The GoPro camera is perfect straight out of the box without accessories when shooting at or just below the surface. Suitable subjects are reef seascapes, big animal action, (Sharks, cetaceans, rays, turtles, seals etc) and divers with marine life.
CHALLENGE #1: BAD UNDERWATER COLOR
Topside, the GoPro cameras are a no-brainer for capturing stunning, wide angle, HD footage in good lighting conditions.
Underwater is a much different story, with the camera needing the addition of a red filter when below more than a couple of meters to help correct your images from being all blue or all green.
Every diver has noticed that the underwater environment is one of monochromatic hues rather than distinct colours. Depending on your location, objects will take on a blue or green cast at the expense of all things yellow, orange, red, etc. This is because water acts as a filter of red light. The deeper you dive the more the red spectrum is filtered from the ambient light. You can however, emphasize the existing red light by filtering out the blue spectrum with a red filter.
Go Red! Colour Correction Filters
Our red filters of choice are the Flip3.1 Filters from Backscatter Underwater Video & Photo, made specifically for GoPro Hero3+ and Hero 4. The Flip3.1 features a top flip filter as well as a side flip filter – you choose which filters you want to attach based upon your dive plan: SHALLOW Filter (5-20 feet), DIVE Filter (20-50 feet), DEEP Filter (50 feet+ with excellent visibility), or the greenwater filter for lower visibilty water with a greener cast.
The GoPro cameras perform optimally underwater when they have plenty of light. And since it is an all auto camera with no manual controls, you can’t tell it what white is, making the addition of red colour correction filters absolutely crucial for your footage to pop with colour.
CHALLENGE #2: BLURRY CLOSE-UP PHOTOS & VIDEO
Without corrective optics, GoPro Hero4, Hero3+ & Hero3 cameras can only focus to about 1-2 feet underwater. The custom Macromate Mini design allows you to get within 3 inches of your subject so you can bring the tiny wonders you find to the big screen. If your favourite underwater subjects are about the size of a golf ball, the Macromate Mini is about to become your best friend.
SOLUTION: FLIP +10 CLOSE-UP and/or MACROMATE MINI – PROFESSIONAL GOPRO CLOSE UP and MACRO Lenses.
Fumble Free Flip Design Means You’ll Never Lose Your Lens
When the action is happening, you don’t want to be fumbling with lenses. The flip design gives you one finger access to colour filters and lenses on the same dive without the fear of dropping a lens into the deep. The Macromate Mini threads securely to the aluminium 55mm flip adapter so you can always keep it handy.
The FLIP +10 Close-Up Lens works great for shooting subjects sized from soccer balls down to golf balls that are roughly 8-12 inches from the camera. However, the Macromate Mini brings your focus to about 3 inches allowing you to fill the frame with subjects as small as a golf ball. The frames below were shot with a GoPro Hero3+ and illustrate the difference between the lenses. The scorpion fish head was about the size of a softball. The camera was moved closer to the subject to get the Macromate Mini image. A popular macro configuration is a FLIP3.1 with both a Macromate Mini and +10 Close-Up Lens so we’re ready for all subjects.
Use FLIP Macro Lenses for Stunning Macro Photography
The sample photos below were taken with a GoPro Hero 3+ Black camera. The first image is without lens and the second is with the Macromate Mini.
If solely shooting GoPro without another camera system, mount it to a two handled tray that supports the use of video lights and keeps your image capture stable, like Backscatter’s GoPro Double Handle & Tray.
Two handles provide much needed stability when shooting GoPro underwater. Adding video lights to your GoPro with Flip3.1 colour correction filters will make your video pop with vibrant colour.
Dive 2000 also stocks various adapters to mount GoPro to other underwater camera housings.
Greenwater Wide & Macro
Cold water diving isn’t all about the small critters, large scenes abound too! If you hail from the colder climes, use our recommended configuration for green water wide angle and macro shooting for your GoPro camera and FLIP3.1 filters and accessories. In addition to our Backscatter FLIP3.1 Filter System, we recommend the Backscatter Double Handle & Tray and Video Lights to help light up your footage. Lighting in wide angle scenes dramatically assists the GoPro in acquiring better white balance in camera as well as increasing the contrast of your footage.
TOPSIDE FILTERS – POLARIZER & GRADUATED NEUTRAL DENSITY FILTERS
While we initially designed the FLIP3.1 Filter System for underwater use, we quickly realized that there was a benefit to introducing polarisers and graduated ND filters. In addition to these types of filters, we have also had excellent results using the +10 Close-Up Lens and the Macromate Mini on land.
Backscatter Macro Mate Mini Lens: The lens gives a magnifying effect of +20, a focus distance of just 3” (with the HERO3+/4), a 1” depth of field and has external 55mm threads for attaching other filters. It is supplied with a measuring stick, which is designed to show how close you are to the subject!
GOPRO CAMERAS: HERO 4 range. The Black version features 4K video at 30 fps and 1080p AT 120fps and is controlled via the push button menu system. The Silver version has an integrated touch screen LCD, but only records 4K at 15fps 720p at 120fps.
The cameras ship with a standard waterproof housing that has a depth rating of 131ft. GoPro can supply a specific Dive housing, which is rated to 197ft and has a glass flat port.
DIVE 2000 stocks GoPro cameras, housings and systems plus all the Backscatter accessories to support your GoPro.
DIVE 2000 also stocks a wide range of video lighting, trays and arm sets to suit GoPro.
Our weekend `Beyond the Basics’ photo courses at Nelson Bay also include GoPro shooting tuition and use of filters, lights and accessories.