There's nothing more frustrating than getting back from a snorkel or dive having been face to face with the creatures of the deep, only to find your video footage is out of focus or too wobbly to use.
1. Take away the blurriness
Don't assume your GoPro is ready to shoot video underwater. There's a difference between the HERO4 and the earlier models. If you've got a HERO or HERO2 you will need an aftermarket flat lens as the standard GoPro housing won't focus underwater.
2. Stay shallow to capture the best colour
If you stay above five metres deep you'll retain almost 100 per cent of the vibrant, natural colour that coral reefs and tropical fish are made of. Below five metres you'll need to add a colour correction filter to bring back the red part of the colour spectrum that depth removes.
3. Going deeper?
For close-up subjects below 20 metres, you'll need to add a wide-angle video light to your setup. This will bring the saturated colour back to life in your video.
4. Use the sun to your advantage
Try and shoot with the sun behind you, it will help lighten your subject and bring the full colour spectrum back to your video.
Then again, it can be nice having the sun's rays punching through the water to add that solar flare effect.
5. Get close… then get closer!
GoPros are designed to shoot the widest angle possible to catch all the action. When you're underwater that's great, until you want a close-up. Steadily approach your subject until you're almost on top of it. That should get it all in!
6. Steady as she goes
Ensure you've got your camera secured to something other than your hand; be it a wrist strap, a mount or even locked onto a tripod. That way you'll be able to watch your footage rather than struggle to recover your GoPro from the ocean floor!
7. A photographer already?
Why not mount your GoPro onto your camera housing if you're taking still shots? That way you can shoot video at the same time and never miss any of the action.
8. LCD or no LCD?
Yes, it helps you frame your shot perfectly, but having the optional LCD BacPac turned on all the time drains battery life at a phenomenal rate.
It also warms up the housing very quickly which leads to our next tip…
9. Avoid the fog
Using a camera underwater generates heat; seal it in a housing and plunge it into cold water and it'll fog up quickly, ruining your footage.
You can buy anti-fog inserts, or get a chamois leather, cut out small squares and pop them inside the housing to absorb moisture. Wash them once and dry in a low-heat oven to increase effectiveness.
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Author: Tourism and Events Queensland
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