Using the GoPro Hero 3 White Edition for Behind the Scenes (BTS) footage

I'll admit I purchased a GoPro on a bit of a whim! After seeing so many YouTube videos I was curious about these little HD cameras. I opted for the GoPro Hero3 White Edition which is - as of mid 2015 - the middle option in the GoPro family; not as fancy as the Black edition which could record in 4K and not as basic (read: no wifi control) as the GoPro Hero.

Like many photographers owning a GoPro, I've been using the GoPro Hero 3 White Edition for behind the scenes (BTS) footage of my studio shoots.

I typically set the GoPro up on a tripod in the corner of the studio so that it can capture the full Ultra Wide field of view. Because of the lightweight nature of the GoPro Hero3 the tripod doesn't have to be super strong or expensive, I actually use a Hama Star 63 which cost less than £20 from Amazon (note: it's a cheap tripod, I wouldn't trust it with my camera bodies!). I did have to purchase a tripod adaptor to enable the GoPro to connect to the tripod: I spent £3 for the  Goliton Tripod Mount Adaptor

After placing the tripod in the correct position, I connect to the GoPro using wifi and the GoPro iOS app to ensure that the view is correct and then I start recording (I use the full 1080p option).

For ease, I let the GoPro record the full shoot from start to finish. This ultimately creates more footage than is required (and a lot of outtakes!) which I refine once I get home and import the footage into the free GoPro editing application, GoPro Studio, available for both Windows and OS X. Other softwares options, such as Final Cut, are available. Note: the GoPro Hero3 White Edition (and possibly other models) records clips up to a maximum of 1.99GB - the GoPro does record continuously so once the 1.99GB limit is reached, a new file is created on the MicroSD card. I often end up with around 7-10 1.99GB files to import to GoPro studio  

I take the best clips from the GoPro recording and speed them up 800% (I've found this is the best balance between quality and speed). To smooth the transition between individual clips, I add a 1 second fade in and out to each of the clip. I may add an audio track if I have photographed a musician and they supply a MP3 track, otherwise I use one of YouTube's royalty-free tracks filled under the 'Ambient' category.

Once I'm happy with the result, I export the footage as a 1080p HD .mov file and upload to my YouTube channel.  

Equipment used - 

  1. Hama Star 63 Tripod 
  2. Goliton Tripod Mount Adaptor
  3. GoPro iOS app 
  4. GoPro Studio

Below are a few samples from my YouTube channel