2016 saw some amazing accomplishments for our Lowepro Storytellers. We would like to take this opportunity to congratulate them and share their achievements with you. Daisy and Luke, we are so proud to have you on our Storyteller Team!
Daisy Gilardini is originally from Switzerland but now lives in British Columbia, Canada. She started taking photography seriously during her first trip to India in 1989 and since then has visited more than 70 countries with camera in hand. After falling in love with Antarctica during her first trip there in 1997, she has spent most of her time photographing the Polar Regions. In almost two decades of polar explorations she joined over fifty expeditions to Antarctica and the Arctic. Her passion for the natural world has grown into a lifelong commitment to disseminate conservation messages.
Daisy’s photo “Motherhood” has been awarded the 2016 Grand Prize in the Nature’s Best Photography Windland Smith Rice International Awards.
Selected from 20,000 images from photographers in 51 countries, the winners are published in the 2016 Fall/Winter Awards Special Edition and displayed in the Awards Exhibition at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C. until September 2017.
“A mother polar bear is cuddling her two cubs while resting on a day den on the way to the pack ice to hunt for seals.
Every year from February to March an important event takes place in Wapusk National Park in Manitoba, Canada. Polar bears who entered maternity dens in October and gave birth in November are ready to exit for the first time with their four-month-old cubs. The timing coincides with seals giving birth to their pups on the Hudson Bay pack ice, which means easy food for the polar bears.
It is extremely rare to witness the exit of the bears from their dens and one has to face incredibly challenging conditions with temperatures dropping to -54 degrees Celsius and winds gusting up to 60 km/h.
All the efforts are however well rewarded when you get to experience such intimacy with the most iconic animal of the Arctic kingdom.
As conservation photographers it is our duty to capture the beauty of species at risk and raise awareness by giving a voice to creatures that cannot speak up.
While science provides the data necessary to explain issues and suggest solutions, photography symbolizes these issues. Science is the brain, while photography is the heart and we need to reach people’s heart and emotions in order to move them to action, for Nature and for us.”
“The difficulties of working in these freezing conditions are extreme. Cold is a challenge for your equipment as well as for your body.
First, you must take care not to let any of your body parts freeze – face, hands, and feet being the most exposed. Then comes the technical challenge to operate a camera with tens of little tiny buttons while wearing big, thick gloves. Finally you have to work around the fact that after a while parts of the camera will freeze: batteries first, then the control panels as well as the big back monitor.”
Lowepro Storyteller Luke Massey is a 23 year old wildlife photographer and cameraman. He has worked for the BBC on a number of series including Great British Year, Springwatch, The Burrowers, Winterwatch and Malta Massacre on Migration. The latter project won a Green Ribbon Award for ‘Best environmental campaign by the media 2014’
In 2016, Luke was announced a winner in the prestigious Wildlife Photography of the Year awards. The 52nd award ceremony was held at the Natural History Museum. A total of 50,000 entries from 95 countries were whittled down by an expert judging panel to just 100 winners, with Luke’s unique shot ‘Kite Flying’ being announced as one of 6 winners in the Urban Wildlife category.
Following a local guide, Luke climbed tiny staircases and bamboo ladders to reach this rooftop. In Old Delhi’s Muslim quarter, people toss meat to the kites to atone for their sins. ‘The sky was black with kites,’ he says, and with about 20 vying for every offering, it took hundreds of attempts to get a clear shot.
Delhi’s whirls of black kites are probably the world’s highest concentration of birds of prey. They have an important role to play, clearing up carrion. But human-made kites – paper ones – pose a threat, their strings crisscross the skies at dusk and can sever the bird’s wings.
Luke’s passion is in conservation and showing how people can live alongside wildlife, educating people on conservation issues and raising awareness.
Luke said, “if I can show people just what is on their doorstep as well as further afield, just maybe, they’ll begin to care more.”