Use Your GoPro Like a Pro
Essential Action Camera Accessories, Picked By a Pro
Capturing not one, but three mountain bikers riding through dense forest, in the middle of the night, has its share of challenges. And Mike Brown, of Sweetgrass Productions, is an expert at tackling these types of challenges. His company produces some of the best action sports films available, despite the array of difficulties on-location shooting provides (especially when dealing with action sports).
“We try to keep things as cinematic as possible, which usually means smooth and buttery camera work from tripods, drones, cable cams, etc.,” Brown said, casually. The Sweetgrass mountain bike film, “Darklight,” required countless cameras, massive generators and 178 light fixtures. Many of these types of shots cannot be achieved with a DSLR or a dedicated video camera, and thus becomes clear the role of the properly mounted action cam.
“Ultimately it’s the story that motivates how things are going to be shot, and sometimes that calls for the use of POV cameras,” Brown said. Sweetgrass uses action cameras strategically, especially in situations when they want to convey a sense of what the athletes are experiencing. Action cams can increase the intensity of experiences or environments, if deployed right. You can’t simply press record and expect professional results.
To get the most out of your action camera, you must deploy the right accessories. And Brown and Sweetgrass keep a keen eye on new gear that comes in the action cam world — particularly mounts. The traditional chest mount is best for mountain biking, while the helmet mount is ideal for skiing and snowboarding. Surfing? Mouth mount (yes, mouth mount). To help you land the perfect shot, we’ve compiled Brown’s favorite GoPro accessories and also tapped our director of motion photography, Sung Han, for additional picks.