Baikal Lake should be listed as one of the world’s modern wonders. Nestled within the southern Siberian mountains, north of Mongolia, it holds the largest body of freshwater in the world. With approximately 1800 species of flora and fauna, Baikal Lake is also host to a diverse set of cultures ranging from Russian influences, Buddhism, Shamanism and Mongolic Buryats. Truly a bucket list destination.
Winter time, the glassy waters freeze to create a landscape straight out of Narnia. A landscape photographer’s paradise. Frosted, dramatic rock formations rising up through the crystalline ice, gas bubbles frozen in time, caves filled with crystal stalactites and intricate, delicate ice flowers are just some of the features of this surreal vista.
Our Baikal Photography Tour endeavours to create every opportunity to capture this epic and vast area whilst also introducing guests to life in Siberia. As photographers, we understand the intricacies involved in planning a photo tour. When presented with such an amazing place, it can sometimes be overwhelming to know where to start. We have designed this photo tour to create daily opportunities to chase the best light and for the night owls, a chance to venture out for some astrophotography and capture The Milky Way.
Spaces are limited so do get in touch with us, book your place and allow us to become your Baikal photography tour guides.
Start: February 20, 2021, Irkutsk, Russia
End: February 27, 2021, Irkutsk, Russia
Price: €2300 (deposit €500)
Single occupancy: +€500
Day 1. We will meet and greet everyone at Irkutsk Airport where we will start our journey to our accommodation on Baikal Lake. The travel time will roughly be 5 hours with a lunch and rest stop. After we check into our hotel and freshen up, we will embark on the first shoot of our Baikal photography tour with a sunset shoot at Cape Uyga. After this, we will return to the hotel for supper, a chance to get to know each other and review or edit photos from the day.
Days 2 to 7 will follow a similar schedule with sunrise and sunset shoots in various locations. During the day, there will be opportunities to explore caves and hunt for ice stalactites, ice crystals, ice flowers, frozen bubbles and crevasses.
Everyday we will chase the best light visiting places like the Dragon Tail on
Ogoy Island, the snow dusted rocks of Barga-Dagan and the ice caves in Mys Kobylia Golova (Horse Head Cape, Khorin-Igri) and Ice caves in Mys Khoboy (Khoboy Cape).
We will also have the chance to connect with the local culture on a visit to Shamanka Rock (Cape Burkhan), home to the two marble and limestone peaks with Bhuddist and Shaman monuments nearby.
Weather and conditions permitting, there will be many opportunities for the nocturnally inclined to venture out for some astrophotography.
Our final day will start with a sunrise shoot close to the shore of Khuzhir village followed by breakfast before we check out. We will then return to Irkutsk with a lunch and rest stop on the way. On arrival, we will spend a few hours exploring the city before having a farewell dinner together.
What photo equipment do you recommend?
- Camera with 2-3 batteries or more
- A selection of lenses from 14 to 200 mm in focal length
- Circular-polar filter
- Gradual and ND-filters (optional)
- Photo backpack
What other equipment is essential for the photo tour?
Temperatures range between -5 to -30º C. Sometimes it will be colder with a wind chill factor. With this in mind we strongly recommend:
- Winter boots
- Thermal base layers
- Fleece mid layer
- Down jacket with hood
- Warm windproof jacket
- Insulated trousers
- Hat (preferably windproof)
- Gloves and mittens
- Warm socks
- Thermal insole (optional)
- Slip on snow shoe grips or spikes
Could the itinerary change?
Your safety is our priority. The itinerary is designed to give everyone as many photographic opportunities as possible. However, subject to inclement weather and the condition of the ice, this could change.
Will there be any workshops during the photo tour?
There will be no formal seminars or tutorials as such but we will be more than happy to share our expertise to help you make the best pictures. There will also be opportunities during downtime for the group to discuss best practices and to support each other.