Essie and the GoPro

Diving the Kittiwake wreck with my GoPro on Grand Cayman.
Diving the Kittiwake wreck with my GoPro on Grand Cayman.

If you’re a fan of travel photography and video then I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how amazing those little GoPro cameras are. You can wear them on your head, your chest, the handlebars of your bike, even your surf board to capture action and adventure in amazing never before seen ways. My favorite feature of the GoPro is its time-lapse capabilities and I never tire of capturing sunrisessunsets and fireworks. I’ve taken my GoPro Hero 3 on all of my travels over the past two years, from diving in Grand Cayman to hot air ballooning in Cappadocia and I’m constantly surprised by what it can capture.

Essie models the GoPro Fetch Dog Harness
Essie models the GoPro Fetch Dog Harness

I was pretty excited when GoPro introduced the GoPro Fetch Dog Harness and couldn’t get it on my dog, Essie, fast enough. It has two camera mounts, on the top by your dog’s shoulders and on their chest and I had big plans to put it to the test with my extremely active land and water dog.

To be honest, at first I was a bit disappointed with the GoPro Fetch Dog Harness. While it fit Essie quite well (she’s about 50 lbs) and even stayed more or less secure on her shoulders (but flopped around crazily on her chest) while she ran after tennis balls and leapt in the air, the video was pretty awful. As one would imagine it was bumpy and unsteady – not unlike wearing the camera on your head and running around. There were a couple of cute clips as Essie stood still, waiting for my 4-year-old niece to throw her the ball but I still found the video aspect lacking.

So I changed my GoPro from video mode to time-lapse mode and set it to take a photo every 3 seconds. While there were many nothing images to sift through I was pretty happy with about 5% of the images gathered over a 5 minute fetch session.

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Stil, at the end of the day, by far my favorite photos of Essie and the GoPro are the ones that I took of her swimming. Again, I set the camera to take a photo every 3 seconds and stood in about chest deep water as I threw a tennis ball and Essie swam back and forth. I used my waterproof scuba diving stick to hold the camera to ensure that my hands wouldn’t be on the edges of the images. The crispness and the colors are amazing and I love how these photos show off Essie’s athleticism and her two favorite things: tennis balls and Lake Charlevoix.

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My verdict? Forgo the GoPro Fetch Dog Harness and opt instead for a freshwater lake, a scuba stick and a warm day.

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