Category Archives: Waves

July 20, 2014 Spot Meter

A story I tell over and over again is the one morning I was taking photos at It’s Beach in Santa Cruz with Sammy Garcia and Patrick Bremser. We all had the same GoPro, but when we went to the Taqueria to review photos and have lunch, we immediately accused Sammy of having the GoPro 10, because every single photo of his was sharp, contrasty, and perfectly exposed, while ours were blurry and washed out. When we compared every setting of our GoPros, we noticed that Sammy had Spot Metering on. This would turn out to be the dirty little secret of taking wave photos with GoPros, because it wasn’t on by default! Even with the setting on, you have to pre-expose the camera to the brightest point, right at the sun, and then position it for the shot. I was never used to this as my DSLR would auto expose every single shot during the burst. So the strategy goes: lick, dip, point, shoot, all in a matter of seconds. Even today, Sammy would sometimes produce better results with the GoPro than I could.

This morning was absolutely epic. I went home with hundreds of keepers, and I finally felt I mastered the GoPro. However, I was tired of the GoPro freezing up all the time, randomly going to time lapse mode, realizing that I missed a bunch of shots because of camera error. It was actually this day when I decided to order a water housing for my DSLR.