Some GoPro cameras are void of a screen, so out of the box there’s no way to actually see what you’re going to be recording. However, with a fish-eye field of view of 170 degrees, the small GoPro lens can capture a huge amount.
So while you might not be entirely sure what it’s capturing, after a couple of sessions with it you should have a pretty good idea.
The key to composing videos with a GoPro camera is understanding that the GoPro will capture exactly what you see. So look forward and point the camera in the same direction, and what you see and what the GoPro sees will be pretty much the same thing.
What you need to take into account is that the GoPro is positioned on a mount which is generally attached directly to or very close to something.
So, for example, if you attach the camera to your bike’s handle bars and point it directly forward it will capture everything directly in front of you with a good amount of sky and ground.
You can check this composition roughly by lowering your nose to the bar and looking in the exact same direction as the lens.
Where things start to get a little tricky is when the camera is positioned at a low or high vantage point. If you have attached the GoPro to the bottom of your forks but keep the direction of the lens pointing directly forward and parallel to the ground, your footage is mostly going to the ground racing past.
In these situations, angling the camera up just slightly will capture more of the sky, your bike and, of course, the action that everyone is interested in and less of the disappearing earth.
If, however, you’re about to jump a double decker bus, then you may want to leave the GoPro in the horizontal position or even tilt it down to capture that world beneath you.
Like shooting stills, compsing videos with a GoPro is just a case of recognising where the most interesting things are in the scene.
Tilting the camera down is common when using Quadcopters, such as the DJI Phantom as really with the footage you want to capture the ground from a high view point and not just the under belly of the craft, propellers and sky.
The position takes a while to master and the Silver and Black versions of the camera both have a super wide option that can be handy when checking composition is impossible.
When you’re starting out the best technique is to practice and it then wont take you too long to understand what is and what isn’t captured.
For those who feel that composition is key and don’t want to leave it luck that the footage will be perfectly framed then there are two options, either the clip on the LCD screen accessory or connect through Wi-Fi (Only available in the Silver or Black versions).