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Daisy Gilardini

Nikon Ambassador Switzerland, CanGeo photographer in residence Ambassador for Greenpeace, Nikon, Gitzo, Lowepro, SanDisk, WD, Eizo @natgeotravel


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Daisy Gilardini (@daisygilardini) Instagram photos and videos

List of Instagram medias taken by Daisy Gilardini (@daisygilardini)

Chobe National Park

Photo by @daisygilardini | In many cultures, lotuses and water lilies are symbols of enlightenment, purity and delight. One of the main reasons for such reverence is the way these plants grows. The rhizome, the subterranean stem that spreads roots, is buried in the mud. The petiole, the stalk that binds the leaf to the stem, makes its way to the surface through murky water, allowing the flower to bloom above the water in clear light. It’s a perfect analogy for the journey of the soul, born in ignorance and seeking enlightenment through life. @nikonswitzerland @gitzoinspires

Wapusk National Park

Photo by @daisygilardini | Working with wildlife in the wild is not as easy as working in a studio, where you can use artificial light and direct your to pose or create the expressions you want. Don’t get me wrong. Studio portraiture is an art by itself, one for which I totally unsuited. What I mean is that, photographic ability apart, in a studio you’re working in a controlled situation where you can direct and change things. With nature and wildlife photography, you can’t control many of the factors needed to get that perfect shot, such as light, background and of course your subject. Occasionally I’m fortunate enough to find a subject that seems to have been born to be a movie star, like this wonderful female polar bear. Rolling around in sea kelp, totally indifferent to our presence, she put a great show, full of funny expressions and assuming the sexiest poses. @nikonswitzerland @gitzoinspires


Photo by @daisygilardini | When I tell people I’m going to Antarctica, one of the most common comments I get is, Brrrrr… too cold for me. Well … It’s true that the interior of Antarctica can be extremely cold. The plateau in the interior holds the record for the lowest temperature recorded on Earth, at -89.2°C (-128.5 °F), at Vostok station in 1983. The average yearly temperature on the Antarctic coast, however, is a relatively balmy -10 °C (14 °F). I usually visit Antarctica during the summer months, from October (the southern spring) to March. Temperatures average between -5°C and +5 °C (23/41 °F) during this period. The weather is very unpredictable and localized, and is influenced by accelerating katabatic winds that blow off the plateau down to the coast. Cloud formations are simply spectacular, because of these winds. @nikonswitzerland @gitzoinspires

Svalbard and Jan Mayen

Photo by @daisygilardini | Arctic terns are simply amazing little birds. With a length of 13-14in (33-36 cm) and a wingspan of 30-33in (76-85 cm) these incredible creatures cover roughly 44’200 miles (71’000 km) every year migrating from the Arctic to Antarctica. One of the longest migration known in the animal kingdom. Their beauty and elegance in flight are breathtaking. @nikonswitzerland @gitzoinspires

Okavango Delta

Photo by @daisygilardini |During our recent expedition to Botswana’s Okavango Delta we found a mother leopard with her young cub. We followed her for a few hours as she led us to a . We weren’t sure if she did the herself and after eating went to fetch her cub, or whether she found the by chance. Unfortunately it didn’t take long for an hyena to show up and steal the . We had a few minutes of interesting behaviour and then it was all over. @nikonswitzerland @gitzoinspires

Chobe National Park

Photo by @daisygilardini | There are more than 270 species of squirrels throughout the world, Antarctica excepted. They’re divided into three different groups: ground, tree and flying squirrels. Despite being widespread in cities, they have a better reputation than other “invasive” cities species like rats, racoons, pigeons and opossums. Squirrels have prominent front teeth, needed to gnaw on the hardest nuts and seed. They grow continuously, up to six inches a year. These African tree squirrels, also called Smith’s bush squirrels, posed perfectly and kissed in front of our lens. @nikonswitzerland @gitzoinspires

Magdalen Islands

Photo by @daisygilardini | Harp seal pups are born on sea ice from late February to March. At birth, they are covered in a beautiful white coat which will last for only a couple of weeks. After that, dark waterproof hair will grow in. A third moult will occur in a little more than a year . Pups are skinny at birth, weighing only around 10/12 kilograms. Insulation from the elements is provided by their warm white coat rather than fat, at this early stage of their lives. The mother will stay and nurse the pup for a period of 12 days, short by mammal standards. The super-fat milk provided will allow them to gain 2 kg of blubber a day. Once weaned, at around 40 kg, the pups will stay on the ice for roughly another six weeks before entering the water and learning how to hunt by themselves. @nikonswitzerland @gitzoinspires

Chobe National Park

Photo by @daisygilardini | Hippos, like elephants, need to protect their skin from the hot African sun and thermoregulate their temperature, due to their large size. For this reason, they spend up to 16 hours a day in the water, in rivers and lakes. Their prominent eyes and nostrils are conveniently located high on their heads, so they can see and keep breathing while the rest of their is in cool underwater. @nikonswitzerland @gitzoinspires

Svalbard and Jan Mayen

Thank you, 200,000 times! The social media era gives us the opportunity to reach more people, in more places, faster and more efficiently than at any time in human history. The power of strong images, together with the immediacy of storytelling, is the foundation of education. It helps raise awareness of conservation, and inspires people to make positive changes in their everyday lives. I’m humbled by the number of people who follow me and leave comments. Thank you, to every one of you! Please help spread awareness whenever you can, and feel free to share my posts. The more Nature Ambassadors we create, the better! @nikonswitzerland @gitzoinspires

Lake Clark National Park

Photo by @daisygilardini | Grizzly bears are omnivorous. Their diet includes food of both plant and animal origin, which means their diet is as varied as the human diet. They eat grass, berries, roots, fungi, and seeds. They’re not hunters per se, but they are opportunistic meat eaters. They scavenge dead animals and eat insects. They will occasionally newborn, injured, or elderly ungulates. During the salmon run they like to fish, to build up the fat reserves needed for winter hibernation. @nikonswitzerland @gitzoinspires

Chobe National Park, Botswana

Photo by @DaisyGilardini | I personally don’t like to spend a lot of time in front of the computer editing images. For this reason, while in the field, I always try to capture the image with the best possible settings and framing. Of course, because I’m shooting RAW files, a little bit of post-production is needed afterwards. In my workflow, I usually try to keep cropping to a minimum, to hold the quality of the image. I also address dust removal, colour correction (if needed) and contrast. I find that, when processing animals with wrinkled skin, like elephants, I tend to adjust the image contrast a little bit more than I usually would, to enhance the animal’s traits and bring out their strong personalities. Black-and-white works beautifully for that, I find. @nikonswitzerland @gitzoinspires

Photo by @DaisyGilardini | There are two species of African oxpecker: the yellow-billed and red-billed. The two species are the same size. They’re also called tickbirds, because they eat ticks. You’ll often see them perched on the backs of cattle and big-game animals like buffalo, where they peck at every cavity for ticks. While they help the bigger animals get rid of pests, they also peck from open wounds, which doesn’t help the healing process. Wildlife researchers are debating the relationship between oxpeckers and large mammals for this very reason, trying to find the balance between symbiosis — a relationship based on mutual benefit — and parasitism. @nikonswitzerland @gitzoinspires

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