PHOTO BY: Daisy Gilardini

nature & wildlife

Beautiful landscapes, rare puffins or wild bears. For those who do not want to miss the moment and capture the subject. Gitzo new, full line of nature and wildlife products are designed to integrate seamlessly to guarantee the highest level of functionality in the field, allowing you to stay focused in discovering those epic moments.

smooth
& precise

Smoothness and preciseness are needed to follow animal movements in their environments with heavy gear and long lenses.

extra stability
and lightness

A sturdy tripod allows you to stay focused and plan with patience and precision epic images. A light tripod gives you the possibility to carry it anywhere.

ultimate
protection

Immerse in nature, looking for the perfect shot, protection and capacity are essential when carrying heavy and expensive equipment.

Gimbal Fluid head

Gimbal is the fluid head that will satisfies every desire. It ensures enjoyable, controlled movement; it is sturdy, but lightweight and delivers exceptional performance for photos and videos. Designed to work perfectly with telephoto lenses and spotting scopes.

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2 Way Fluid head

An extremely compact and lightweight high performance fluid head, designed especially for birdwatchers, digiscopers and wildlife photographers and videographers.

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Systematic tripod

The best in class carbon fiber tripod for rigidity and lightness. Essential to safely and firmly sustain heavy gear in extreme conditions and environments.

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Mountaineer tripod

Lightweight and rigid carbon fiber tripod enables easy handling and is ideal for any nature activities.

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Adventury backpack 45l

Finally a backpack that can also contain your wildest passions. A roomy backpack, water repellent and ready for adventure, designed to comfortably carry long lenses up to 600mm and other accessories.

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Adventury backpack 30l

Small enough to never want to leave it behind. Big enough to pack everything you need in it. For who loves to observe nature and its extraordinary shapes. Safely protects up to 400mm lenses.

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A Gitzo Story

Orangutan

A Gitzo Story by: Tim Laman - Wildlife Photographer

When you get a close look at an orangutan’s hand, you can’t help but notice how similar they are to human hands. You make the connection: we are fellow great apes. That is one reason I like photographing orangutans so much even though it is a lot of work. It is amazing to spend time with them, see how similar they are to us in so many ways, and try to document their lives with photos that tell their story.
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I am Tim Laman, a field biologist and wildlife photojournalist. In 1997, my research in the rain forest canopy in Borneo led to a Harvard PhD and my first National Geographic article publication. Since then, I have pursued my passion for exploring wild places and documenting the little-known and endangered wildlife by photographing over twenty stories for National Geographic.  I’d like to share this story about one of my favourite subjects to photograph, Orangutans in the wild.

I am completely soaked in sweat.  If I took off my T-shirt, I could wring out about a half liter of water from it.  I am not on any trail.  I’m bushwhacking through the rain forest in Borneo.  Why?  I am trying to photograph a wild orangutan moving steadily through the trees above me.  I could just follow her at a comfortable distance behind, but then I wouldn’t get a single interesting picture.  So I am scrambling up the hill ahead of this young female orangutan, trying to anticipate which tree she will pass through, and find a gap through the foliage to get a view.  Under my arm, I am carrying my Canon camera and 200-400 mm f4 lens mounted to my trustworthy Gitzo tripod.  It’s critical to have my camera and tripod ready for quick deployment.  I may only have a few seconds when the orangutan comes into view.

Although it is tough climbing up these hills, I actually like the hilly terrain best for photographing orangutans because it gives me a chance to get eye-level shots, and convey that feeling of being up in the canopy.  Orangutans are the largest tree-dwelling creature on the planet.  The big males weigh up to 90 kg, and females about half that.  It is remarkable how they can move through the trees so well, aided by their huge hands with very long fingers, and especially their gripping toes.  Differing from us humans, they have much longer toes, and also an opposable big toe, much like our thumb.  This is a huge help in climbing trees.  I’m not so good at climbing trees.  I can do it with ropes, but if I did, it would take so long that by the time I got up there, the orangutan would be long gone.  Being a human, I’m faster on my feet, so that’s why I’m trying to run up a hill with my camera and tripod.  I like to avoid having a bright sky behind my subject, so I try really hard to get in the right position for a green background.

When you get a close look at an orangutan’s hand, you can’t help but notice how similar they are to human hands.  You make the connection: we are fellow great apes.  That is one reason I like photographing orangutans so much even though it is a lot of work.  It is amazing to spend time with them, see how similar they are to us in so many ways, and try to document their lives with photos that tell their story.  I don’t go to a zoo or rehab center where there are tame, former pet orangutans.  My goal is to document the behavior of real wild orangutans in their natural habitat.  The place I do this the most is called Gunung Palung National Park, and is in the Indonesian Province of West Kalimantan, on the island of Borneo.  This park has one of the largest remaining healthy populations of orangutans.  My wife Cheryl Knott is a primatologist who has been studying the orangutans of Gunung Palung for over twenty years, so I do admit that gives me an advantage.  I can team up with her and her research assistants who follow the orangutans to collect data on everything they do.  Working with them is a huge help in finding these elusive apes in the vast rain forests of Gunung Palung. But the photography is up to me

The biggest challenge in photographing orangutans, besides just getting yourself into a good position, is the light.  The trees block most of it.  And the orangutans are especially active early and late in the day doing interesting things when light levels are low.  So a tripod is crucial, even with modern cameras that can produce quality images at high ISO.  Working from a tripod allows me to push the limits and get sharp images in marginal light.  Orangutans are not fast moving animals.  They are very different from flying birds, for example, so you don’t necessarily need a high shutter speed to freeze the action.  Many of my images, including those I’m sharing here, are made at shutter speeds below 1/60 sec.  Some of these images were even made at 1/20 or 1/30 sec, which is a very slow shutter for a 400 mm lens.  A stiff but lightweight tripod makes all the difference for getting sharp images at these shutter speeds.  I use an extra tall Gitzo Systematic series 3 tripod that allows me to aim the camera somewhat upward and still stand up straight, because it gets tiring if you have to hunch over behind your tripod.  The extra height is also very helpful when shooting on steep hills because you can have one or two legs going down the hill to level the tripod.  I also really like the fact that Gitzo tripod legs have no knobs or levers to get caught on vines and saplings as you are moving through the forest.  The streamlined legs let you move the tripod around quickly while without getting caught on things. 

So I’ve gotten ahead of the orangutan and I think I see the tree where she may be heading to eat some flower buds, a favorite food.  I find a window through the lower forest branches, and swing my camera and tripod into position.  I even have a chance to quickly wipe the sweat off my brow.  And yes, this time I have guessed right and she hangs by one arm right in the open while she feeds…. Click!

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Tim Laman AMBASSADOR PROFILE

Arctic Region

A Gitzo Story by: Roie Galitz - Wildlife Photographer

I believe that these images, and those we see more and more of on the media, are helping us realize what is happening right now, as we speak, not far from here. When people look at my photographs, I enjoy looking in their eyes and noticing their facial expressions. When I see even one set of your eyes light up, I know that the connection is made, that they are now my companions on a wonderful adventure to protect precious wildlife and nature.
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I’m Roie Galitz, an award-winning wildlife photographer, an ambassador for Nikon, DJI, Wix, and Greenpeace - Arctic and Antarctic. For over a decade, I have explored and documented our planet’s wildlife.

One of the subjects closest to my heart, polar bears, are expected to become extinct by the end of this century, with the majority of their population gone by 2050, or maybe even sooner. I have made it my mission to harness the power of photography to raise awareness on the dangers that the arctic region and its native animals face.

The Arctic region is a crucial part of our ecosystem. It plays an important role in balancing global climate and sea level, and its warming has a direct impact on societies all over the world. Hundreds of millions of people are living in coastal regions with risk of flooding, many communities are in danger of forced relocation, denied access to food, and even starvation. Our fate is tied to the Arctic, and protecting polar bears means protecting ourselves. 

I was recently on assignment in one of my favourite places on earth: Svalbard, in the high arctic. A magical wonderland, rich of incredible wildlife, and an ideal spot to pursue my life goal of documenting endangered animals in their wild habitats and raising awareness of the threats they encounter today. Miles away from human presence, a long, demanding search in one of the world’s toughest environments.

In my trip to Svalbard, after a long and exhausting wait, the moment I had been waiting for arrived. A mother and her cubs come towards me like a marching band. I started to shoot to the rhythm of my racing heartbeat, until these beautiful creatures were too close for comfort. Wildlife photographers sometimes have this illusion that their kit is a kind of shield that protects them from the dangers out in the field. But this is not the reality, so I quickly retreated, leaving back my gear, and that was when it became obvious that polar bears enjoy photography too.

My photography kit may not keep me safe from a protective mama bear, but I do choose support solutions that I can rely on to keep my camera safe.

A great tripod is essential to finalize the winning images and video of the arctic. My tripod of choice in the last 5 years is the Gitzo Systematic series 3 long 4 sections carbon fibre tripod. I tie it with bungee cords to the back of my snowmobile and when we deploy - I prepare it for shooting. I love shooting as low as possible, so I open the legs to their widest opening to shoot a few centimeters off the snow, and I bury it in the snow to get lower and a further grip.

Next step is when I mount my camera on the tripod, my Nikon D850 (with Grip) and Nikon 600mm F/4E (sometimes with X1.4TC). One of the challenges with such low temperatures is that the grease in the fluid heads becomes stiffer with cold, so I must move it around before shooting to heat it up and get the smooth motion ready.

There are only two reasons to get higher than my usual minimum height: the first is if there is some snow obstructing the view and the second is “heat haze”, one of the things I hate the most. Heat haze is when air turbulence from the ground causes blurriness in the image. When this happen I must get a little higher to reduce the effect.

The summer season brings other troubles. It is very difficult to get stable shots when photographing from a boat or a Zodiak (and without a steadycam or cineflex systems). To solve this problem, I need to get my tripod in the water without putting my legs on land. Fortunately, my Gitzo tripod was able to safely support my gear being in over a meter of water, and this helped me to get that ultimate steady shot I required.

My images from the winter projects have been featured in countless magazine and received many awards. Also the videos have been featured in many TV appearances including the BBC film “Snow Bears”.

Photographing wildlife in the arctic is always a challenge, ultra cold temperatures, heavy photograpic gear, gusting winds and hours of exposure while shooting stills and videos. That’s when you need a companion you can trust to hold your gear.

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Roie Galitz AMBASSADOR PROFILE

Kermode Bear

A Gitzo Story by: Daisy Gilardini - Wildlife Photographer

If humankind wants to survive and evolve with our planet we have to act responsibly, by acknowledging with humility that Nature is not depended by us; we are dependent on Nature. As environmental photographers it is our duty to capture the beauty of places and species at risk, and raise awareness trough the universal power of the images we capture. While science provides the data necessary to explain issues and suggest solutions, photography symbolizes these issues. Science appeals to our minds, but photography speaks to our hearts. We need both in order to spread the message of conservation effectively, to as many people as possible.
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My name is Daisy Gilardini. I am a conservation photographer who specialized in the Polar Regions, having a particular passion for Antarctic wildlife and North American bears.  My early passion for the natural world has evolved into a lifelong commitment to spread important messages about conservation and the need to preserve what's left of the world’s remaining wild places.

British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest is the world’s largest coastal, temperate rainforest and is home to the Kermode bear, one of the rarest bears in the world. Due to a unique recessive gene, this subspecies of the American Black bear has a white or cream-coloured fur.

Just 400 to 1,000 individuals are believed to remain, in a 400-kilometre-long corridor of rainforest along Canada’s west coast: we must protect this region.

My interest in documenting this habitat and the Kermode bear dates back to 2011, when I learned of an oil-company proposal to build a pipeline through the rainforest. Along with environmental organizations fighting the proposal, including the International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP) and Pacific Wild, my goal was to help raise awareness of this unique ecosystem, where everything is interdependent, and the need to protect it. Salmon are the natural link which connects the forest to the ocean, through their cyclical spawning seasons. Bears will catch a fish and then drag it into the forest to eat. Birds and other mammals feed on the remains, while marine nutrients, along with the bear’s droppings, help fertilize the forest soil.

The Great Bear Rainforest won a temporary respite November 29th 2016, when the Canadian federal government rejected the Northern Gateway pipeline project. More battles, political and otherwise, lie ahead, though, if the bears, and the area they call home, are to be preserved for future generations.

First Nations aboriginal people have inhabited these forests since the last glacial ice age. They respect the land, harvest sustainably, and honor the sacred Spirit Bear – which they have never hunted. First Nations people are demonstrating responsible environmental stewardship, but that may not be enough. Despite efforts to protect the Great Bear Rainforest ecosystem from further intrusion, the Spirit Bear’s future is still clouded by trophy hunting and habitat destruction. 

The difficulty of working in the rainforest is mostly related to the heavy precipitations, hence water and the lack of light.

Constant care of all the gear is a must in order to keep the camera dry and avoid electronic failure. Settings are nearly always at the limit of camera capabilities, often pushing the ISO over 4000.

A good sturdy tripod is essential to work with heavy lenses as well as for video work. I work with Nikon camera bodies as the D5/D500/D4s/D3s with different lenses depending on the assignment going from a Nikkor 24/70mm f/2.8 to a Nikkor 800mm f/5.6. During my career I always relied to Gitzo which never has disappointed me, my top best Gitzo tripod that works best in these extreme conditions is the Gitzo Systematic series 3 long 3 sections carbon tripod.

In 2017 I produced a video "Spirit of the forest" which has been awarded with the 2017 “Conservation Story Award” at the Nature’s Best Photography Windland Smith Rice International Contest. Selected from 26,000 images/videos from 59 countries, the winners, hence also the “Spirit of the forest” video, were displayed at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C. until September 2018.

Hopefully this video will both raise public awareness and spur politicians to action and preserve this wonderful part of our planet once and for all.

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Daisy Gilardini AMBASSADOR PROFILE
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