20 Day Photo Workshop Springtime Trans Siberian Railway

TRANS SIBERIAN RAILWAY Photographic Experience (Tuesday May 9 – Sunday May 28, 2017)

Photographers: Birgit Krippner and Harald Claessen. 

Birgit Krippner and Harald Claessen are exited to announce 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. If you are interested, you will want to register as soon as possible to reserve a spot for this exciting and unique photographic experience. The program will be limited to 8 participants (including the 3 organisers) 

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.

Up for adventure?

We will all meet for this Photographic Experience in Vladivostok on May 9. From there we will take the Trans-Siberian Railway to Moscow, which will bring the participants on a journey of a lifetime. The highlight will be numerous multi-day stops along the rail line that will give participants the possibility to see and capture a magnificent part of Russia, which is seldom traveled by foreigners - a magical journey through a place with many distinct cultures that have not been unduly compromised by globalisation.

This experience is meant for adventurous photographers who wish to explore what’s hidden around the next corner.

What is the aim of the Photographic Experience?

Our aim is to assist you with making a  photographic essay - wherein you explore how you and your camera can translate the reality that presents itself along the journey into the emotions or story you want to communicate to your audience. This will awake your own photographic voice and enable to tell the story of this adventure in your own unique visual voice.

As we are travelling we have plenty of time to edit and select our images. We will often review yours and other participants’ images through group critiques as we travel from destination to destination. Towards the end of the trip we will assist you to turn your best images into a coherent photographic essay.



Why do we call it a Photographic Experience and not a Photo Workshop?

-We will be organisers, and participants at the same time. Each day Birgit and Harald will spend time with the participants to see how their work is  developing and to give individual feedback, photo-critique and make suggestions in order to make a personal essay of your journey.

-While we will travel as a group, you will be encouraged to “follow your nose” and explore aspects of each village and town that interests or draws you to it.   The way we would like to travel is rather basic and light, but by choice, since we believe it will present us more visually interesting moments from feeling  connected to the people we meet and their life on their land. Our aim is to travel on the train mostly by night so that we can have more opportunities to  explore the settlements around TS-line (subject to train schedule).

-The participants will need to be independent to some extend, so that each participant on the travel can have their own unique experiences. We will often  walk around as a group, but then sometimes 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 like a stray dog.

-Inspire each other as photographers, but most importantly as companions.


How many participants do we aim for?

-The limit will be 8 participants which includes the two organisers and our Russian host. This is done for practical reasons, the places we intend to visit do  not always have the required infrastructure to accommodate a larger group, we explore off the tourist path.  It also allows the more immersive and personal  experience we are seeking. 


What will be the participation fee?

The participation fee is EUR 3450,- and includes the following:

 -All accommodations (including breakfast) from arrival in Vladivostok on May 9, till departure from Moscow on May 28

- All train tickets from Vladivostok to Moscow 3rd class (called "platzcart" in Russian)

- Local transport as arranged by the organisers

- A multi-linguistic Russian host

- Advice on visa arrangements


What is not included

- Arrival flight to Vladivostok and return flight from Moscow

- Visa costs (we will provide advisory)

- Health, travel and other insurance valid for Russia

- Lunches and dinners

- Any other local transport, taxis and busses.

- Any other costs. All expenses of a personal nature such as room service, phone, laundry, internet access etc. Any excess baggage charges.


How can we join?

To express interest or to book a limited place on this journey, please send an Email to either Birgit or Harald, mail@haraldclaessen.com Tell us briefly something about yourself, and why this travel is interesting to you.


What to bring?

Participants will need to bring a digital SLR or rangefinder camera, a laptop computer with photo editing software and an external hard drive. We 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.


What about the itinerary?

- Russian Railways announces the schedule 45 days in advance. We will start in Vladivostok and our final destination is Moscow where we will spend  the last few days

- Schedule of main highlights will be given to confirmed participants and will include little villages of interest, Lake Baikal, the Gulag, monasteries and small towns which will take you back decades.

We would be delighted to have you along this unique experience!