Want to learn how to use a selfie stick for better animal photos?
But first, here are some of the animal shots we got on our last Galapagos trip. As you watch the video – remember that GoPro cameras don't have a zoom. The animals are actually closer than they appear in the video. A few of them even intentionally bump the lens with their head – or flipper.
How to Use a Selfie Stick: Better Animal Photos
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How to Use a Selfie Stick for Better Animal Photos
To get better animal photos, you need to use a selfie stick. Here's why:
- Fishing Lure: The shiny silver GoPro case acts just like a fishing lure. As it moves, it catches the light and this catches the eye of nearby animals. As long as they are not feeling threatened, many will approach to check it out.
- Creates More Distance: By adding an additional 3-5 feet in distance between you and the camera, many animals feel comfortable to approach. It is surprising how much difference 3 feet makes.
- Reach: The selfie stick will put your camera into places that you can't (or won't) put your arm. I've shot reef sharks in an underwater cave and crabs under beach rocks. In both cases, I wouldn't have felt very comfortable with stuffing my arm into those openings. The selfie stick helped me get those shots – without feeding the wildlife.
I should note that shooting animal photos in the Galapagos is unique. Because most of the islands are National Park, the animals roam freely and have become accustomed to being around humans. Most are surprisingly unafraid. But the selfie stick has improved my animal photography in other places too. See some examples at the bottom of the post.
Because the GoPro camera doesn't have a zoom, the camera needs to get close, very close, to the animal. And animals are a favorite subject for me. See more photos and videos of GoPro animals.
More reading: How to use GoPro underwater
GoPro + Selfie Stick: Galapagos Animal Shots
Using the GoPro and Selfie Stick in the Galapagos
Here are a few shots of me using the camera on the selfie stick.
How We Used a Selfie Stick to Shoot Other Animals
Besides the Galapagos animals, we've had good success shooting animals with the GoPro on a selfie stick. Here are some of my favorite experiences:
- Blanding's Turtle: This is an endangered turtle species and he was very inquisitive of the camera.
- Camel at a Local Zoo: When I put the camera to the enclosure, he came right over to see and sniff it. He even gave it a little taste.
- Flock of Seagulls: Nothing endangered or unusual about these birds. But you need to see how they used the sea breeze to eat the bread we brought them.
What Selfie Stick Is Best?
We have a couple of different models. And each has its use. Here's what you need to know:
XShot Camera Extender: This is the first selfie stick I bought – and I still have it. I used it to shoot all the images on this page.
It extends from 6.5″ (16.5cm) to 30.5″ (77.5cm).
You'll need the GoPro tripod mount ($6.50) to attach the camera to this selfie stick. This is the most compact, quality selfie stick that I've seen. And it's small enough to fit in your pocket.
This extend pole is a must for your gear bag.
OCC Pole: I bought this extend pole because of its length. It extends from 16″ (40cm) to 40″ (101cm). And it's more sturdy than the XShot.
It will even support a DSLR (but you need to be careful). It comes with the GoPro tripod mount and a smartphone grip.
This is a great selfie stick – but it won't fit in your pocket.
Have a great animal photo or video? How do you get great animal photos? Please share in the comments.