How to Take Pro Quality Travel Photos with a GoPro (TOP 6 GoPro Photography Tips)

So you bought an amazing new GoPro camera for an upcoming holiday but you don’t seem to be able to get your photos to look as good as all the images you see on Instagram?

The good news is all GoPro cameras are capable of producing professional-quality travel photos and once you know how to unleash its power and get the perfect shot you’ll never look at another camera for travel photography.

Let’s look at how to get the most out of your GoPro and take your photos to a professional level with my 6 GoPro photography tips for beginners…

gopro camera on boat

TOP 6 GoPro Photography Tips for Beginners

Use Protune Mode to Take Control of Your GoPro

The first thing you will need to do is switch on ‘Protune’ mode. This unlocks the cameras more advanced settings, giving you greater control over the image it produces.

With Protune switched off, the camera is in charge and will do a pretty good job of capturing your travel moments.

But to get professional level travel photos, switch Protune mode on and adjust the advanced settings with post-production in mind.

You want to have as much information in the image as possible to give you more room to edit the image later without degrading the quality. Don’t worry you don’t have to change every setting but a couple of tweaks can make a huge difference.

Here are my go-to settings when shooting with my Hero 6 Black:

ISO – Keep it Under 800

The ISO helps bring artificial light to your image when conditions are dark but when pushed too high will cause the image to become noisy or grainy, GoPro cameras are underperformers when it comes to low light photography.

Better to shoot with plenty of light (we’ll discuss this below) and keep the ISO as low as possible. This will ensure the best image quality.

Shutter Speed – Get creative with Low Shutter Speeds

To put it simply, high shutter speed will give you sharper images, which is great for capturing action shots or fast-moving subjects.

Low shutter speed will capture more motion blur which can be used to create smooth waterfall photos or light trails.

To produce professional photographs you will need to master both of these settings and know when to use them to get the desired effect.

Color – Shoot Now, Edit Later

I always set the color setting to ‘Flat’ as opposed to ‘GoPro Color’. Switching off the GoPro’s automatic color grading means you are again in control of the final image and can use professional editing software (I’ll explain later) to really make your images stand out.

The ‘Flat’ setting means the image will contain more detail in the highlights and shadows which will prove extremely valuable in editing your photos later.

So your GoPro is ready to shoot, now the fun begins…

How to take pictures with a Gopro:

person holding gopro action camera

Shoot with Plenty of Light

GoPro cameras are tiny, that’s part of what makes them great for travel photography. You can fit it in your pocket and take it everywhere, never missing a moment.

The downside of this portability is the small sensor size, this means GoPro cameras don’t perform well in lowlight conditions.

They do however shoot amazing quality photos in bright conditions so focus on shooting in daylight conditions to get the best out of your camera.


There are the so-called rules of composition which you will have read about such as the rule of thirds and while these rules are definitely worth learning, they are not necessarily worth sticking to.

Any professional travel photo is eye-catching and to be eye-catching your images need to be different.

You could go to the places made famous by Instagram and take the same photo as everyone else but mixing up the composition, and using creative angles will help your images stand out from the crowd.

So don’t be afraid to break a few rules.

Use Time-Lapse to Get the Perfect Moment

The time-lapse function on your GoPro can be used to take continuous images a few seconds apart.

This means you won’t ever have to miss the perfect shot as you can just keep the camera rolling while you find a good angle or follow the action. The time-lapse mode can also be used to take professional-looking self-portraits, just set your camera up and strike a few poses.

You will have dozens of images to choose from and none of them will contain those very unprofessional looking selfie sticks!

You have hundreds of photos from your trip, now what?

Use Professional Editing Software

Using professional photo editing software such as Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom will give you a much better result than the GoPro software or any app on your smartphone.

If you are new to Photoshop it will take some time to get used to but there are thousands of Youtube tutorials out there to guide you through it step by step.

You can start out with more simple edits and work your way up to mastering color science and even creating your own presets to rival Instagram!

Steal Ideas From Others!

Probably the most important of my GoPro travel photography tips for beginners is to steal ideas from others.

When learning any new skill it is always a good idea to see how the professionals are doing it, so scroll Instagram and take note of the compositions, lighting, and angles of some of your favorite photographers.

Then you can practice your skills by emulating these photos and from there start to develop your own style. Think of it more as borrowing than stealing.

Final Thoughts

Those are my 6 GoPro photography tips for beginners and now you are ready to take your GoPro out and snap some amazing travel photos.

GoPro cameras are a powerful tool in a very portable body, and with you in control, they can produce eye-catching, professional quality, travel photography.

What other tips would you add to this list?