The Place To Be

I wrote before a bit about my new toy that I took with me to Baikal this year - DJI Mavic Pro. I'm still flattered by the new possibilities it adds to my landscape photography practice. My photographic sessions became longer as I used the drone at all times when I finished shooting or when the light was too flat. What's the most amazing about it all is that you don't really need too much to start producing an interesting footage and imagery from the air.

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Dragon Rock and the Rest

One of the reasons I keep returning to Baikal is that you have plenty of photographically creative options even if you avoid local icons and typical views. Two years ago, I was so amazed with the frozen lake that I forgot about everything I pre-visualised having seen images of the iconic spots on internet. Now, with heavily increased tourist traffic, it became actually impossible to be alone in such place at the best time of a day. That is why I did not make a single image of Ogoy island or Shamanka viewpoint despite of 3 trips to Baikal.

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Baikal Again. And Again.

Today was certainly the coldest day I have ever experienced. My phone showed minus 29 when I was leaving the hotel at about 5am. And it did not get any warmer later. All my outdoor and photography equipment went through the ultimate test. And I’m happy to report that except for iPhone X losing the image transition signal when flying the drone, everything else including Phase One (that I was afraid it might have been built mainly for a studio shooting) worked flawlessly and reliably - it definitely exceeded my own operational longevity at such weather.

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Lake Baikal Photo Gallery

I like to sit on images for some time after I come from trips, absorb them and work on them at a rather slow pace. I do so as I learnt over years that I need some emotional distance if I want to process more 'objectively', without panting of impressions from places. This time, it took even longer to finalise imagery from my two travels to Baikal. I think it is because I got disappointed on my second trip earlier this year, for a lot of snow on ice that destroyed all my plans...

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Never Assume

Have you ever been frustrated and disappointed on your vacation? This is how I felt for a few days when we arrived to Olkhon this Saturday. The structures of the frozen lake are now covered by snow and there has been very little clouds until now. The warm and windless weather (around zero degrees at noon) transformed a wild and rough beast into a calm and gentle princess, ideal destination for traveling parents with their toddlers.

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Why Do You Photograph?

Not long ago, I have come across a striking and a thought provoking meditation by Guy Tal on why we photograph. I have been following and admiring Guy's work and story for many years. I mention the story on purpose as it chiefly exceeds his photography.

It is the whole process of creating photographs and not so much the photographs themselves that blows me away. As if anything in one's existence that is different from ordinary and that goes beyond bare necessities of life, it has a beneficial effect on all vital functions and human senses.

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Baikal Calling

This place is so different from all I have experienced so far that it deserves every kind of engagement and one is actually unable to avoid it unless he / she lives there. I just feel I owe Baikal more than what I have done last year. Hence, I'm going there on March 11 for a week.

In case of interest, I would be very happy if any of you joined me. Seriously - I can help with the logistics and everything else. Just write me an email right now.

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The Kit Is Complete

It did not come easy, but I left film behind lately and switched to digital. Despite of what I wrote about the comparison of the two before. Or perhaps because of it - the CMOS Phase One chip of my IQ150 has somehow become more vibrant and of a character than extremely neutralised CCD of previous models.

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Baikal Reflections

I'm blown away.

By the Lake Baikal, by its immensity and liveliness; its subtletness and tranquility. You get it all - monumental vistas with shorelines, islands and rocks, and tiny little details sculpted in the ice under your feet. Loud cracks of the ice plates and absolute silence, occasionally broken by blasts of the freezy wind forcing tears in to your eyes.

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Postcard from Sochi

I'm writing this on-board of Aeroflot flight to Sochi. Apart from many other curiosities (a huge and almost empty Airbus A-330 for two-hour domestic flight from Moscow), I was just asked to fill out the questionnaire about alcoholic beverages I like the most. Truly starting to love this country and the airline that is so determined to hear their clients and act upon it.

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