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June 3 - 14, 2019

Our Journey

We have no time to waste on this workshop! We plunge right into the heart of Siberia, which is, by right, the heart of Russia too. We’ll start our journey in the town of Irkutsk which obtained its roots from the first settlers in the middle of 17th century. Irkutsk saw an influx of intellectual and cultural growth throughout 19th century when the prominent figures were exiled here, hence obtaining its name “Paris of Siberia”. It went through Soviet transformation and shaped into a intriguing mix of styles, cultures, views on life, architecture and monuments.

Then we’ll take the historic Trans Siberian Railway train along the shores of lake Baikal, passing that tempting beauty, in a 6 hour train journey, only to return later by car, but now to submerge into Buddhist and Shamanism culture of a nearby region, explore their lives, their beliefs and their beautiful temples.  Here also lay villages of so called Old Believers, those mysterious communities who rejected the reforms in Russian Orthodox Church all the way back in the 17th century and found their sanctuary in Siberian valleys to preserve their faith, way of living and traditions, that they still reverently follow today. In a striking difference to what we’ve seen we’ll move on to a mining town, built and greatly expanded in Soviet times that sees its downfall, its ruined roads, blackened Soviet living blocks, chimneys that still fume to give hope for survival.

We’ll move on to small peaceful villages settled in harsh yet picturesque nature, see remnants of Soviet heritage, impressive cathedrals abandoned even earlier.

The road will take us through mountains of snowy peaks only to bring us to the green and flowery landscape of a hidden village with cows walking through the streets, children busy with their games, and Baikal glistening on the background. Its people are friendly and welcoming, open and honest. Though it’s sad to leave we need to move on to another village with breathtaking view on Baikal. There’s so much to do, have long walks and talks, visit people, walk on the old railway built in Tsarist time, visit locals, explore their lives. Is it coming to an end? It’s difficult to part, yet we need to head back to Irkutsk, but the secret is we’ll visit Baikal once again from Irkutsk just before our final group dinner.

We’re passionate about teaching the different aspects of photography. A good amount of time will be spent on reviewing your work during the travel with a detailed feedback and assistance from our side. Our aim is to help you to become comfortable photographing strangers in unfamiliar environment, recognise favourable photography situations, judge the quality of natural light and adjust to low light situations. Our Ebook will be provided to you to help with your learning and we’ll make sure you return home with a beautiful photo essay.

This is a route seldom traveled by foreigners, a magical journey where we will engage with friendly Siberian people, and taste the local delicious cuisine.


Group Size

Small group size - Maximum 6 participants


Experience | Difficulty

Open to all levels (non-photographers also welcome)

Moderate schedule

Travel by train,  car or minibus

Moderate elevation changes and lots of walking


Lecturer | Host

Harald Claessen  

Born in the Netherlands - Flying Dutchman (a legendary ghost ship that can never make port and is doomed to sail the oceans forever). Harald is a Social Documentary and Portrait Photographer who partly lives in Russia and Cyprus.

Harald’s Instagram


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  • All Hotels / Accommodations

  • All Breakfasts

  • All Local transportation, Train, Car, Minibus

  • Social Documentary, Travel Photography, Street Photography, Landscape Photography, Portrait Photography

  • Professional photographer | host | tuition

  • Small group size

  • Advice on visa arrangements for Russia

  • Ebook "For the Right Reasons" - Becoming comfortable photographing strangers


Travel Information

Arrival and Departure Airport: International Airport Irkutsk (IKT) - Transfer time to hotel 30min

We will meet on Sunday evening for dinner, allowing everyone to travel to Irkutsk during the weekend. On the first day we will get to know each other during dinner. We will start the photography workshop on Monday 8AM during breakfast.

Our last workshop day will be on Friday when we will finish in the evening. On Saturday we will depart to the airport for our return flight.

Travel Visa: A visa may be required depending on your nationality. Contact your local Russian Consulate to find out.


Extend your travel to visit Moscow and Saint Petersburg. We will give you advice on places to visit according to your personal interests.

Custom options are available on request. Mail us with your questions.




12 days  |  Creative adventure workshop

Price USD 4780,-

Seats are transferrable but not refundable.

Non-refundable deposit:  USD 1000,-

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Photo workshop Trans Siberian Railway
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