“I watched in amazement as images appeared on the blank photographic paper as Dad would dip the sheets from one chemical bath to another. The whole darkroom process was intriguing, and I can still remember the feelings of awe and excitement that would come over me when the picture magically appeared.”
And so began David Shipper’s interest in photography. As a child, he would hang out with his father in the home darkroom watching his dad as he developed film and made prints.
Following in his father’s footsteps, David loves taking pictures and that love seems to run in the family. His sister and brother are both excellent photographers and even his youngest son seems to have inherited the trait, leading David to joke that perhaps this phenomenon is a result of his father’s exposure to darkroom chemicals.
Growing up in Hot Springs, Arkansas, David spent countless hours hiking, canoeing, hunting and fishing in the Zigzag Range of the Ouachita Mountains. Through these youthful adventures, he developed a deep appreciation and respect for the environment and wildlife. As a result, David chose to pursue a career outdoors and received a degree in Wildlife Conservation from Louisiana Tech University.
David and his wife, Leigh, moved to Beaufort in 1983 and immediately fell in love with the area. With the Lowcountry’s abundant wildlife and breathtaking scenery providing endless inspiration, David’s interest in photography naturally gravitated towards his other passions: nature, wildlife and the outdoors. It was his mother’s love of hummingbirds however, that spurred his special interest in bird photography. David can often be found exploring one of the many local wildlife management areas in search of his next great photographic opportunity.
Although the darkroom has been replaced by a computer and film by a memory card, David still gets that same smile on his face developing a digital image as he did in the darkroom with his dad so many years ago. Drawing from his experience with film, David’s approach to bird and wildlife photography is to capture the moment with the camera, not create it in the computer. His patience, perseverance and attention to detail is evident in his work and he gets great pleasure creating the perfect photograph that captures the art in nature.
In Beaufort, David’s work is shown exclusively at Thibault Gallery, voted best art gallery in Beaufort. David will be at the gallery November 7 for First Friday After Five to meet customers, and he would love to show his work to all who come to the gallery that night. Stop by and see his “wild” works of art!
Also, this month for the First Friday After Five is themed “A Night of Giving”. Each business will be sponsoring a non-profit. Thibault Gallery will be sponsoring HELP of Beaufort. They are in need of canned soup so people to bring in canned soup throughout the month of November.