Kamchatka Photo Tour - Iurie Belegurschi

Journey into the great unknown of the Kamchatka Peninsula on this incredible 15 day photography tour to one of the least explored destinations on Earth! Situated in the far east of Russia, this remote wilderness is packed with dramatic scenery, unique to its volcanic landscape. From the moment that you step foot into this extraordinary place, packed full with photographic opportunities, you'll be swept away with astonishment.

Total price: 4900 USD


Dates


10 – 24 Aug 2019

10 – 24 Aug 2020

Guided by Anton Agarkov

Guided by Anton Agarkov

Available

Available


Overview


There are few places in the world like Kamchatka, which makes this photography tour all the more exciting and unique. Although located in Russia, this mysterious region brims with natural wonders and aesthetics more synonymous with that of Scandinavia.

Over the course of 15 incredible days, you'll journey to the far reaches of Kamchatka and beyond, taking in the abundance of wildlife that calls this place home. Be ready to encounter the impressive bears of the Russian Federation, as well as reindeer, wolves, a number of rare birds and rivers teeming with marine animals.

The highlight of our tour will be capturing the imposing volcanoes that dot the geothermal landscape, surrounded by bubbling hot springs, steaming geysers and more.

You'll have incredible opportunities to fine-tune your landscape photography skills as we journey across this breathtaking area in our specially-modified 6WD off-road vehicle. Your photo guides will be with you every step of the way, ensuring that you'll be at all the best locations to make the most of the lighting and the conditions.

There will be a ranger on-hand to ensure our safety, as well as a chef to cook up delicious meals for us throughout this adventure.

Whether you are a beginner, an amateur or a professional photographer, this photo tour will expose you to the best locations for photography in the astonishing landscape of Kamchatka!


Itinerary

Day 1

The adventure begins when you arrive at Petropavlovsk, where you'll check in to your room at the Blue Lagoon Hotel. In the evening, we'll meet as a group for a delicious welcome dinner, where we'll get to know one another a little bit better and go over the itinerary for the days ahead.

Day 2

In the morning of day two, we'll get up early and begin our journey across the volcanic terrain to the Leningradskaya station on the southern side of the Ostry and Plosky Tolbachik volcanoes. This will be our base-camp for the next two nights, as we observe the lunar-like landscape from high vantage points.

Day 3

We'll continue to explore the Tolbachik region on day three, focusing on the undulating shapes and forms of a dark lava field speckled with steaming hot fumaroles and open lava flows.

Day 4

On day four, there is the option of hiking to the top of a nearby volcano for breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounds. It's a 3000-foot ascent which we can take at a leisurely pace, though if the group decides against this then we will look for alternative compositions in the vicinity of the camp.

Day 5

Day five marks the point where we descend from the plateau into the burnt remains of an old forest, which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Listed Klyuchevskoy Volcano Nature Park. Known as the 'Dead Forest', this area is characterised by the eerie remains of charred trees, damaged during a volcanic eruption in the mid 1970s. It makes for haunting and mystical images, particularly when swathed in a light layer of fog during sunrise.

Day 6

The Kamchatka Peninsula is well-known for its unpredictable weather, so our shooting locations for the next few days will depend largely upon the conditions. Our guides are very experienced and will ensure that you'll capture spectacular shots, no matter what the skies may deliver.

Day 7

On day seven, we'll continue onwards to Klyuchevskaya, where we'll set up camp. In the afternoon, we'll take a stroll towards the Domashnyaya mountain for a sunset shoot, followed by a descent to a nearby canyon where a beautiful river makes for tranquil scenes.

Day 8

On this day, we'll move camp closer to the Podkova seismic station, where we'll be treated to exceptional views of the conical Klyuchevskaya volcano, looming over the surrounds. It makes for a majestic backdrop at sunset with its snow-capped peak reaching high into the clouds.

Day 9

This day will depend largely upon the conditions, though if the weather is favourable, then we will make our way to a high vantage point to photograph the Klyuchevskaya volcano at sunset, surrounded by lush and vibrant foliage.

Day 10

After several days packed with shooting, there will be an opportunity to rest on day ten. We'll take the day at a slower pace, with a photo critique and discussion, as well as a photo processing masterclass.

In the evening, you can explore the area at your leisure or relax and take a dip in the natural hot pools nearby! 

Day 11

On day eleven, we'll embark upon a luxury boat tour of the Avacha Bay. Situated on the south eastern coast of the Kamchatka Peninsula, it is one of the most beautiful harbours in the region that conceals a rich and diverse ecosystem.

We'll sail along the coast, keeping our cameras ready to photograph the spectacular marine life, including whales, seals and seabirds. The Vilyuchik volcano makes for a stunning backdrop as we look back at the peninsula from the sea.

Our private driver will catch fresh fish and crabs from the water during the cruise, which the chef will prepare onboard for a tasty lunch.

We'll return back to shore by evening after a lovely day of sightseeing.

Day 12

On this day, we'll leave the luxuries of Avacha Bay and set up camp near the Mutnovsky-Gorely volcano. It's the perfect location for capturing sweeping panoramas of the surrounds as the sun sets overhead, lighting up the sky in a blaze.

Day 13

We'll get up early on day thirteen for a 2-hour drive towards the Mutnovsky volcano. There will be an exciting opportunity to traverse this active volcano's crater, exploring all of its nooks and crannies. Here, you'll find a number of bubbling mud pots and mysterious caves that will make for otherworldly compositions. After sunset, we'll return back to our campsite.

Day 14

Although we'll be nearing the end of our trip, day fourteen marks one of our most exhilarating photo sessions. We'll descend beneath the Mutnovsky volcano, into a number of thrilling ice caves, where we'll be able to practice our low-light photography skills using one another as subjects for scale.

We'll spend the evening in the city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.

Day 15

This will be the final day of our adventure in Kamchatka. After breakfast, there will be an opportunity to explore the city's famous fish market, before we pack our belongings and depart from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.


Conditions in the field:


The majority of our travel will be in a comfortable 6-wheel-drive converted truck. On the inside, it’s not much different to a typical tourist coach. Importantly, there are electricity sockets to keep everyone’s cameras charged, and a water supply to keep everyone refreshed. But please bear in mind that there are a limited amount of plugs on board, so we recommend that you bring as many spare batteries as possible. The last thing we want is for you to miss out on the shots of a lifetime.

Most of the nights will be spent in our very own mobile camp, but there are four nights in hotels, if everything goes to plan. These are nights 1 and 2, one night in the middle point of our trip and the final evening. We’ve chosen comfortable hotels with great reputations, and there are even hot spring nearby for those who fancy a relaxing dip.

In terms of food, everything is included in the price of the trip. The group’s personal chef will be with us throughout our adventure, and our mobile camp is complete with a kitchen for creating hot and delicious local food. If you are vegetarian or have any other dietary requirements, don’t worry! We can prepare a special menu for you.

Kamchatka can be a dangerous place if you go wandering off alone. There are plenty of bears around and the group will need to be vigilant. We don’t anticipate any problems as the bears tend to keep to themselves, but just incase we will be escorted by a park ranger. He will prioritise our safety at all times, leaving the group to focus on photography. We’ll give you a full safety briefing before the trip starts, and recommend that you stick together in small groups.

Throughout the trip we don’t anticipate that you’ll need to carry around heavy backpacks whenever we venture out. All you need on a day-to-day basis will be your photography equipment and some alternative clothes if the weather changes. Besides, base-camp will always be close by, so you can keep the bulk of your stuff there.

Now, let’s talk about the weather. This part of the world is renowned for being unpredictable, so it’s best to have clothing that can help in all eventualities. A couple of days in the itinerary have been left empty under the expectation that the weather might hold us back, but rest assured that we will have plenty of alternatives planned if our priorities become unavailable.


This is a full-board tour. What does this mean? Simply, you will not need to stump up for additional fees – everything except air tickets and souvenirs is included.

Included:


2-person accommodation in hotels and camp tents during the adventure

Transportation, all transfers using 6WD truck with comfortable seats

Fuel

Meals – Fullboard, all meals including fresh fish, meat and vegetables

Local guide and hunter services (rifles, emergency fires)



Driver of 6WD truck wages

Luxury boat hire for the Kamchatka bays’ one day photo tour, on top of a professional captain and diver’s services

Tent and camping equipment hire

Chef’s services (full board)

National park fees

Not Included:


Single room supplement: 500 USD


Cancellation and Refund Policy


We strongly recommend you to get a Trip Cancellation & Travel Insurance after booking your trip. If you cancel and the Workshop is otherwise filled, we will refund you the full amount you have paid towards the tuition, minus a $300 service charge. If you cancel and the Workshop does not fill, then you will be refunded according to the following schedule, based on the full fee of the Workshop:

Greater than 90 days from the start date of the Workshop: full refund minus $300 service fee.

75 days or more: 75% refund

60 days or more: 50% refund

Less than 60 days: no refund

Refunds will be paid by the same method that the original payment was made.


Disclaimer


We highly recommend that you get a travel and medical insurance. Your own domestic government medical insurance and private health scheme will not cover you whilst you are overseas.


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