KAMCHATKA PHOTO TOUR 2019 - Volcanoes and Pristine Nature
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kamchatka Photo tour 2019

VOLCANOES AND PRISTINE NATURE

Taking a Kamchatka Photo Tour is one of those experiences that change the life of any photographer.

Did you know that the highest and most spectacular volcanoes in all of Eurasia are surrounded by a unique natural scenery in the east of Russia?

Kamchatka is a region extremely beautiful and full of contrasts, where you can find volcanoes that get lost in the sky, infinite landscapes taken from another planet, valleys full of life and wildlife, glaciers and ice caves, fumaroles and natural spectacles.

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Besides, it is still an unknown place for the vast majority on earth, which makes this destination a unique place where nature has been preserved intact and everything is at is original state.

 

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Our Kamchatka Photography expedition will take place between Aug 25th to Sept 6th and is aimed at traveling and photographing the landscapes of the most impressive areas of this peninsula.

Unlike other traditional photography tours, this is a trip of true adventure, where most of the days we will sleep in tents in the middle of nature and where we will see landscapes and scenarios that have hardly been explored and photographed.

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During the tour, we will have a support team, which consists of local transport, guidance and assistance that will help us during our adventure.

They will prepare all the equipment, meals and logistics so we can focus on our goal of discovering and photographing the landscapes of Kamchatka.

I will be available 24 hours a day and I will do my best so you can return home with the best photos, providing all my knowledge in landscape photography, as well as showing you all the spectacular locations (some of them never photographed before) that I could discover traveling through Kamchatka.

2019 KAMCHATKA PHOTOGRAPHY TOUR ITINERARY

Our Kamchatka photo expedition will focus on the most spectacular areas of Kamchatka; The famous “Valley of the Giants” in the Klyuchevskoya National Park, where the highest volcanoes in all of Eurasia are located, and the Southern area of the Mutnovsky and Gorely volcanoes where there is an intense volcanic activity with huge fumaroles, glaciers and ice caves.

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The itinerary is fixed, but some locations may vary according to weather conditions. The weather in Kamchatka is unpredictable and, therefore, we will adjust the locations if necessary to make the most of the conditions that we will have during the route.

 

DAY 1: KAMCHATKA PHOTO TOUR – August 25th

You need to arrive in Kamchatka on August 25th so early next morning we will start our way. We will take care of gathering all the participants and rest for the long journey that we will have next day.

You must arrive at the Petropavlovsk airport, where we will be waiting to take you to the hotel where we will spend the first night before our Photography Tour to Kamchatka.

 

Day 2: kamchatka photo tour – August 26th

On our second day of our Kamchatka Photo adventure we will set out towards North to the first area: Klyuchevskoi National Park.

Most of the time we will drive through a dirt road as the infrastructure and roads in Kamchatka are rudimentary. We will spend the day to reach Kozyrevsk, a small town at the entrance to the National Park from where we can already see the volcanoes. Here we will have a welcome dinner and spend the night.

Day 3: KAMCHATKA photo tour – August 27th

During the third day we will leave Kozyrevsk towards the first area that we will explore inside the National Park; the South area of the Tolbachik volcano.

The support local team will install the camp and we will photograph the sunset in one of its famous volcanic cones where we will have a spectacular panoramic view of the main volcanoes and volcanic cones in this area; a landscape that seems taken from another planet.

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Day 4: KAMCHATKA photo tour – August 28th

We will photograph the sunrise during the fourth day of our Kamchatka photo tour from another volcanic cone where we will have a different view of the main volcanoes.

From this area, if the conditions are ideal, you can see the famous sea of clouds, a spectacular phenomenon where only the summits of the main volcanoes are visible above 10000 ft (3000 mts).

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Next, we will head towards the “Death Forest“, a forest that was covered by ash in the great Tolbachik eruption of 1975, and where you can still see the remain skeletons of the trees. Due to the conditions in which it happened, it is a unique forest in the World.

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Finally, we will photograph the sunset in the lava fields of the last eruption in 2012, where you can still feel the heat and see the smoke of the eruption at some points.

In terms of composition, it is one of the places that offers more opportunities thanks to the patterns created by the lava. This is one of those secret corners that you will discover during this photography trip to Kamchatka.

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Day 5: KAMCHATKA photo tour – august 29th

We will reserve this day in case we cannot make any of the previous plans due to weather conditions. If the weather is good and we can see and photograph all the above locations, we will go to other new spots in this area, like the South Tolbachik base area.

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Day 6: KAMCHATKA Photo Tour – august 30th

The team will set out the camp and we will travel back to  Kozyrevsk, where we will have about half a day off to relax and rest in the sauna/pool. We will sleep here before heading the next day to the new area.

 

Day 7: KAMCHATKA Photo tour – August 31st

During the seventh day of our Kamchatka Photo Tour we will head towards the second area of the Klyuchevskoy National Park: the Northern area of the Tolbachik volcano.

Although it is the North face of the volcano where we have spent the previous days, the landscape changes drastically. We will go from the Martian and desolate landscapes of the first area to large meadows full of vegetation, life and wildlife.

From this camp we will have a privileged view of the most famous volcanoes in the Park: the highest active volcano in Eurasia, Klyuchevskoy, the Northern face of the Tolbachik volcano, the giant Kamen volcano and the active Bezymianny.

They are all the perfect background for our photographs.

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In this valley we will find lakes, rivers, meadows full of colorful tundra and a wide variety of wildlife such as foxes, partridges or brown bears.

We will shoot the sunset in a small lake near the camp where, if there is no wind, you can enjoy an incredible scene with Tolbachik volcano reflected on the water.

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Day 8: KAMCHATKA Photo tous – Septiembre 1st

The next day of our photography workshop in Kamchatka, we will return to this lake at dawn. This time we will shoot the North volcanoes and, with a bit of luck, seeing the activity if the skies are clear.

During the day we will hike a short trail to explore the valley. Also, there is a optional activity of  hiking a longer trek to visit a lava canyon.

We will return to the camp to shoot the sunset again from the lake. The conditions are very changing and it is very likely that the view and light is very different from the previous day.

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Day 9: kamchatka Photo Tour – september 2st

In the morning we will shoot a last sunrise from the lake and surroundings near the camp and close the camp to start our route towards South.

The next area that we will explore during our Kamchatka Photo Tour is the Southern volcanoes: Mutnovsky and Gorely. The road is again long so we will make a stop to rest and sleep in the middle of the route in Yelizovo.

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Day 10: kamchatka Photography tour – September 3rd

We will depart from Yelizovo to the new base camp. On the way we will pass through an important mountain pass with spectacular views where we will stop briefly for lunch and will photograph the Vilyiuchik volcano.

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In the afternoon we will arrive at the base camp and start exploring some of the natural ice caves on the slopes of Mutnovsky volcano.

* The caves change every year in shape, size and location, and the chances to see them will depend on the conditions we encounter once in the area.

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Day 11: kamchatka Photo tour – September 4th

The 11th day of our Kamchatka Photo Tour will be completely focused on the Mutnovsky Volcano.

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We will hike to visit its crater where we will pass through vast and stunning fumaroles, mountains painted in colors by the sulfur, and hot springs.

On our way back, we will visit the Opazny waterfall, located in an enormous ravine at the foot of the volcano.

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Day 12: kamchatka Photo tour – september 6th

On the next day exploring the South area, we will visit the Gorely Volcano.

This volcano, very different from the rest of the volcanoes already seen during the trip, is one of the most active in the peninsula and has more than 13 craters which are constantly changing depending on the activity.

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In some of the craters you can see small lakes with intense colors due to the volcanic elements mixed with the water.

From some of the craters there are also spectacular panoramic views of the entire valley with Volcano Vilyuchik in the background.

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Day 13: kamchatka photo tour – september 5th

During our last day of our Kamchatka Photo expedition, we will reserve the morning to repeat one of the Mutnovsky or Gorely volcanoes hikes if the weather were bad before.

In the afternoon we will pick everything up and we will head back to the capital Petropavlovsk, where we will rest in the hotel and we will conclude the trip.

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Day 14: kamchatka Photo Tour – September 6th

Be sure to book your flight back by September 6th. The transfer to the airport is included in the price.

Price: To consult

Deposit: $1200

A $1200 non-refundable deposit is required to reserve your spot for this workshop. You can also pay in full at any time. The remaining balance is due on May 1st, 2019. If the remaining balance is not paid in full by the due date, you will lose your spot.

WHAT DOES THE PRICE INCLUDE?

Included

  • Pick up at the Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky airport
  • 6WD off road vehicle for transportation during the trip and local driver
  • Fuel
  • Accommodation in hotels and wooden cabins in shared rooms, single beds
  • Accommodation in tents for two people
  • Camping gear such as sleeping bags, mats, tables and chairs
  • Hiking gear such as Trekking Poles
  • Kitchen utilities and local chef
  • Meals during the camping days
  • Local guide and interpreter
  • Photography guide services by Daniel Zafra and Sergio Lanza, professional photographers specialized in landscape, nature, and travels
  • National Parks entrance permits
  • Travel assistance insurance

NoT included

  • Flights to/from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky airport
  • Health insurance
  • Accommodation in single rooms/tends  (USD700 extra)
  • Visa (We will help you with this)
  • Calls, personal expenses, tips etc. and any other service not mentioned in the “INCLUDED” section

YOUR GUIDE ON THE Kamchatka PHOTO TOUR

Dan Zafra

Dan will be the Kamchatka specialist photo guide that will take you through this remote land and will make sure you get the best photos. 

He will show you the most spectacular locations of the peninsula and will be available 24 hours a day so you can ask any question about landscape photography, technique, composition or processing. 

Dan feels a great passion for nature and remote landscapes, which has led him to explore areas barely photographed as the Icelandic Highlands, deserts of the American Southwest, and the wild landscapes of Kamchatka.

Sergio Lanza

Sergio will go with you on this trip as a photo guide to help you make your experience in Kamchatka unbeatable so you can return home with the best possible photographs.

He will help you with any question that you have, and will be always available to assist you during the trip.

Sergio is a professional landscape and travel photographer with a long experience for more than a decade. He is dedicated to develop and run Photo tours in the most spectacular places in the world such as Alaska, the Canadian Rockies, Ladakh, Iceland and Lofoten.

His experience and results make him one of the best instructors and landscape photographers at an international level.

FQ&A

WHAT TO BRING TO A Kamchatka PHOTO TOUR?

PHOTOGRAPHY GEAR
  • DSLR or mirrorless camera with tripod and remote trigger.
  • A wide-angle lens, such as 14-24 mm.
  • A medium zoom lens, such as 24-70 mm.
  • A telephoto lens, like a 70-200 mm lens.
  • You may be interested in this guide where you can dive deeper into photography equipment for traveling.
CLOTHING

We planned this time of the year for our Kamchatka Photo Tour as statistically, it offers the greatest opportunity for clear skies without rain. Please bear in mind that the weather in Kamchatka is unstable and at any moment it can rain and even snow.

The average temperature in Kamchatka at the end of August / September varies between 60ºF (16Cº) of maximum and 48ºF (9Cº) of minimum, with lower temperatures in higher altitude near the volcanoes. Therefore, we recommend to be well-prepared and bring winter clothes. Some of the things that you will have to bring to this Kamchatka Photo tour are:

  • Waterproof coat prepared for low temperatures.
  • Thermal waterproof pants.
  • Waterproof mountain boots.
  • Gloves, hat and neck warmer

A complete list of everything we recommend to take will be sent to the participants of the Kamchatka photo tour.

MONEY

The currency of Kamchatka is the ruble (₽). We recommend bringing rubles from your country, although if it were not possible, it could also be changed at the Petropavlovsk airport.

Most of the meals during the trip and all the equipment is included, so you only need rubles for everything not included in the trip such as personal expenses, alcoholic beverages, etc.

Documentation

Most countries require a tourist visa to enter Russia. Some countries, like most of the Europeans, also require mandatory health insurance.

Even so, we recommend hiring a health insurance to all participants regardless of whether it is mandatory or not. For the hiring of this insurance we can help you.

The only citizens exempt from visa are those of Argentina, Chile, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, Colombia, Venezuela and Israel, so if you are a citizen of any of these countries you will not need it.

Each participant must process the Visa in advance. We will help you with this process.

WHAT EXPENSES SHOULD YOU CONSIDER FOR THE LOFOTEN ISLANDS WORKSHOP?

Flights

The price of flights to Kamchatka varies depending on the area of the world from where you are traveling from. Normally there is a layover in Moscow.

As a guideline, the average price of a ticket from Europe or the United States ranges between $ 1,200 and $ 1,500.

Meals

Meals during the camping days of our trip to Kamchatka will be included.

Pre-and post-route meals in Petropavlovsk will not be included, as will meals traveling between cities such as Petropavlovsk-Kozyrevsk and Yelizovo.

entrance fee

The entrance fee price to the National Parks is included in the price of the Tour.

I DON’T KNOW IF THIS PHOTO TOUR IS FOR ME

what level do i need to join this kamchatka photo tour?

This trip is not a traditional Photo Tour, but a Photo expedition with a large dose of adventure where we will drive many hours on unpaved roads, sleep in tents for many days and where there will be hardly any room for comfort and luxury.

The organization is designed to make the trip as comfortable as possible, but keep in mind all the circumstances since this trip may not be for you.

But do not just think about uncomfortable and unpleasant conditions, these small sacrifices are the price to pay for being in one of the remotest and beautiful areas on earth, and I guarantee that it is worth it!

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If you are starting in photography you are totally welcome and I am convinced that your progress will be very fast. No matter how long you have been photographing, we will do our best so you can come back home with unforgettable images.

In addition, before this photo tour, we can optionally have an initial call by Skype, to assess your photographic level and set your goals for the trip. This will make things easier once we are traveling.

AM I TOO YOUNG/OLD FOR THIS Kamchatka PHOTO TOUR?

There is no age limit. This trip is perfect for anyone over 18 years old who wants to photograph Kamchatka with us.

WHAT PHYSICAL CONDITIONS DO I NEED?

Keep in mind that, although on this Kamchatka Photo Adventure there are no long or strenuous hikes, some of the sunrises and sunsets will be shot from the top of volcanic cones and areas where a optimum physical level is required.

Longer treks, such as the Mutnovsky volcano, are hikes no longer than 2 hours.

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CAN I BRING MY DRONE?

Capture the Atlas is drone friendly. Kamchatka, moreover, is a paradise to fly the drone with hardly any restrictions or people. However, we do not take responsibility for your drone in case of an accident or a fine if you fly it in restricted areas under your responsibility.

OTHER F.A.Q. BEFORE TAKING A KAMCHATKA PHOTO TOUR

WHAT VEHICLE WILL WE use to MOVE around KAMCHATKA?

We will travel in the famous “Kamaz”, 6WD Russian vehicles designed to move across any type of terrain.

From outside they look like traditional trucks but inside they will have all the conveniences of a normal bus.

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HOW WILL I CHARGE MY BATTERIES DURING THE ROUTE?

We will have generators to charge our camera and drone batteries, as well as other devices during the route.

CAN I HAVE A SHOWER DURING THE ROUTE?

The common accommodation has a shower. Accommodation in Kozyrevsk also has a sauna.

During the route in the field there will be no bathrooms with shower but if any participant requires it, portable showers can be prepared.

The planning is designed to not spend more than 3 days without having access to a shower.

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are there bathrooms along the route?

All the areas where we will install the camp have private latrines.

should i take mosquito repellent to Kamchatka?

During the beginning and most part of the summer, mosquitoes can be a pain in Kamchatka. At the end of summer and with the drop in temperatures (which coincides with our travel time) most disappear. Even so, we advise you to take a mosquito repellent.

are bears dangerous in kamchatka?

In Kamchatka bears are not dangerous as long as basic precautions are taken.

In addition, the time when we travel takes place with berry and salmon season so most bears will be busy looking for food.

Even so, we will take precautions such as always moving in groups of 3 or more people in the locations, keeping the food properly stored at night and all local staff members and photo guides will take anti-bear spray in case there is an unlikely encounter.

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will we have any emergency device?

Although we will be in one of the remotest areas on earth, we will have a satellite GPS with the possibility of receiving weather reports, as well as receiving and sending emergency calls and SMS.

In the unlikely event of any serious emergency, there are several areas prepared for helicopter landing.

will we have an internet connection during the trip?

In this trip we will be more connected with nature than with internet and social networks. Even so, in the hotels of Petropavlovsk and in the village of Kozyrevsk there will be access to free Wi-Fi.

will there be processing lessons during the trip?

The main goal is to visit and photograph as many locations as we can.

However, if the weather makes the conditions dangerous or there is a big storm cutting all the photographic possibilities, we will take in the base camp editing, processing and photography talks.

JOIN THE EXPEDITION

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TERMS AND CONDITIONS

The itinerary may change per weather conditions.

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