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Capture those special moments with a GoPro

We all know that vacation snaps are a great way of re-living special moments and experiences shared while you are away. When it comes to capturing those precious moments, particularly on a ski vacation, there’s one clever little device which lets you call the shots and become the next Warren Miller as you create your very own ski movie. Put your hands together for the GoPro.

These small and versatile cameras have taken the world by storm and feature heavily in extreme action sports film-making as well as on TV programs such as Top Gear. We thought it would be fun to provide GoPros in each of our 25 chalets across the Alps, giving our guests the chance to capture their special vacation moments on film. However, you don’t have to be Steven Spielberg to get the best of out these nifty gadgets – they are pretty straightforward to operate as long as you follow some basic steps.

Our top tips for using a GoPro:

1. Get up close and personal
Remember that these cameras have an ultra-wide lens giving a wide field of view, enabling you to capture more of the scene in front of the lens. If you’re trying to film someone on skis, get as close as possible to avoid them being lost in the background – the golden rule is to have the camera no more than a couple of meters away from the center of the action.

2. Use a chest or helmet mount
We provide chest harnesses with the GoPros in our chalets which are fully adjustable and you’ll capture more of your arms, knees, poles and skis when skiing. If you choose to bring your own helmet mount, try and put the mount on the front of the helmet and not directly on the top otherwise you might end up looking like a Teletubby! If you do have it mounted on your helmet, watch out when on the chairlift because when the bar comes down it always clonks the camera. Fold the camera down before getting onto the lift.

3. Be bold and bright
The brighter the clothing the better so make sure your subjects are dressed in their best eye-catching ski wear. If they’re too dark they’ll just fade into the background and be harder to pick out. Red, light blue, orange and yellow are ideal.

4. Switch it off
Don't leave your GoPro running for an entire run. It will be horribly boring to watch, plus it will take forever to download onto your computer, and it will drain your battery quickly. Turn off the wifi as this drains the battery life. Try to look at the terrain ahead and figure out if there is anything worth shooting. Not all ski runs look good on video.

5. Download the GoPro App
Download the GoPro App for free onto your iPhone/Android phone, which lets you control the GoPro through your phone. To connect to the GoPro ensure that the wifi is turned on with the blue light flashing, then search for the camera’s wifi name. Once connected, open the GoPro App and click on ‘connect to camera’ which gives you remote control of the camera and a live preview.

6. Do your homework
It definitely pays to do some background reading so you get to grips with the basics before you head out on location. A full user manual is available for all guests on our chalet iPads in iBooks.

7. Shoot from the hip
Don’t forget that the GoPro is not just a video camera, you can set it to take a photo every second, 10 seconds or 60 seconds. We all know what it’s like trying to capture that perfect group of family portrait in one click. With the GoPro you can switch it onto timelapse mode as you pretend there is some incredible sight to look at and the camera merrily snaps away. Invariably you’ll end up with a perfect ‘natural’ shot. Or better still, you’ll capture a funny moment you would never have got otherwise. You can then drop any of the ‘stills’ into your final video.

8. Panorama ‘selfies’
Everyone loves a ‘selfie’ and this can look great on video too. Just hold the GoPro out pointing back at yourself and slowly pan around in a circle. You can do this in time lapse mode as well, and if you are good with photoshop you could make a 360 degree image.

9. Choose some great music
Consider the music you might like to use with your final video. Putting your footage together with a great soundtrack will make a world of difference and can really make the film incredibly emotive.

10. Sit back and watch the show
Our chalet staff will supply you with a memory card (small fee) and help you get set up before you head off ‘on location.’ In the evenings you can gather round the TV in the chalet with a glass of something, plug the GoPro into the TV and re-live those moments together.

And cut! That’s a wrap!

Happy Filmmaking.

Call us on (858) 523-9000 to start planning your vacation

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