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Playing sports In nature and taking pictures with the Camera

In 2010, world champion longboarder Harley Ingleby paddled out at a break in New South Wales, Australia. Attached to the nose of his board was his 5 megapixel HD HERO. As a set rolled in, Ingleby pressed the shutter button and began recording in time-lapse photo mode, automatically capturing a photo every 2 seconds. He swung his board around, caught a wave, and pulled into his
first barrel of the day. As GoPro-luck would have it, one of the photos captured on this wave became the cover shot of Australian Longboarding magazine. Ingleby later told us this was the first time he’d ever tried shooting time-lapse photos with his GoPro. Until then, he’d only captured video.
Since then, GoPro has continued to push the photo-capture limits of its cameras. The HERO4 Black can capture 12 megapixel photos at time-lapse rates of a photo every 0.5 seconds and burst photos at speeds up to 30 photos per second.

The HERO4 added photo-specific Protune settings (much like those of video) and powerful new Night Photo and Night-Lapse modes, which feature adjustable long exposure times from 2 to 30 seconds. These improvements, combined with the rising popularity of photo sharing platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, have made GoPro the tool of choice for self-capturing immersive and engaging photos.
As a side note, Ingleby’s cover shot was monumental for another reason. Nick Woodman had grown up reading surfing magazines and was enamored by the lure of the “cover shot.” When he first started GoPro, he dreamed of the day when one of his cameras would capture a cover shot for one of his customers. Eight years later, Ingleby’s cover, GoPro’s first, brought tears to his eyes.

Time-Lapse Photos

Time-lapse photo mode and video are two of the camera’s most frequently used functions. The traditional definition of time-lapse is a series of photos combined to create a moving image on a video timeline. It gives an otherwise unseen view of time—sunsets, clouds zooming by, or plants growing. Time-lapses are useful in storytelling because they can introduce an environment, add variety to a montage, or control a video’s pacing. Chapter 5 discusses such functions in more
depth. GoPro has expanded the role of time-lapse photo capture to also include the capturing of high quality, never-before-seen photos of intense action. This was a simple solution to the user’s inability to press a shutter button while being upside-down or spinning in mid-air. Shooting half-second photos has become the most popular use of the GoPro time-lapse function, and many of the photos in
this book were captured this way. Shorter interval time-lapses have some trade-offs. In order to accomplish .5 and 1 second time-lapses, the processor must compress the images more. Less
exposure time occurs per photo as well. In bright sunlight, you won’t notice a difference, but in clouds, shade, or low light, this setting is less ideal. The 2, 5, 10, 30, and 60 second modes have ample time for exposure, and the images will be less compressed. With the HERO4 came new photo-specific Protune settings which include white balance, color profile, ISO limit, sharpening, and exposure compensation (see the upcoming section, “Protune,” for more details). During the day, you’ll generally get the best results by leaving all of these settings in AUTO mode. If you are inclined to experiment, photo white balance should only be changed for a specific reason, such as while shooting night photos or time-lapses (we cover these in the next section). We recommend using GoPro Color for your color profile, unless you are a color grading professional. ISO limit performs similarly to video, but is limited to 800 on the high end. The lower the ISO, the less grain
will appear in your image. Set on auto during the day, the camera will hover around 100 ISO. However, night-lapses are a different case. We always set sharpening at low for more control while editing and coloring our photos. For the most part, we recommend setting the exposure compensation to 0, but it can be advantageous to set compensation to -.5 to keep highlights from blowing out.

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