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How To Shoot HDR Photos On A GoPro

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How to capture beautiful HDR Photos with your GoPro

HDR stands for high dynamic range and traditionally HDR images are created with DSLR cameras by capturing a series of usually 3 images at different exposures also referred to as bracketing. There is one image of each capture (overexposed, normal and underexposed) usually by 2 stops per image. The photos are then merged in software to create one single image that has great exposure in all the bright and dark areas. The photos also tend to be very colorful and have a very surreal feel to them.

How To Take Bracketed Photos With A GoPro for HDR

GoPro’s out of the box are not really capable of this as you need a reliable way of taking 3 bracketed photos in different exposures. However, this problem is solved with a Smartphone app called GoPro HDR. With a click of a button, it will capture 3 or more bracketed photos remotely to your GoPro that can then be merged together. Follow the steps below to create stunning HDR Photos on your GoPro. The App is compatible with the GoPro Hero 4 series and GoPro Hero 5 Black. The App is available for download on Android phones and the iPhone.

Examples of bracketed photos shot on a GoPro.

HDR GoPro Photos Tutorial

Step One: Make sure you have the App installed on your phone. Connect your GoPro to your Smartphone via Wi-Fi and launch the GoPro capture app first. Set the GoPro to photo mode and make sure protune is on. Now Mount Your GoPro and line up your Shot.
Tip: It is very important to use a tripod. The GoPro must stay absolutely still while capturing the bracketed images. Any movement will cause ghosting or blurry images when they are merged later on.

Step 2: Now its time to launch the GoPro HDR App. Select how many shots you would like it to capture. 3 to 5 shots is usually sufficient for the most part I only ever do 3. When you are ready to press the “Start Capturing” button and wait for the GoPro to take the bracketed photos.

GoPro HDR App

 

Step 3: Now its time to transfer the bracketed photos to your computer or laptop. At this point in my tutorial, we will be using software from HDRSoft called Photomatix Pro to merge the bracketed images that we just shot. There are other applications that will perform the same functions including plug-ins for Photoshop.

Step 4: Launch the Photomatix Pro software. At the top right side of the screen click the button that reads ‘Load Bracketed Photos”. Browse to the location on your computer were you saved the GoPro bracketed images you just transferred. Select all 3 or 5 depending on how many you shot and open them.

Step 5: A dialog will appear prompting you to input some settings. For this tutorial, we will use some basic settings. Use the diagram below to set your options. For the most part, we are going to tell the software that the images were created on a tripod so it knows how to align the images and that we want to reduce noise. There can be a lot of noise associated with HDR Photos. When ready press the “Align & Merge to HDR” Button. This can take several minutes to perform.

 

Step 6: The software will now align all images and merge them into one photo. Once ready you will be presented with your newly merged photo that already has some HDR effects applied to it. Now, this is not a tutorial on how to use Photomatix, but you can play around with the sliders on the left to achieve a look that you like or you can use the built-in presets on the right. Keep in mind this is just a preview, some things may look a little funny. We now need to render our image with the settings we selected. We do so by clicking on the ‘Apply” button on the right-hand side of the page. Your image will be rendered and presented to you.

 

Step 7: You will now see a copy of your final image. At this point, we could save our photo or we can make some fine tuning adjustments. A box called finishing touches will pop up with some tools. Under the “Sharpening” tab I like to set it to “Mild Sharpening”. Under the contrast tab, I like to bump up the shadows just a bit. You can also use the color tab to pull out some colors or tone them down. Just play with these until you like what you see. When done click on the “Save Final Image” button on the right-hand side of the page. The new beautiful HDR photo that you shot on your GoPro is now done.

 


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Editing Apps: Tips & Tutorials

How To Color Grade Your GoPro Footage In LumaFusion

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In this video tutorial, I show you how to easily color grade your GoPro footage both manually and with using GoPro Luts. When filming with a GoPro it does a really good job capturing stunning photos and video. The contrast and vibrancy of the content is good and ready to share. There are sometimes however you want to take your footage to the next level and do your own color grading.

If you decide to do your own color grading it is important to shoot in a flat color profile. GoPro offers two color profiles “GoPro Color” and “GoPro Flat. The flat profile basically has low contrast and low saturation thus allowing you to set your own levels in the grading room. You enable the flat color profile by enabling ProTune and selecting flat as the color option.

With today’s powerful software and tools such as LumaFusion and the iPad Pro series, it is now possible to do professional level editing on your mobile devices, this includes the use of Luts.  Watch our video tutorial showing you just how easy it is to color grade your GoPro footage in LumaFusion on your iPad Pro. I go step by step to get you up and editing in no time. I show you two different methods of color grading and color correcting, both manually and how to import an use GoPro specific Luts by PolarPro.

The equipment I use for mobile editing.

10.5 iPad Pro: https://amzn.to/2JyLSJt
Apple Pencil: https://amzn.to/2JvJUt3
Apple Card Reader: https://amzn.to/2I4McQD
Wireless Hard Drive: https://amzn.to/2KeDWy5

 

Here is a screenshot sample of a video captured in GoPro Flat color profile and then after a GoPro Lut has been applied.

A 4K video sample of GoPro footage shot using the GoPro Flat color profile ProTune.

 

Now here is a sample of a 4K video after a GoPro Lut was applied to the footage in LumaFusion.

 


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Editing Apps: Tips & Tutorials

How To Import Fonts Into LumaFusion on iOS

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In this quick tutorial, I show you how to easily import new fonts into LumaFusion on your iOS devices. LumaFusion has a nice variety of fonts to choose from when editing and creating titles but there are those times when you need a very specific font. Perhaps you are editing a video for a client and they want a font that matches their Logo or corporate font. This easy to follow tutorial demonstrates a few methods of getting new fonts into LumaFusion in seconds for free.

The first method shows you how to use free apps from the Apple App Store to browse different fonts and then import them directly into LumaFusion. The second method shows you how to browse for fonts via the Safari Web Browser and your favorite font website. This sometimes is the best way as there tends to be more variety. Lastly, I show you how to import a font that has been sent to you as a file from a client or a colleague. Watch our tutorial video for step by step instructions.

The equipment I use for mobile editing.

10.5 iPad Pro: https://amzn.to/2JyLSJt
Apple Pencil: https://amzn.to/2JvJUt3
Apple Card Reader: https://amzn.to/2I4McQD
Wireless Hard Drive: https://amzn.to/2KeDWy5
Rode VideoMic Me: https://amzn.to/2r3c9Zm

 


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