WORDS BY LARINE STATHAM
PHOTO ESSAY BY DAVID SHIPTON
We humans have long been obsessed with documenting our world. That obsession has only increased with the rise of social media. We’ve gone from writing in third person to speaking in first person. Story telling has evolved from books, newspapers, the wireless and the box brownie camera to pocket-sized camera phones, selfies, vlogs, GoPro sports videocameras and drones.
Photographer David Shipton is one of many local snappers who has changed his practice from land to air to document important places, people and events across the Wide Bay Burnett Region, without his feet ever leaving the ground.
Drones aren’t just for professional photographers or tech nerds. Dale Winter, owner of the award-winning Camera House store on Bourbong Street, knows first-hand the already wide and ever-growing applications of drone technology and says the craze shows no signs of abating.
“Drones offer a unique perspective; a bird’s-eye-view that has never been easier to capture,” Dale said. “Our customers range from aviation and military enthusiasts to farmers on large cattle stations who want to monitor their troughs and fences over vast distances.”
Drones were previously considered to be out-of-reach for the ordinary Australian. Our only knowledge of drones came from news reports about overseas military strikes. Today, drones are so common place that, in the midst of COVID-19, there was talk of using drones to deliver meals directly to our doors during periods of isolation.
“Governments are using drones to monitor remote infrastructure, like roads, bridges and electricity networks, as well as water levels at river crossings,” Dale said. “Environmental groups and scientists are producing time lapse footage to monitor changes to the land and sea.
“By far one of the best things about drone video and photography is its mesmerising ability to make viewers feel connected to the landscape, enticing them to discover new places. At Camera House, we’re pretty proud to play a part in that wanderlust by providing real advice and support.”