Petr Jan Juračka is a professional science photographer, based at Faculty of Science, Charles University in Prague in the Czech Republic. Every day, he takes on the challenge of taking shots of various objects, from really small microorganisms to aerial shots of large areas. In the latter case, he decided to build an amazing tool—a quadcopter. Petr is much more a photographer than engineer, so he improvised in the creation of his quadcopter. Still, he’s been really satisfied with his unique “GorillaQuad”. Using his invention he can capture very professional (and strikingly beautiful!) aerial images on very low budget. Check it out and get inspired!
Quadcopters are becoming really popular these days. Their prices are falling strongly down and you can see them flying over almost every big sports events. The bird’s eye view is an attractive perspective, showing simply more. Although it looks easy, flying with these drones for shooting is very demanding activity and requires a lot of training.
“I decided to buy a quad and supposed it will be another accessory, just easy way how take shots from above…” Petr says. “However, it was much more challenging than I ever thought. I got injured during the first fly, the quad fall down and broke many times. Moreover, I was disappointed with the image I got from the small sport camera on the board. For the stills, I wanted to rebuild my quad into something bigger holding advanced compact camera shooting in RAW. Gorillapods were my choice, as I was used to using them for other types of photography before. GorillaPods make really easy to rotate my camera as I wish, and it is easy to fold up my quad for traveling. Other professional photographers might might make fun of how it looks, but they have to admit it works.”
Petr’s GorrilaQuad consists of the quad (Czech DIY frame, cheap Chinese electronics, propellers from US) and two gorillapods – one serves as quad foots, second holds a camera. Their weight is 270 & 30 grams, what is just acceptable for flying – GorillaQuad can still fly about 5 minutes per battery, which is enough time to take breathtaking stills from the air.
“It is quite new solution for me, we constructed that in my favorite camera shop last week. So these images are really first shots I took using gorillas on my quad, but hopefully not last. I really, really like it!”, Petr adds.