to such environments. Also, you may consider to take a polarizing filter, which cuts out reflections on glass or water. It will help your camera see through a car window, for example.         

Consider Different Angles

To make your clips more dynamic, do not film the same single object from the same point of view (POV) for too long. Instead, consider taking shorter clips from a variety of angles. For example, if you’re having a boat ride, you can capture it from inside and outside, film the wave that the boat makes, the moment you jump into the water from the boat, the moment you’re snorkeling near the boat, etc. Be creative and shoot from angles that will give your viewers a sense of presence.

A good advice here would be to take a few minutes prior to the trip and think ahead of what captures you are willing to get. You’d better have a short script, or a plan, on how to shoot the video. You can even watch YouTube channels of the famous travel vloggers to outline some great ideas. Having the plan and the picture of what you want to get in you mind will make a significant difference compared to when you just attach your camera to a hand grip and shoot everything you see.

Edit Your Video Clips

Finally, once you’ve got video footage from your travel, it’s time to edit it into a final polished film. This is where the magic happens. You should review all your footage to outline the most exciting moments and then merge them into a continuous story-telling clip. You should also use all kinds of video image corrections, such as white balance, color correction and various pre-set filters to add some moody vibes.   

Keep in mind, if you want your travel videos to really stand out, you will have to be patient when shooting and editing. Don’t be afraid of experimenting and learning new techniques constantly, as this will help you to find your own personal style over time. GoPro cameras along with the wide range of different accessories give you that flexibility and the freedom to experiment with new angles and video styles.


Published by Derek Lotts