As photography nerds, we’ve spent the last couple of years enduring severe neck strain and overweight luggage fines in order to travel with our extensive DSLR collection. Being the sort of travellers who like to wander around a city, quietly snapping photos, we’ve never felt much affinity to the energetic GoPro brand; famed for its extreme photos of adrenaline junkies hurtling down ski slopes.
In fact, we’ve found the GoPro brand quite intimidating. Why? Because the extent of our exercise whilst travelling is to climb up a clock tower. GoPro users, on the other hand, not only climb up clock towers but also jump off them – back-flip included. So, when an email landed in our inbox inviting us to Majorca to trial the new GoPro Hero5, we were a little confused.
Us? Surely there had been a mistake. This was like a member of the school science club being invited to play on the football team with all the cool kids. However, after double checking that they did in fact mean to invite us and now slightly curious about the new Hero5, we took a deep breath and said ‘yes’.
It was this ‘yes’ that would turn out to be a game changer for our travel photography.
Fast forward 3 weeks and we touched down on the sunny island of Majorca, where we were taken to our villa for the next few days. Knocking on the villa door, we were both incredibly nervous about who we were about to meet. Yet, we needn’t have worried as we were met by two lovely girls who would become our closest friends on the trip. Admittedly, both were huge over-achievers: Malin, a female pilot and yoga extrodinaire and Ida, a wake-boarding medical student. However, despite their many talents, both were so welcoming and put us at ease straight away. This too was their first GoPro ‘family outing’ and so we quickly bonded over our trepidation of what was to come.
Evening came and it was time to catch the shuttle bus to the GoPro Finca for a welcome dinner. Walking into reception, to wait for our ride, we were met by the rest of our new GoPro family – and what a lovely bunch they were. Our family was made up of the Middle Eastern and Scandinavian contingency, and it was truly inspirational to meet so many people who shared our passion for travel. Finally – we had found fellow travel nerds who also wanted to discuss their favourite airports, without silently dying of boredom inside.
Our welcome dinner at GoPro Finca was overwhelming; a truly ‘pinch me’ moment. We couldn’t quite believe that we were there with so many talented individuals in the most beautiful villa, complete with delicious food and the friendly GoPro team. Over plenty of glasses of sangria, we chatted to our new family and any worries that we had about not fitting in with the ‘typical’ GoPro users quickly dissolved. Sure, there were some crazy-talented skiers and snowboarders in residence, but there were also beauty vloggers, a Dubai TV host, traditional photographers, airline pilots and cabin crew. We were beginning to realise that the GoPro family was far more diverse than we initially thought.
The next morning, we headed back to GoPro Finca for a workshop, where we would finally get our hands on the new GoPro Hero5 and have a chance to try out the eagerly anticipated GoPro Karma Drone. We were given a thorough presentation regarding the new Hero5 and the way in which it is streaks ahead of the previous models. With voice command, WDR (GoPro’s version of HDR), the ability to turn off the fish-eye lens and 4k technology, the new GoPro was offering the more traditional ‘photographers’ like ourselves something to get truly excited about.
And the drone? Well, it was amazing. Small and compact, it can easily fit inside your backpack and is easy to use, even for people like us who struggle with our basic ‘left’ and ‘right’. We are already saving up to buy it when it is released early next year.
A quick play in the pool and a delicious lunch later, it was time for our first family activity, where we could truly start to get to grips with the new Hero5. We were off on a catamaran for an afternoon of fun in the turquoise sea. Arriving at Palma harbour, we were met by the private boat, ready to take us around the coast of the island. The sun was shining, there was plenty of fizzy to hand and we were beside ourselves with excitement.
Waterproof and light as a feather, the new Hero5 was ridiculously easy to use in the sea and we had a blissful few hours paddle boarding, snorkelling and exploring glistening coves and caves. Our favourite photo was captured using a dome attachment, which allows for the increasingly popular ‘half-under-water’ shot. It’s hard to believe that this was captured on such a small piece of equipment, only proving further how truly adaptable and versatile GoPros are.
After plenty of vitamin sea, we were treated to a beautiful sunset as we made our way back to shore with salty hair and bronzed skin. We enjoyed a dinner together along the Palma Harbour where we compared photos from the day and learned more about our new family. Our highlight was the Swedish lesson we were given by the amazing Wilma and Emil. Thanks to them, we can now say ‘mini pig’ in Swedish (if anyone needs to know).
It was a perfect day.
The next morning it was time for a vespa tour of the island! After a quick go on one, we decided the roads of Majorca weren’t quite ready for us (wobbly is an understatement) so we hopped on the back of the vespas belonging to our guides. Much to our surprise, we found that we had inadvertently met one of our biggest fans (I think we have three fans in the world; two of whom are our parents). Laura’s vespa driver follows us on Instagram and actually enjoys our photography – hurray! After our ride, we all had a selfie together (we still feel bad that he had to meet us like that – his dreams crushed by the reality that we are in fact two fluffy haired twins, far too anxious to ride a vespa alone).
After an hour of zooming along the quiet roads of the island, capturing plenty of fun footage on our Hero 5s, we stopped at a beautiful spot on the island to take in the views and enjoy some drinks on the beach. Looking back through our footage and videos, we realised that using a GoPro was allowing us to be far more adventurous with our photography. With every mount you could imagine, we could stick our GoPros to our wrists, feet, to the side of the vespas, to our chests and high above us on extendable poles. Trying to do that with a bulky DSLR, on the back of a fast moving vespa, would most definitely have ended in tears – or a severe injury.
Later that afternoon, we had some time to finally take a real look at the footage we had captured over the last 24 hours. We were so excited by the results.
Our final night with our GoPro family was another beautiful dinner at the Finca, where the end of the trip was celebrated with a delicious cake and a poolside party. Delirious from happiness but also sheer exhaustion, we partied away with our new friends, and of course, recorded our expert dance moves on our little GoPros.
Verdict? Our 72 hours with GoPro, learning to use the new Hero5, has proven to be a game changer for our photography. The GoPro brand is not just for adventure sports or people who enjoy diving off cliffs. It’s also for people just like us, who enjoy capturing the simple moments whilst they travel. The only difference to using a typical DSLR camera is that the Hero5 allows us to add more creativity and ‘fun’ to our shots. Small, waterproof and adaptable to almost any position, the GoPro allows you to create unique photography and video that bulky cameras simply cannot. Of course, there will always be a time and place for our DSLR collection, but the GoPro will most certainly be a key part of our photography from now on.
We are complete converts. Here’s a video to prove it!
Thank you so, so much to GoPro Europe for inviting us to Majorca and for welcoming us into the GoPro Family!