There are many action cams on the market in all possible price ranges. I personally started with the GoPro Hero 1 many years ago and have stayed with GoPro since then. That is why I give my very personal tips on the settings and the mount of my GoPro, which you can certainly consider with all other models.

Top GoPro Tips

– The most important thing is the photo motif and a good mount of the GoPro to the kayak. With the GoPro wide angle you have many options to capture a good subject. The new GoPro models have a display on which you can check very well if everything fits on the photo. I mount the camera on the YakAttack Dogbone Mount to reach a good height. If you mount the GoPro directly to the kayak, you usually only take pictures of the soles of your shoes or the crotch, which is not exactly a perfect photo. The height of the camera arm can be adjusted flexibly and I usually align it a little sideways so that you can see a little more of the kayak and the landscape. 

Top GoPro Tips

It is also ideal to change your perspective regularly. A shot with a GoPro at the surface of the water can look very good. Not only when you take a selfie, but also when you take a picture of your buddy. For group photos you can also take a selfie out of your hand, for shots with a fish this usually doesn’t look very good.

Top GoPro Tips

If you stick the GoPro Flat Adhesive Mounts on the kayak, you can alternatively use the on the market available goosenecks as a camera arm. With these mounts it is essential to secure the camera with a leash!

YakAttack has launched many new camera mounts for 2020, check out the shop.

– To capture a slightly different perspective, you can use a clamp (GoPro Jaws Flex Clamp) or a handlebar and install it on the paddle. The paddle is therefore a long selfie stick.

– GoPro Chest Mount and Head Strap are available for photos (of course better for filming) from a first-person perspective. However, these straps bother me, so an ActionHat would be more suitable. As far as I know, the Actionhat is not available in Europe, but you should be able to order it directly in the US.

top GoPro tips

– You always wonder how these great photos are made, where you can see the fish below the water surface and the kayak angler above the water surface at the same time? The guys use a so-called GoPro Dome for this. The water must be very clear for this shot.

Top GoPro Tips

– I transport my GoPros in a waterproof Plano Box (Guide Series 3500). Also in this box: spare parts, 3 batteries, charger (Blumax), cleaning cloth and SD cards. Do not use cheap SD cards, they usually don’t work! I personally always have two GoPros on the water in case one should cause problems. Or because I want to take landscape pictures with the second GoPro. Especially on longer trips, you should back up the SD cards daily. I had a total of 4 days of footage on my SD card during my trip to Panama when I sank the GoPro in the Pacific. This is not only annoying because of the GoPro but also because of the material on the SD card.

Don’t worry about cheap non-original GoPro batteries. I have never had any problems with this (Blumax batteries), at least as a backup if all other original batteries should be empty.

– If there is no power, you can easily charge the batteries with a power bank. The new Rebelcell 12V35 outdoor box is perfect for power supply on the go.

– To take photos in the dark, you need an additional light source. I do not use an original product, but an inexpensive alternative that at least has never had any problems with moisture and rain. I wouldn’t necessarily use it as a diving lamp. If you travel a lot at night, you should buy a quality product. I would love to have a GoPro lamp that can be switched on by voice control.

– Speaking of light: it is very important not to have the sun behind you in the photos. Always take pictures with the sun, not against the sun. A landscape that is illuminated by sunlight with a blue sky looks best. Even if my kayak has turned during the drill, I change my position with a few paddle strokes before taking a photo so that the front of the kayak is facing the sun.

– I personally find a serious face without any joy or a smile about the catch absolutely boring and unappealing. So always smile in the photo, life is serious enough.

– A few notes about my settings of the GoPro: for almost all photos I use the time-lapse mode, set to 0.5 seconds. After starting time-lapse mode, the GoPro takes a photo every 0.5 seconds. It is not unusual for me to have 200 to 300 photos of a single motif, of which I can then choose the best one. With so many photos, the chance is very good that a good shot is included.

My basic settings: time-lapse interval 0.5 s, wide field of view, ProTune switched off.

– I control the GoPro via voice control. This almost always works. If it does not work because your voice is still affected by the party hangover, press the red button for 3 seconds and the time-lapse mode starts. Voice control is one of the best features of the GoPro. You can start the camera in the drill without needing a hand. In the past, an infinite number of fish got out at the short moment when I had to use the remote control with one hand and did not keep in contact with the fish. That can no longer happen now, I love the voice control!

– A big problem when taking pictures with the GoPro are water drops on the display, which were either splashed while drilling or caused by the rain. I’ve tried everything like anti-fog lens cleaner or spit, but the only thing that really helps is the Xclear Hydrophobic Lens Protector. This sticker is simply added to the display and repels water / snow / mud, protects from scratches and lasts up to 6 months. A brilliant little helper.

– If you prefer to film, you can also create a hard copy of the film afterwards. The higher the resolution when filming, the higher the quality of the photo. From time to time, very interesting and funny shots can be taken (see last photo, scroll down).

– One last tip for image editing: I work with an iMac and the Photos App, Gimp, Inkscape and sometimes also with PIXLR and HDRtist. The Photos app is perfect for archiving your favorite photos, enhancing colors and cropping. For very dark photos due to heavy cloudiness, I try to adjust the light a little. Most apps already get an amazing result with the standard-magic-wand.

Before cropping, I usually rotate the photo so far that the horizon is aligned.

http://www.ohanaware.com/hdrtist/

The following dimensions for cropping are ideal: Instagram square 1:1, Instagram Story 1920×1080 portrait, Facebook 3:2 landscape or square 1:1, YouTube thumbnail 1280×720 max. 2 MB.

Maybe one or the other tip helped you or you might even be able to learn something new. If you have any questions, send me an email: dennis@jacksonkayak.com.

There are more photos on my Instagram: @denniskieselhorst