Lake Baikal Photography TourWinter 2023 Lake Baikal Photo Expedition
Start: February 18, 2023, Irkutsk, Russia
End: February 25, 2023, Irkutsk, Russia
Guides: Dmitry Dyugaev, Will Cheng
Price: €2000 (deposit €1000)
Early bird price – book before 01.11.2022: €1800
Single occupancy: + €500
100% refund if travel ban
Lake Baikal, the oldest and largest body of freshwater in the world, is situated in Southern Siberia, just north of the Mongolian border. Surrounded by mountains with dense taiga forests, the lake has a unique ecosystem with over 2000 species of animal and plant life. Incredibly, the lake holds a staggering 22% of the world’s freshwater despite it’s 31,000 square kilometers area. In comparison, it is not even half the area of Lake Michigan but holds fives times the volume of water.
The region has distinct seasons, all of which are beautiful but it is during the winter that the landscape makes a dramatic shift. Because of the unique quality of the water, the ice formed when temperatures drop below freezing, is unusually pristine. Intricate ice flowers, crystal stalactite filled caves, rocky islands surrounded by glassy ice and methane gas bubbles frozen in time are just some of the hallmarks of this otherworldly winter landscape.
During our eight day photography tour we provide as many opportunities for our guests to become immersed in the landscape and culture of this beautiful place. Our photo tour gives photographers of all levels the chance to chase the best light during sunrise and sunset at some of the most amazing areas on the lake. For those so inclined, there will be time to venture out for some astrophotography and maybe make some pictures of The Milky Way.
- Double occupancy
- Accommodation in hotels and guesthouses
- All transportation
- Three daily meals over the course of the tour
- Fees and entrances to National Parks
- Professional English speaking photo guides
- Opportunities for image critiques and post processing tuition
- Flights to Irkutsk and back
- Medical insurance
- Any private expenses
On arriving at Irkutsk airport in the morning, you will be met by the photo tour guides along with fellow explorers. From there we will transit to our accomodation with a stop for some lunch en route. By mid-afternoon, we will check in near to Lake Baikal. We will then venture out onto the ice for our first sunset shoot. This will be followed by an evening meal together where we will get a chance to get to know each other and relax for the evening.
Days 2 – 7
Each day will start between 6:30am and 7:00am to catch the sunrise at 8am. At 10:30am, we will return to the hotel for breakfast and after this there will be a time to rest, relax and maybe share some of the images taken that morning. At 3:00pm, we will travel to a chosen location for a dusk photography session. Returning back to our accomodation at 8:00pm, there will be an opportunity to relax and share our experiences over an evening meal.
Some days may vary dependending on the distance to the photography location and there will be a day when we transfer to accomodation on Olkhon Island – the third-largest lake island in the world and the largest on Lake Baikal. For the night owls, star gazers and astro photographers, there will be opportunities to photograph the Milky Way over Lake Baikal – a truly magical experience!
Many locations will be part of our unique Lake Baikal Photography Tour including Cape Uyuga, Olkhon Island, Khuzhir village, Kobyl’ya golova Cape (Khorin-Irgi), Cape Dragon Island Ogoy, Shamanka Rock (Cape Burkhan), Izhilhey Island (Elenka), Olkhon Gate, Tri Brata, Cape Khoboy and Bay Haga-Yaman (Uzury village). These locations may vary depending on the condition of the ice and the weather.
On our final day together, we will venture out onto the ice for the last time to catch the sunrise. This will be followed by breakfast before we check-out and transfer to Irkustk with a lunch stop on the way. From mid afternoon to early evening, there will be a chance to explore the historical city of Irkustk followed by a farewell evening meal.
Frequently Asked Questions
What photography equipment do I need?
- Camera with 2-3 batteries or more
- A selection of lenses from 14 to 200 mm in focal length
- Fast wide angle prime for astrophotography
- Circular-polar filter
- Gradual and ND-filters (optional)
- Photo backpack
What equipment do I require for the tour?
Temperatures range between -5 to -30º C. Sometimes it will be colder with a wind chill. 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 tutorials?
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.
To register, please fill in the form below.