Aerial Media Gladstone


Auckland Point Ship Loader Deconstruction – Gladstone Ports Corporation

Gladstone Ports Corporation contacted us with an interesting project, to capture the de-construction of two two large ship loaders on Auckland Point Wharf. A project which could take up to six months. Removal of the Ship Loaders and eventually the Gantry Structure is all part of the East Shores upgrade, which will include modifications to allow larger Cruise Ships to visit Gladstone. A project worth over seven million dollars.


We had been developing some long term time lapse camera systems for a while and this was the perfect opportunity to get one out in the field. Planning to record a time lapse for up to six months is much more complex than sticking a camera on a tripod to capture a sunset. Several factors must be considered such as: access to the site, location and view from camera, type of camera, battery power, exposure to elements, photo frequency, data storage and hours of work.

The system we developed uses an external battery and monitoring system, and kept fully charged by a solar panel and regulator. The time lapse period was going to be over Summer and although the camera was protected from the elements inside a box, we added a temperature controlled fan to provide cooling if it got too hot inside.

We captured the removal of the first ship loader from a walkway on the second ship loader. This second ship loader was then wheeled into the same position to be removed. Most of this action was collected from on top of a large concrete block.



We captured up to 300 photos per day, 1800 per week, and almost 8000 per month.

In the months from September through to December, work on the Ship Loaders paused many times so Auckland point could be set up for visiting Cruise Ships. We used this opportunity to capture the Ships arriving and departing as well.


The Cruise Ship time lapse video can be seen HERE

We also created a video to show to midway progress of the ship loader removal HERE

We checked on the time lapse many times throughout the project. Most of the times we visited were outside work hours, so as not to interrupt the guys from Extreme Engineering. This meant we got to see some pretty impressive sunrises and sunsets from the Auckland Point wharf. Looking out over the harbour, watching all sorts of vessels come and go.


Eventually work was completed and both Ship Loaders were completely disassembled and removed. Our time lapse camera was there for just over 5 months to successfully record all the action. The camera housing did a great job at protecting the equipment inside from months of extreme weather such as scorching hot days, strong wind, salt water spray, grinding dust, oxy cutting slag, rain and storms.


Processing that many photos was another mission in itself. We had almost half a Terra-bite of data to sort, edit and develop into a short time lapse video. This took many days to complete.

The finished product can be seen HERE

We’ve continued to develop our time lapse systems to include remote monitoring. This basically means some or all of the photos recorded by our time lapse camera get uploaded to a remote viewing platform so the client can view live updates from anywhere in the world. See some examples below.

If you’d like to capture the progress of your project with a time lapse and/or remote monitoring, please get in touch with us.

Aerial Media Gladstone – or 0400500274

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Boyne Island Environmental Education Centre – Promotional Video

When the Boyne Island Environmental Education Centre (BIEEC) contacted us to discuss the creation of a promotional video for their centre, we felt very privileged. BIEEC facilitate a wide variety of science based learning activities beyond the capacity of the classroom. If you grew up around the Gladstone region there’s a high chance you’ve visited the centre yourselves, perhaps even camped there.

As we discussed the amount of activities BIEEC wanted to include in the video, we realised this wasn’t going to be a quick task. Some of the activities such as High Ropes, Bush Cooking, Team Building and Problem Solving activities were easy enough, as they were held regularly at the centre itself in Boyne Island.


A large amount of activities are held on location around the scenic Boyne Island / Tannum Sands and the greater Gladstone region. Some of these include Bike Riding, Raft Building and Testing, Surf Awareness and Rescue, Canoeing, Mangrove Walks, even camping on North West Island.


We began scheduling in as many activities as we could within the weather, tides and other work commitments. We not only had to plan and execute drone operations but also capture the action on the ground, as well as conduct interviews to tie the whole video together.

We even got to spend an incredible day following a class around Facing Island.


It took over six months to collect and edit all the footage required to produce a video showcasing what the Centre had to offer.

We thoroughly enjoyed experiencing these adventures alongside the staff and kids. It was a real pleasure to deliver this project to the BIEEC team.

Check out the video here:


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Rio Tinto Yarwun – 15 Year Operation Celebration

Rio Tinto Yarwun contacted us with an aerial media request for their three sites just north of Gladstone. The media was to be used for celebrating 15 years of operation at those sites.

The brief was simple, collect what you can from outside the site boundaries. This reduced the complexity of arranging drone operations on site, on a normal work day with normal operations occurring, in such a short amount of time. Luckily our Inspire 2 has a range of lenses we can use to get wide shots and close ups while maintaining safe distances from the plant and people.

The first and most difficult location was the wharf at Fisherman’s Landing. This task required us to carry out operations from the water. We had to consider the wind, tides, weather, as well as shipping schedules to ensure there was both a Bauxite Ship and an Alumina ship berthed at the same time. On top of CASA’s drone safety rules and our operating procedures, we also had to comply with local Land and Waterside Restricted Zones for terminal security. With permissions in place the MV AMG was called on for the scenic trip up the harbour. The water was choppier than expected, but with my experienced first mate at the helm (or tiller) we safely launched and landed three flights to complete the mission.

The second location was the Refinery itself. After touching base with site security we performed several flights on the Eastern and Western boundaries. We used several lens options with different lengths of zoom to complement the wider shots. Smaller drones can and do capture brilliant footage, but the view from their standard wide angle lenses can get repetitive. At this same location we were also asked to collect some night photos and video. We used this opportunity to collect some golden hour shots as well.



The final location was the red mud dam at Yarwun. We found a safe launch site where we could view the plant equipment as well as the vast dam itself. Here we had a large wedge tailed eagle stalk our drone for a few minutes which kept the Spotter on her toes.


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Boyne Smelter – Photo and Video Shoot

Local business Photopia contacted us to assist them in a Boyne Smelter (BSL) photo and video shoot. The goal was to capture the journey, from major power consumer to aluminium exporter. We identified some serious hazard concerns with some of areas we were required to fly such as HV Towers and power lines, large compass altering magnetic fields, hot stack plumes and large sea and wedge tailed eagles. If there was a job that would threaten our incident free track record, this would be it. With personnel safety being the biggest concern we planned these flights before hand and even held a meeting to discuss the operations with the BSL safety department prior to the operation.

The Smelter itself is positioned right on the coast in Boyne Island just south of Gladstone. A long conveyor belt provides it with Alumina from Queensland Alumina Limited (QAL) which is situated in Gladstone itself. The final product is billet aluminium which is transported down a long road to the wharf, where it is loaded onto a ship for export.


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Gladstone Area Water Board – Photo Collection

We were contacted by the Gladstone Area Water Board to collect some ‘up to date’ photos of some of their infrastructure which included the new Offline Water Storage Facility as well as Awoonga Dam. As always we performed a Job Safety and Feasibility Assessment to ensure the request could be carried out safely and the shoot was planned for a upcoming beautiful winters day.

The first stop was the Offline Water Storage Facility at Toolooa Bends. This new dam was created as a buffer for Gladstone’s water supply, so the main pumps up at Lake Awoonga could get some long overdue maintenance. It’s actually quite a scenic view and not many people know its there, even when they drive past it everyday.


Next stop was Awoonga Dam itself. We thought it would be smarter and safer to carry out these flights from our tinny, as we could capture several locations without having to pack up and move every time to maintain a visual line of sight. Although there was a little wind, the water was still beautiful and surprisingly there weren’t many people out that day enjoying one of Gladstone’s spectacular assets.


We captured the boat ramp, picnic huts and main picnic/swimming area, then headed across the lake itself to a secluded island for some more photos. The wildlife over here was amazing, a bird watchers paradise (and fisherman’s).


Then we took the boat back and captured the dam wall from safe locations at the lookouts. The water level of the dam is the lowest it’s been in many years due to a few poor wet seasons. Great for barramundi fisherman though.


After delivering the media to the Gladstone Area Water Board, we were delighted to receive the following feedback a few weeks later.


“We’ve received some excellent feedback regarding the new images you recently captured for GAWB.

Consensus is that they are outstanding!

So I just wanted to say thank you for capturing such great images for us, with very little guidance from myself.

The attached image is our selection for the front cover our Annual Report. We love it because it illustrates both the dam wall and our recreational facilities.

I look forward to working with you again in the future”


Thanks for the opportunity GAWB!!


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Mt Larcom Show – Chainsaw Racing

The organiser of the Mt Larcom show chainsaw racing approached us back in April with a problem. This year’s Mt Larcom show was hosting the 2019 National Chainsaw Racing titles. This event was sponsored by Santos and Husqvarna and would include participants from all over the country. Up to six competitors at a time race their modified chainsaws to see who can cut three full discs from large diameter timber blocks the quickest. What he needed was an innovative way to record each race so the footage could be replayed if required to assist the three on site judges to determine the outcome. We agreed that the most cost effective solution would be to set up a GoPro attached to a tripod at either end of the six blocks. The GoPro’s could be controlled remotely and  would feedback back to an Ipad where footage could be replayed from each race, in slow motion if required.

Aerial Media Gladstone agreed to man the cameras while recording extra footage to use in a Nation Titles promotional video.

On day 1 we recorded 33 block races and 3 post rip races. 36 races in total with two video files from each race. The video resolution we recorded at meant the files were coming in at around 700mB – 1GB each!!! And because these guys were racing for sheep stations, at least 1/3 of all races required a replay from the video ref. In 6 examples the ipad quality simply wasn’t enough and we had to retire to the bunker where our laptop was waiting to import the video into our editing program to zoom right in a slow down the footage frame by frame until we had a clear result. Talk about neck and neck.

Check out a few of the close calls:

On day 2 we recorded 49 block races and 5 post rip races. By the end of the weekend (including our handheld and drone footage) we’d collected almost 200GB of video data.

Working in and around this intense sport created a few close calls. The camera tripod copped a few blows from runaway discs, starting flags and ricocheting wedges but all in all it was a successful event and the rightful winners walked away with pockets full of cash prizes, championship jackets and brand new chainsaws. What an exciting weekend!!

Here is our video wrap up of the event: