3 Tips for GoPro Lights Underwater

3 Tips for GoPro Lights Underwater


Brent Durand: Hello GoPro shooters. Welcome to the Two Minute Tutorial series. This whole series is aimed at showing you
everything you need to know about shooting underwater video, underwater photos, all the
tips, techniques, and all the gear to do all of that. So I’m Brent Durand. I shoot a lot of underwater photos, a lot
of videos. And let’s queue the intro. Brent Durand: And step number one. So this is paramount when shooting any light
underwater: strobe or video light. And this is that we want the light to be behind
the plane of the camera. We do not want the light to sit in front of
the camera, out to the front here because we think it’s going to be on the subject and
light it really well. We want that light to be behind the camera. Brent Durand: So looking at it from the side,
the light is going to be behind the front of the port right here. And when we do that we’re minimizing chances
of getting backscatter in the image. And backscatter are those white particles
caused by sand or plankton or anything else that’s lit up by the light and reflecting
back into the camera creating all those white spots around the edge, or those white particles
floating through the frame when we’re shooting underwater video. Brent Durand: And this doesn’t matter if you’re
shooting with a single light on your GoPro or if you’re shooting with dual lights. You want to always make sure the lights are
behind the plane of the camera. And there’s more principals that go into that
like the beam of light, the angle of light, coming from it, and being able to minimize
backscatter while also lighting the subject. So check out this tutorial above on underwater
strobe positioning. It deals with strobes, but video lights are
the exact same thing, and it’s the exact same thing with the GoPro. So a 21-minute tutorial. Check it out. Everything you want to know about strobe and
light positioning. Brent Durand: And tip number 2! So this is for all the single light shooters. And what you want to do with your light, is
have the light positioned over the camera itself. Not directly over at 12 o’clock, but the 11
o’clock or 1 o’clock position. And the reason for this is because if the
light is directly over the camera we’re going to get a lot more of that backscatter we were
talking about earlier. If the light is slightly to either side, we’re
going to still light our subject nice and evenly while minimizing backscatter. Brent Durand: And with the light coming somewhat
from the front, we’ll have even lighting around the face of the subject, or the reef – whatever
it is. If the light was coming around from the side
let’s say, then we would have strong light on one side and harsh shadows on the other,
which we typically want to avoid. It’s actually one of the reasons that we start
using two lights when we’re shooting underwater with the GoPro. But for single light positioning you want
it roughly here or here. 11 o’clock or 1 o’clock position, again, behind
the front plane of the GoPro. Brent Durand: And tip number 3! Two lights. So as opposed to using one light roughly over
the center when we have a single light on the GoPro, we’re going to put these lights
out to the side. So now it’s OK to have a light out to the
side because we have two lights, so any shadow being caused by one light is going to be lit
by the other. So we want to have both lights behind the
plane like in Tip 1, and angled slightly out. And again like I mentioned, the reason for
this is because each light produces a beam of light and we want to light the subject
without lighting extra water in order to minimize backscatter and create the best image possible,
or the best lit image. And that goes back to that strobe positioning
tutorial you have to check out. Brent Durand: So both lights should be slightly
above the GoPro, and back behind, facing slightly out. And that’s your default position. You can move one up and one down a little
bit. Maybe put one a little further away, or something
like that. But that is the very basic position and you’ll
notice that every camera shooter, every video shooter underwater is using that same type
of position. Brent Durand: And there we have it. Our three quick tips for GoPro light positioning. Check out the link below for other tutorials
I have on my site with GoPro settings for shooting automatic or manual, for the HERO7
and other models of GoPro, as well as whether you should choose between filters or lights,
and some of the other questions you’re going to have with your GoPro. Brent Durand: Subscribe if you want to see
more of these videos, and I’ll see you in the next video.


7 thoughts on “3 Tips for GoPro Lights Underwater

  1. For filming with a GoPro and using a Kraken 2500 WRU macro light. What length arm do you suggest using?

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