Pro Automotive Photographer Shares His Top GoPro Mounting Tips and Camera Settings
GoPro has partnered with Toyota pickup truck makers to create a series of videos to show you how to use your action camera for spectacular car shots. Brought to you by professional cameraman Sam Werkmeister, the films demonstrate various techniques and GoPro accessories while filming off-road, on the water and setting up time-lapse video of the new Hilux Invincible against a cliff backdrop at sunset.
Werkmeister has worked with GoPro for five years, specializing in motorsport film production. His experience includes filming the PWA Windsurfing World Tour, the Olympics and Ocean Races. So he knows the tricks of the trade to capture great images in dynamic environments.
Below are some of his top GoPro tips for settings and accessories, along with two of his videos…
GoPro Camera Settings
“I think GoPro is the best camera to use for video, photo and time lapse,” says Werkmeister. “You can place the camera in multiple locations on the vehicle, indoors or outdoors, knowing that the right GoPro mount will hold your camera securely. I’ve attached GoPro cameras to cars and motorcycles, when driving over 100 mph and personally haven’t dropped a single one. GoPro produces a range of mounts, to suit a ton of situations, it’s up to your imagination and creativity to push the limits.
“The GoPro HERO9 Black offers a wide range of settings. For all videos I will use 4k 25fps or 2.7k 50fps and shoot in 4:3. The GoPro has a 4:3 sensor and when you use its full resolution you don’t get any cropping, which means you can get more up and down in the shot.
“When shooting in high resolution, you can ‘zoom/crop’ the edit to get the 16:9 shot, with no loss in quality. Currently most social media platforms allow 4:3 posting, so it’s rare that I’ll use 16:9 resolution unless it’s for YouTube. For non-action shots, I use 4K, which gives me plenty of options to crop or use a large canvas.
“When I really want to do some epic slow motion, I use 1440P at 120fps, which allows me to capture amazing slow motion in fantastic resolution. I always have ‘HyperSmooth’ turned on, for super smooth footage; if the activity needs more stabilization, just add the boost on the touch screen.The boost will crop the image slightly, but it will even out bumps and wobble.
Mounting your GoPro
Werkmeister advises, “When planning where to mount the camera, I like to think about angles that will bring out the best in the vehicle. Hood, roof, wheel arches, underside and rear view mirror – these are my go-to angles. I start with GoPro suction cup, which provides a secure seal to the bodywork. First, I hold the GoPro in the area where I want to position it, checking that the angle is correct, so that I won’t have to keep attaching and removing the mount, and watch where I can securely fix the device. Any areas with a glossy finish are perfect. The knob in the center of the frame will push all the air out of the cup, giving you a really secure frame.
“The Flex Clip Jaws has incredible grip and its low profile works well when mounted under the vehicle. You can extend the mount further by adding a gooseneck. When you use the in-camera HyperSmooth, you’ll never have a shaky shot.
“The final cut is the GoPro adhesive mount. Whether you use the flat or curved versions, they are waterproof and provide an easy way to mount the camera on many different surfaces. I use them inside the cabin to capture the driver and passengers.
“If you find the bracket difficult to remove, a trick is to use the shaft of a screwdriver and position it diagonally on the bracket and twist it. This will push from both corners and the bracket will unscrew.
Static shots with a GoPro
“The GoPro is not just an action/POV (point of view) camera, it’s amazing for filming yourself with the car, or grabbing a tripod and placing the camera on the floor or a wall to film yourself in driving. Place the camera itself on the ground or grab a stand and get the best angle. I carry a mini tripod with my camera at all times. I can throw the camera down and take the shot. epic from a new angle, and I can also use the mini tripods to film myself while vlogging.The new screen on the front of the Hero9 lets you check the shot, without having to look at the rear screen.
One more tip: activate the voice command and you are then hands-free. Just say “GoPro starts recording”.
GoPro Time Lapse Settings
“For time lapse shooting, I first plan my angle. Whether on a tripod or hidden on a rock is up to you. Once I have my angle, I decide what time frame I want. For photos of people moving through an area, I’ll use a setting of 0.5 seconds. If I’m shooting a sunset, I’ll use between 10 and 30 seconds. You have to remember that “frames per second” is made up of 25 frames, so each shot is 1 in 25, or 25 in 1 second. It can be very confusing, but once you practice you’ll know exactly what setting you want before you start. Press the red button and you will start recording. I try to disable all extra options on the camera like front screen as it saves battery. »
“One major tip is to use an external power bank. Flip the GoPro battery door upside down and plug your USB cable into the power supply and the other end into a battery pack/charger. This will keep the GoPro powered for a while. hours and will charge the Battery Go Pro the same time. It’s ideal for any time-lapse filming and will ensure you don’t lose power at a crucial moment.