22 Day Photography Workshop Autumn Trans Siberian Railway

  • Vladivostok Russia
Photo: Harald Claessen, Siberia 2017

Photo: Harald Claessen, Siberia 2017

This is a unique workshop that many photographers have been waiting for: the opportunity to visit and photograph the daily life of the towns and villages along the Trans Siberian Railroad.

Workshop participants will visit lesser-known Russian villages and engage in people-to-people experiences with Russian people - an opportunity to create a portfolio of photographs of exploration on a path less travelled.

In addition, for those participants who are interested, we will organise optional portrait model shoots along the way, Russia has a lot to offer.

Your host on this adventure

Host: Harald Claessen

Born in the Netherlands, Harald is a Social Documentary, Portrait and street photographer who previously lived in Russia for four years. He is now based in Cyprus and travels to teach photography in workshops and to work on his projects. 

Photo: Harald Claessen, Siberia 2017

Photo: Harald Claessen, Siberia 2017

Up for a trip of a lifetime?

We will all meet for this workshop in Vladivostok. From there we will take the Trans Siberian Railway to Moscow, which will bring the participants on a journey of a lifetime. We will make numerous multi-day stops which will give participants the possibility to see and capture a magnificent part of Russia, which is seldom traveled by foreigners - a magical journey through places with many distinct cultures that have not been unduly compromised by globalisation.

This experience is meant for independent photographers from every level who enjoy exploring what’s hidden around the next corner. Non-photographers are also welcome. While this travel is not physically demanding, the participants should be in good health and ready to walk and explore.

Photo: Harald Claessen

Photo: Harald Claessen

While we will travel as a group, you will be encouraged to “follow your instincts” and explore aspects of each village and town that interests you independently so that each participant on the travel has their own unique experiences to share. We will sometimes walk around as a group, but then other times we may separate from each other while getting caught up in something that personally resonates with our inner self. It’s OK to loose time while photographing. Walk and explore like a stray dog.

The way we travel is basic and light, since we believe that this helps us connecting to the people we meet and their lives will present us with more visually interesting moments. 

Photo: Harald Claessen, Siberia 2017

Photo: Harald Claessen, Siberia 2017

What is the aim of this travel photo workshop?

My aim is to assist you with making a personal photographic essay - wherein you explore how you can translate what presents itself along the journey into the emotions of the story you want to communicate. This will enable you to tell the story of this adventure in your own unique visual voice.

As we are travelling from destination to destination, we have plenty of time to edit and select our best images. I will regularly review yours and other participants’ images through group critiques, individual feedback and make suggestions. Towards the end of the trip I can assist you to turn your best images into a coherent photographic essay. 

For the optional model portrait shoots, I will explain my workflow with film cameras, light metering, zone system and film choice.

Photo: Harald Claessen, Siberia 2017

Photo: Harald Claessen, Siberia 2017


The price is EUR 3650,- (EUR 3350,- for "Early Bird" bookings, valid till July 31st) and includes the following:

  • All accommodations (including breakfast) from check-in on arrival in Vladivostok on September 10, till departure from Moscow on October 1, 2017
  • All train tickets from Vladivostok to Moscow
  • Advice on visa arrangements for Russia

What is not included?

  • Arrival flight to Vladivostok and departure flight from Moscow
  • Visa costs (we will provide advisory)
  • Health, travel and other insurance valid for Russia
  • Lunches and dinners
  • Any costs related to planned portrait shoots of Models
  • Any other local transport, taxis and busses when exploring
  • Any other costs and all expenses of a personal nature such as room service, phone, laundry, internet access etc. 
Photo: Harald Claessen, Siberia

Photo: Harald Claessen, Siberia

What gear to bring?

Participants will need to bring a dSLR or rangefinder camera, a laptop computer with photo editing software and an external hard drive. I recommend prime lenses, anything between 28mm, 35mm and 50mm (full frame equivalent) with a relative fast and wide aperture (1.4, 1.8, 2 or 2.8) in order to photograph in low light situations. It is recommended that participants bring extra memory cards, extra camera batteries and all necessary battery chargers for their equipment.

How can I join?

If you are interested, you will want to register as soon as possible to reserve a spot for this exciting and unique experience. The amount of participants on this travel photo workshop will be limited. To express interest or to book a place on this journey, please send an e-mail to mail@haraldclaessen.com

Photo: Harald Claessen, Siberia 2017

Photo: Harald Claessen, Siberia 2017