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-   -   ?Ways to Use a GoPro - And which one? (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/wedding-event-videography-techniques/525644-ways-use-gopro-one.html)

Robert Benda November 7th, 2014 09:18 AM

?Ways to Use a GoPro - And which one?
80% certain we'll be getting a GoPro camera to go with a new quad copter, before next wedding season (this one, if you're curious; https://www.airdog.com/ because I wouldn't have to do the flying, really)

Is there any reason NOT to get the new GoPro4 black, other than price? The quality and functionality seems like its worth it, right?

Also, I'm trying to brain storm some creative uses for the GoPro during a wedding day. To me, it seems its tiny size is the biggest benefit. Would allow me to try and get some amazing one-off shots, rather than using it like my other cameras.

* Perhaps stashing it up high, behind the pastor, so it gets a wide shot of the entire congregation from the front. Especially cool during the recessional, I would think.
*or an easy balcony mount camera. Or if there isn't a balcony, stick it on a broom and raise it up.
* Same idea for the speeches. Here, the B&G, best man, Maid of Honor, stay at the head table. I thought a camera behind them might be interesting.
*On vehicles, to show the transition between places.
* this specific quad copter would allow me to put the leash (tracking device) on the bride, for instance, and have it follow her as she walks to the groom for the first look .

I'd love to hear any other creative uses or advice anyone may have.

Noa Put November 7th, 2014 10:12 AM

Re: ?Ways to Use a GoPro - And which one?
The biggest advantage of the gopro if you plan to use it on a drone is weight so the drone will cost a lot less to be able to carry that weight, second advantage of that black version is that it can shoot 2,7k at 50fps and 4k at 25fps.
I would not use a gopro though for critical shots, you hear some stories here and there about the gopro shutting down mid recording due to overheating.

Peter Riding November 7th, 2014 10:57 AM

Re: ?Ways to Use a GoPro - And which one?
All the reasons you said for using them. There's nothing quite like a really wide shot to give a feeling of being there:

This one is from a GoPro2 on a pulpit that was not being used so a high viewpoint without an unsightly lightstand:


This one is from a GoPro2 clamped to a low altar rail at the point where the rail meets the wall:


Dancefloor shots are good as well if you have enough ambient light.

And yes if you can run one on the outside of your car and overtake a horse-drawn carriage on its way to the reception - magic.

I would be very mindful of what you are capturing in wide shots such as the one you suggested behind the top table. You risk including maybe two photographers and two videographers and that won't help the atmosphere you are trying to create.

You don't have to use them on widest though - sometimes that will be too wide. You have other narrower settings or of course crop in post.

They have precious little manual functionality compared to any other regular cam but it can be surprising what you can get away with, especially if you use the spot metering function when appropriate e.g. if there are very bright windows in the composition switch on the spot metering and center the composition in a darkish area.

The Android / Apple apps are a godsend as making adjustments on the actual bodies is very fiddly. And the live view on your phone is a great help obviously.

They are so cheap why would anyone not get one. You're not going to use them at every wedding but when appropriate they are great.

Keep an eye on the dedicated GoPro forum for any issues new adopters may be experiencing:

GoPro User Forum ? Index page

That will probably help you decide which is the best model for you as well.

Can't see me ever risking using a quad at a wedding. One of my near colleagues has spent around 5,000 on a kit. Good luck with that.

Robert Benda November 7th, 2014 11:15 AM

Re: ?Ways to Use a GoPro - And which one?

Originally Posted by Noa Put (Post 1867129)
I would not use a gopro though for critical shots, you hear some stories here and there about the gopro shutting down mid recording due to overheating.

Kind of what I was thinking, Noa. No critical shots, only stick it somewhere I *might* get a REALLY cool shot, but its no big deal if I don't.

Peter, one reason we're seriously considering this quad copter is the ease of use. No assembly. No manual control needed. Seems like it would be nice during the early part of the day if/when the schedule allows.

Roger Gunkel November 7th, 2014 11:52 AM

Re: ?Ways to Use a GoPro - And which one?
Robert, looking at the website for that quad makes me very uncomfortable. I am not convinced that it will be possible to license an automated quad for commercial use that is not under direct control of the operator. That would seem to go directly against license and operating conditions that I have seen. Even using it to track extreme sports would mean that the quad is flying automatically and not in direct view of the person it is tracking. The idea of an automated quad tracking a bride at a wedding seems like a recipe for disaster.

Even well established quads like the DJI Phantom have been known to be disrupted by random radio transmission. At least with a conventional controller in your hand you may have the chance to salvage the situation or at least instant shut down.


Roger Van Duyn November 7th, 2014 02:41 PM

Re: ?Ways to Use a GoPro - And which one?
Robert, like the other Roger says, I'm also uncomfortable from reading the website. How about this from the preorder page:

"You'll be charged as soon as you place your pre-order, and as soon as the AirDog's fully operational, bug-free, and is a product we're proud to call our own, we'll ship it straight to your door. "

The part that bothers me is the "as soon" part. Might not ever make it to market. IF it doesn't, it might be a real hassle trying to get your money back, if that is even possible. A company of eleven people would probably be classified as a small business, and many small businesses are to quote a cliche', here today and gone tomorrow.

Now as for the Go Pro cameras, they're very useful, and available.

Chris Harding November 7th, 2014 06:48 PM

Re: ?Ways to Use a GoPro - And which one?
My policy on action cams is that I use them in any creative way I can BUT I don't depend on that footage. I still use my two Sony's for the actual wedding and then you can go crazy with the action cams.

There is a "bridesmaid cam" on YouTube where they hid one in the bridesmaid's bouquet and the footage was really neat and fun.

I think it was my good mate Philip (no longer on this forum) who had the crazy idea of getting GoPro to loan him 15 cameras and he was going to control all of them with WiFi and position them all over the Church for a "cover every angle" ceremony video. All you need really is your imagination!

I have already ditched using my 20kg stedicam rig in favour of a tiny 2 axis gimbal and action cam. They are really little marvels.

Yeah I went down the quadracopter route too and with 100 guests under the device I think you have to look at the possibilities of someone getting hurt, Stick to flyovers of the venue when no-one is there!

Which one??? I go rid of my Heros as the darn freezing issue was bugging me and I'm using SJ4000 cameras ...OK they don't do 4K but the footage looks good. They have an LCD screen in the back and seem to be reliable too. The big bonus is that you can buy 4 of them for the price of a Hero 3 or 3+ (with all the fittings too!!)


Robert Benda November 7th, 2014 08:40 PM

Re: ?Ways to Use a GoPro - And which one?

Originally Posted by Roger Van Duyn (Post 1867153)
"You'll be charged as soon as you place your pre-order, and as soon as the AirDog's fully operational, bug-free, and is a product we're proud to call our own, we'll ship it straight to your door. ".

Oh, I'm not crazy. I saw that, too, and knew we wouldn't pre-order. We're looking at a target of April/May ourselves IF they ship on the new time. I hope to have enough time to run it through the paces for a few weeks before a wedding May 31st. If not, oh well.

Thanks for the tips, guys.

Adrian Tan November 8th, 2014 05:58 PM

Re: ?Ways to Use a GoPro - And which one?

Originally Posted by Robert Benda (Post 1867123)
Is there any reason NOT to get the new GoPro4 black, other than price? The quality and functionality seems like its worth it, right?

One reason not to get it: I'm pretty sure it would have a lower battery life than older GoPros. I've got a GoPro 1 and a GoPro 3, and the original seems to last at least two to three hours, if not more, whereas the GoPro 3 lasts one hour, if not less. But the image quality of the 3 over the 1 is well worth it, to me anyway, and short runtime is a problem solved with extra batteries, external batteries, battery BacPac, etc.

Second reason not to get it: no built-in screen, like the Silver. But hopefully the smartphone app solves this one.

Third reason: if you find the image from a GoPro 3 or 3+, or even older model, to be good enough, you don't need the extra functionality, and the price difference is significant to you.


I'd love to hear any other creative uses or advice anyone may have.
-- Normal usage for me is attaching them to cars. So many different places you can put them... Including, if you want to be random, the hub cap, so the GoPro just spins around and around as the car is driving. Next week, I'm doing a wedding at a racetrack, where the bridal party will go racing, and I've only got one working GoPro, dammit.

-- Giving two of them to groomsmen about to go for a swim is probably the most creative thing I've done with them at weddings (the "Irish Wedding" video I posted in the samples section).

-- I've used them front of church maybe three times, where there was action happening right against a wall (like mothers lighting candles), in a position I couldn't fit a tripod. Trick from Nigel that I've used once: attaching them to huppah (spelling?) during Jewish weddings -- depending on position, can give interesting overhead angle/safety shot of groom stamping glass.

Edit: Now that I think more about it, I really should use them in ceremonies more. Indian weddings -- everyone's crowded around -- why not attach them to the canopy? Macedonian and Armenian weddings -- in the churches round here, bridal party come right to the front. Or crowded Asian tea ceremony inside someone's house where people go to pray at family altar -- place one on the altar. Main issue with all of these -- need to solve mounting and battery life problems (eg for two hour Hindu ceremony). I think Nigel used to use a Gorillapod or similar? I've used a Gorillapod, and a little clamp.

-- Obviously, attached them to the top of photobooths, recording people laughing and posing... though the photobooth operators are sometimes iffy about this. I think it's because they could have charged extra for a video option.

-- In a short film once, I put one in a sink, looking up, while someone was washing blood from their hands. I suppose you could do the same thing during a groom prep, except without the blood.

-- I think Paul Mailath once posted a video where he had one on a lightstand behind the speaker at the reception, and it did get an epic shot, since everyone in the room was looking towards the speaker. I always remembered this shot, and have tried it once or twice, but low light proved a challenge.

-- I've tried accosting the florist at the door, before she delivers the flowers, and concealing a GoPro in the tray of flowers, to be taken up to the bride, and to get the bride's reaction when she first sees them. Never achieved successfully. Either I miss the florist, or I can't position the GoPro in a good way to get faces.

-- There was a sample someone posted a while back where the GoPro was attached to people in "ego cam" position during the dancing. And I think Danny posted a video more recently where there was GoPro-on-a-stick ego cam action during the daytime part of the wedding.

-- I was at a wedding yesterday where the groom was a real camera enthusiast and owned several GoPros himself. He arranged to do a little skit in the morning. Mounted the GoPro to the bathroom mirror, and had each groomsman (I think there were about eight of them) come in in turn and do something weird/crazy/funny. The GoPros were used in more "normal" ways the rest of the shoot. He pretty much always had a family member with one on a stick, even during the ceremony. And he had random GoPros on little tripods recording various things.

-- Other suggestions, and also things I've never done: timelapse photography (night lapse mode on the GoPro 4 looks interesting); dog mount... and I'm pretty sure you can buy a special harness for this; concealing behind/within things -- inside fridges as people open the door and pull food out, at the back of candy tables as people fill their bags up, among rows of glasses at the bar, in the dishwashing machine, in a bird cage; there's a link to the bouquet cam video somewhere in the samples section; when the waiters are setting up the reception, place one on their food carts, so it gets driven around as they put butter/drinks/whatever on the tables; place one on bridal table before bridal party entrance at reception -- maybe looking towards the couple's faces as they sit down; I've seen people mount them to the tops of their proper video cameras, so it's always there, and can get an alternative shot size at any time; I've seen people do weird angles of musicians with GoPros (like attached to the drum kit looking up at drummer).

Roger Gunkel November 9th, 2014 08:37 AM

Re: ?Ways to Use a GoPro - And which one?
I often set one up at the front of the church or ceremony room to record all the guests coming in. I then just speed that part up at the editing stage to give a timelapse effect. It also means I can leave it running through the ceremony as I haven't set it up specifically for timelapse setting. I also sometimes put one on the Bride's dressing table mirror during the preps while she is having her makeup done. Also on a lectern if they are having a reading in the church. If you have the wifi app, you can start recording whenever you need it.


Adrian Tan November 29th, 2014 05:50 PM

Re: ?Ways to Use a GoPro - And which one?
Made more of an effort to use GoPros at the last few weddings, mainly due to Robert's thread, and am finding the footage really useful.

If it doesn't quite match the other cameras, well, I'm not sure that I really care -- if it's also getting a shot that other cameras don't or can't, or acting as a great safety camera.

So, I've recently used them:

-- At a unique racetrack wedding. Both B&G were heavily into drifting, got married on the actual track, and did a drifting display after the ceremony in place of a photoshoot. Two GoPros in bride's car and two in groom's car, one attached to roll cage looking forward, and one attached to inside of windscreen looking back at faces. (Also mic'd them up for good measure, and had cameras doing stuff outside the track -- wide angle safety; 200-800 lens getting close-ups and audience reaction; drone getting an overview.)

-- Asian tea ceremony. In Sydney, often these happen in someone's living room, where there's an altar set up against a wall. They're very cramped and crowded events, the action moves all over the place, people block you, and it's a general cluster-f. But if you place a GoPro on the altar itself, which tends to be the direction people are facing, either discreetly or just in the middle of it, your camera has the best seat in the house.

-- Musicians at a ceremony. Maybe not that useful, but gives you an additional angle to cut to. I've always wanted a dedicated musician cam.

-- Photobooth. Definitely can cut a useable sequence from mounting one just above the screen and leaving it running for two hours. If, instead, you try clamping it to the frame of the booth and point downwards, the footage is less usable...

-- Catholic ceremony. Often you're not allowed on the stage, so what happens when people come up to light candles and are facing away from the audience? Very glad of the footage from the last wedding -- fantastic safety cam from this angle. Reminded me of some of Peter Riding's shots (I think it's Peter Riding anyway), where he might have a wide-angle camera clamped to something at the front of the action, looking towards audience.

Main thing that's really bugged me so far, though, is battery life. I've got question marks over the usability of an external battery, if you also want the GoPro to be small and discreet. But even with the BacPac accessory, you're only getting around two hours of recording time -- not quite enough to cover a ceremony as well as clamp to their car for driving to the photoshoot.

Adrian Tan November 29th, 2014 11:19 PM

Re: ?Ways to Use a GoPro - And which one?
Poking around on YouTube for how people are using GoPros at weddings. I came upon the following. This guy used nine different camera angles during the ceremony, and had a GoPro on a big stick or something to get from-above shots during reception.

Noa Put November 30th, 2014 03:03 AM

Re: ?Ways to Use a GoPro - And which one?
Some of those gopro shots look better then the shots from the canons that where positioned on the balcony :) I would have some issues trusting these little boxes on important on time events like a ceremony, maybe as a extra angle of something that would not be a problem if it even did not record at all but would be nice to have.

Chris Harding December 1st, 2014 05:32 AM

Re: ?Ways to Use a GoPro - And which one?
Quite neat and certainly multiangle! You have to be care that you don't get into the shot yourself!

The concept here could quite easily be a whole bunch of Gopros all wifi controlled with the camera operator sitting up on a balcony surrounded by tablets so he can see what's going on yet be completely invisible during the ceremony.

Two things are missing .. the "pastor cam" (strapped to the front of his chest to get reall closeups of the couple and the "bridesmaid cam" hidden in her bouquet. My mate Philip used to put a GoPro on his EX1 so he grabbed wide and closeup shots with the one camera.

Kyle Root December 1st, 2014 07:08 AM

Re: ?Ways to Use a GoPro - And which one?
I\'ve used mine on the piano or organ to get a shot of the couple lighting the unity candle when it\'s placed in that area. Many times, when this event happens, the couple actually has their backs to the audience. So by placing a camera on the organ or piano facing the couple, I can get a shot no one in the crowd sees.

I\'ve also put them on a 9\' light stand near the front to get a wide shot of the venue from that angle, because normally I\'m in the back.

I\'ve debated buying more of these to use, but have also found the Canon Vixia Mini, which is only $299 and does the same stuff but in a little easier to use device, it looks like. It\'s bigger but has a built in screen and such.

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