GoPro or any other action cameras were always for me a mystery. I never wanted to own one, or even try one. But they are very trendy. almost everyone can buy them, and many travellers love them, especially because of they are light, they can shoot panorama and fish eye and their accessories make them a great companion for everyone, who like adventure and action.
Lately I have been asked by many people, if I can teach photography with better or worse equipped GoPro cameras. I was refusing, till some point when I actually came to the fact, that rules of taking pictures are always the same, doesn't matter what kind of camera you have. Many GoProers are also fans of photography, so now I put the GoPro workshops as one of my offered programs.
Older models of GoPro cameras didn't have that many options as the newest GoPro 6, which I just experienced recently, thanks to one of my workshop students, Martyn. I agreed about give it a try and I was so impressed by Martin's results. And! GoPro 6 can shoot raw! So editing is a big part, which can change some of the minuses of this little camera.
Workshop, depends on the experience of a client, has similar program. Many people buy filters for their GoPros, some of them even invest to the fish eye lens or macro lens, people who goes really far even made or invest into the video lights or strobes. There are plenty of option how to tune up your GoPro.
Photos, especially after editing, look great. Even with a basic camera (just camera itself and housing) we work on composition, modelling, silhouettes are also possible. That's the basic skills. Underwater panorama and shallow water pictures have nice colours and details, and what we did not manage in the water, we catch up on editing.
If you think of Underwater Photography GoPro workshop, my recommendation is not to invest to filters or wet lenses - well, except of the macro lens. GoPro shoots wide angle anyway. Good investment is Adobe Photoshop Lightroom, some holding system which will make you comfortable in the water when holding camera, and, of course, lights. Here are many options - video light could be useful even on land, as GoPro is preferably action video camera. Some people "handmade" at home a simple holding system, with a torches or video lights holders. One or two lights make a big difference on the final result.
GoPro don't have underwater program (but comes with red, orange or yellow filters - accessories) or any other specific program - as macro - for shooting under the water. But there are manufactures offering some wet lenses for such cameras.
Editing program can change colours big time! This shot is taken in shallow water - in about 7 m. Details of coral reef are incredible, and Lightroom also helped with more warm colours. Loving the details of the surface.
This GoPro photo shows how important is to watch position of the sun, while shooting, even in shallow water. Sun behind you always lights object perfectly, if you want some flashes effect, sun could be in front of you and Lightroom finishes the job with dark parts of the fire coral :)
Silhouette of Ross
Photo is taken at 6 m, shallow water, after the briefing about the composition and lights. Sun was behind a photographer, so salad coral is nicely lit, same as a diver. Colours can't ever be the same vivid and bright like with strobes, but GoPro is definitely one of the ways to go when traveling.
Martyn on the Bells - Blue Hole dive, modelling for my camera. His GoPro 6 did not have any accessories for shooting in depth, except of trying silhouettes, so we decided to use him as a model to have some nice memories.
It is very difficult to shoot any photos with GoPro in depth (this photo was taken in about 23 m), so we tried at least not so traditional silhouettes, which make texture of the table coral just pop out. With a bit editing and making shadows darker, the result is good. Of course, with strobes the result would be again very different.
Photo is taken when using the ambient natural light, with some help from sun behind photographer.
The result is very good, picture was taken in about 15 m depth in a bit untraditional perspective. It shows a head one of the statues in our artificial museum, and a diver, when colours are still visible and bright.