GoPro’s are nowadays the most popular waterproof camera used for snorkeling, a huge technology leap forward from the disposable film cameras so popular as recently as 5 years ago. Combine the accessible price and the easy of use, it’s easy to understand why most people will invest on one for their next vacation trip.
However, turning it on and jumping in the water won’t simply yield great footage. Most likely, it will be very impleasant to watch: shaky, foggy and color-washed.
Here are some tips GoPro snorkeling tips:
1. HAVE THE RIGHT GOPRO SNORKELING ACCESSORIES
A must have addition to your GoPro for snorkeling is a shallow water color correction filter: even at shallow depths, the GoPro’s white balance struggles with the blue and green hues. A snorkeling filter gently corrects and enhance the natural colors at shallow depths.
Watch this short video and you will get an idea of the huge difference it makes:
Don’t forget to use also dry anti-fog inserts to prevent the footage to become foggy and avoid water leaks. Also, a extension pole or a hand-grip will make it easier to hold the camera steady.
2. HOLD IT STEADY
It’s very important to prevent your audience from getting sea sick just from watching your video.
To avoid the camera wobbling around everywhere, try to hold the camera with both hands and avoid swimming or kicking while filming.
In some cases, the water is just too choppy or the wave motion will jerk you around. If that is the case, try to float like a corked bottle: put your feet down and head up – don’t worry, as long as you have a snorkel and can breathe, you will not sink. Having your body on that position will keep you much stabler than if laying flat.
3. GET CLOSER, BUT NOT TOO CLOSE
The GoPro’s wide angle lens has it downsides. While you can fit a lot on your screen, an object that is far away will look even smaller when compared to what you are seeing through your snorkel mask.
Get close to things you want to show, but not too close – the lens won’t be able to focus on things close than 7 inches (18 cm) from the lens.
Be respectful to the marine life, they usually don’t appreciate a camera on their faces – much less being stepped on.
4. DON’T JUST POINT IT DOWN
As you float on the surface, filming straight down seems to be the most obvious way to frame your shots. You might end up with a marine version of the moon landing videos: piles of rock, reef and sand, often hard to tell that you’re on the water.
Try to shoot at an angle, showing a bit of the blue water and a bit of the subject. This makes for more interesting video to watch. If you can hold your breath underwater, get low and shoot on a straight line parallel to the bottom.
5. SHORT SHOTS INSTEAD OF LONG SHOTS
You might be tempted to push the “Record” button and just let it rip. While that is an option, it will make watching the footage later on a tedious job with long spans of blurry and confusing shots of nothing.
As a rule of thumb, aim for scenes from 10 to 30 seconds – not too short, not too long.
Instead of one gigantic scene, you will end up with a couple of smaller files that are easier to browse through. This will also make it easier to discard those that didn’t come out good.
6. GET CREATIVE
Set the camera on the bottom and swim away – fish will come to inspect your camera. Play around with the timed photo function and snap some photos of yourself while doing that.
With these tips, you should be able to create some awesome snorkeling videos!