Here are my top 5 favorite GoPro Mounts and Accessories for travel and adventure photography.
If you are looking for a super simple way to capture water sports, time lapses or just have a different perspective for your images and videos, read on…
My personal GoPro journey started when I got the GoPro Hero 2 in 2011.
My husband, Andrew and I were starting to get more and more into scuba diving and I wanted to have an easy way to capture what we were seeing underwater. Of course, I could have gotten a housing for my DSLR camera, but it wasn’t really something I wanted to invest that much money in. In order to get quality housing for the camera, it had to cost as much as your actual camera. We don’t live near a beach so I was skeptical to pay thousands of dollars for something I could only use one or two times a year.
Plus who has time to mess with lighting, flashes, and settings when you’re just trying to scuba diving for fun. All the fishes would have swum away by the time you had your focusing correct.
So as an alternative I always had an underwater point and shoot cameras that lasted half a year. Or I would buy a separate underwater housing for point and shoot cameras. Even then the cameras never lasted as long as I thought they should have since they had been underwater. So that was reason number 2 why I didn’t want to risk the same thing with my DSLR camera.
But when the GoPro first came out, I remember being amazed. This tiny camera fits in the palm of my hand, it takes amazing pictures, AND I could take it underwater! Slap on an underwater housing with the red filter (to neutralize the color) and my underwater images were AMAZING! I was hooked ever since. Unfortunately, I can’t find any of those images of those early on videos. If I happen to stumble upon them one day, I’ll update this post. But this is not to say the quality of images will be the same as a DSLR camera underwater. This was just the easiest, solution for me. The DSLR images will be far superior.
I loved having a small adventure camera to go underwater or carry around with me and not worry about dropping or messing it up. Just the way that they are built they seem so rugged that can take falls, scrapes or pretty much anything you throw at it. Perfect to take anywhere if you just want to throw it in your backpack quickly.
Since the evolution of the GoPro cameras, you don’t even particularly need underwater housing anymore. The GoPro is waterproof and as long as you’re staying above 33 ft (10m), you should be good to go without any kind of underwater housing. But with housing, you can go down to 196ft!
The best part about GoPro cameras is all the different mounts and accessories that go along with the camera. OMG, the possibilities are endless and SO MUCH FUN.
I may have had the GoPro Hero 3 as well. Now I’m at the GoPro Hero 5 Black. I love this little camera.
So with all my adventure camera experience, here are my favorite mounts and accessories that I have used to capture some of my favorite travel images and videos:
Side note: In my opinion, I would skip out on the Accessory Kits you see on Amazon. There’s just so much in them and I’m pretty sure you won’t even end up using half of the screws and mounts that you get with them. It will just end up as a pile in your closet.
After using your camera a few times, you’ll get an idea of what kind of images you’ll want to capture and just purchase those mounts or straps that will help you accomplish that idea.
You may feel a little ridiculous walking around with this thing on your head but the unique perspective is my favorite part. I love how it keeps you hands-free PLUS you can include your hands in the shot. That way your viewer can see exactly what you’re doing. Perfect for any kind of tutorial videos or just giving your viewer a little more personal view of what it’s like being at your travel location. I used to use this strap a lot when we were scuba diving but now I use it for fun photo walks or on long hikes in mountains.
Here’s a video example of what it’s like with the head strap perspective. Start at 0:44.
GoPro Fetch Dog Harness
What’s better than getting your best friend involved in your photography? In this case, I strapped on the Fetch Dog Harness onto Frankie and went to our usual dog park to see things from his perspective. I love watching his little ears flap around as he’s running around. If you’re a dog owner or even a dog lover like me, you’re going to LOVE this mount. He was the hit of the dog park that day!
At the time, Frankie was a little bit under the 15lb recommendation. He was probably around 13lb when we filmed this. It ended up being ok but the straps were a little too long. I solved the problem just by rolling them in and using a rubber band to secure them so they wouldn’t get in the way of his walking/running.
Warning: There may or may not be some butt sniffing shown in this video.
For this mount, I decided to skip out on the official GoPro mount and just got the one made by Amazon. It’s still a great product for less than half the cost of the official GoPro mount. I love it for any casual beach/ocean adventures, especially if there are big waves. Just in case the water splashes you off your feet, this hand grip is bright yellow so its easy to spot and will float above water so it will be difficult to lose it. There’s also a wrist strap for extra security.
Although I didn’t exactly need the hand grip to capture this image, it made it a whole lot easier to hold the camera. The GoPro is just so small that adding the handgrip just makes composing the image and keeping track of the camera so much easier.
Fifty/Fifty Dome by PolarPro
If I had to pick my number one GoPro accessory, it will have to be this dome. I’m in love with the images I am able to capture with it. I feel like I stepped up my beach imagery skills by 10 points with this dome! It’s the only way to capture these over/underwater images and it’s just so interesting to see both layers in one image. Something that’s hard to picture with your naked eye.
I will say tilting your dome in different directions will give you completely different perspectives. The image below is about 50/50 above and below water. Tilting it up will give you more sky when there isn’t much going on underwater. So conversely, when you want your main subject to be what’s underneath the water line, tilting it downward will allow more of it in the frame. So playing with your dome in a swimming pool or something before you go to the beach will probably give you a better idea of what your images will look like before your vacation.
But my biggest tip with this dome is to try to keep it clean. Water spots can be distracting when you’re trying to capture a clean image. So before you use the dome for underwater for the first time, try wiping it down with a little Rain-X. It will help keep the water spots away. Also, beach locations can be very humid. If your lens or dome happens to fog up, leave it out in the humidity for a little bit longer before actually using it. It’s best to just let it clear up on its own without wiping it, or else it will just come right back. And last but not least, rinse it off with clean tap water as soon as you’re done for the day and let it air dry. This will also help keep your dome clean.
It’s good practice to rinse off your camera as well. No need for it to keep it soaking in salt water. It leaves the camera sticky and eventually, the bottons will be harder to press.
And for my last recommendation, I went back to basics. You can’t go wrong with a GoPro tripod. Set up your tripod for a selfie or even a timelapse. Set it and forget it. It’s pretty sturdy for most occasions. I wouldn’t try to balance it on a log on a windy day though.
If you’re looking for additional security, I would check out the Joby Gorillapod. It’s pretty cool how you can wrap the legs around something. But in my personal experience, once you twist and turn the Gorillapod legs a lot, it’s pretty difficult to get it back into the original, sturdy condition. Just a little warning.
But in all honesty, there have been more times than not that I wish I had a tripod. It just makes life so much easier to have a simple stick on the camera. And when you’re not using it as a tripod, it can make for a great selfie stick as well. Plus this thing is so light, it really doesn’t take up much more room in your backpack.
Start the video at 1:05 to see an example of using the tripod for a timelapse.
And just for fun here’s a video I created YEARRSSSS ago. In 2014 we took a trip to Turks and Caicos and I only used my GoPro to capture this video. It was just so easy to use when all you’re trying to do is just relax on the beach.
And of course, all these mounts and accessories would be useless if you didn’t have a GoPro camera. Click here to check out the latest GoPro Hero on Amazon:
- Hypersmooth video stabilization get gimbal like stabilization without the gimbal; Hero7 black predicts your movements and corrects for camera shake to deliver insanely smooth footage
- Time warp video capture super stabilized time lapse videos while you move about a scene; Increase the speed up to 30x to turn longer activities into shareable moments
- Super photo: get the best photos automatically; with super photo, Hero7 black intelligently applies hdr, local tone mapping or noise reduction to optimize your shots
- Rugged + waterproof: Share experiences you can’t capture with your phone; Hero7 black is rugged, waterproof without a housing to 33 feet (10 meter) and up for any adventure
- Voice control: Stay in the moment; Control your Hero7 black hands free with voice commands like 'GoPro, take a photo' and 'GoPro, start recording
All in all, the GoPro is a fun camera! If you love being outdoors and exploring you need to get one. It’s so lightweight and with all the mounts, you can get some really creative images. I hate to be so cliche but the possibilities are endless.
I personally love it for underwater adventures and images but as you can see, it can be used for so much more than just that:
Strap it onto a helmet and go for a bike ride. Mount one on the hood of your car and go for on a long car trip. Even strap a GoPro to your chest and play a fun game of football with your friends. *I have all these mounts as well and they are all great. I just don’t use it as much as I use the ones I’ve listed above.
I know this post has only touched on a little bit of what you can do with the GoPro Hero cameras. If you have a favorite mount or accessory that I haven’t mentioned, please leave it in the comments below. If you have one of these mounts or straps, leave me a link to your image or video. I’d love to see what you have created as well. And as always, if you have any other questions about GoPro cameras, accessories, and mounts, feel free to leave that in the comments below as well. I’ll try my best to answer them.
I hope you have a great time with your GoPro. Happy Snapping!