Lake Baikal

February 2023 : Available

Lake Baikal

Feb 2023 – exact dates coming soon

Feb 2023

Lake Baikal, Siberia



Daragh Muldowney

Fee Includes:
Accommodation for 8 Nights, 3 Meals per Day, spacious vans for transport across the lake, 2 photographic guides, 1 local guide, 1 local translator, 3 drivers, airport pick up and drop off

Photography Level:
Intermediate – Advanced

Group Size:
7 Max (We like to keep groups small)


In the past 2 years, Daragh Muldowney has made some amazing journeys deep into Siberia, more specifically, Lake Baikal, to create a new exhibition of stunning landscape photography. Through Daraghs adventures a unique opportunity has arisen to travel to Baikal in conjunction with Daragh’s local guide and our hosts Baikal Extreme. The trip will draw on Daragh’s local experience and knowledge, and combine it with an original photographic vision. ExploreLight is on hand to provide the perfect framework for this genuinely unique adventure.

Lake Baikal is the largest freshwater lake by volume in the world, containing 22–23% of the world’s fresh surface water holding more water than the North American Great Lakes combined. In winter it is a frozen wonderland with exquisite ice imagery everywhere you look. It is a source of infinite beauty that is a wonder to behold and a joy to photograph. The surface of the lake freezes up to 2m thick making it possible to drive on and explore this vast ice-scape. Sculptural cracks journey across the surface with fine feathery detail. Large sapphire hummocks sit nestled in clean virgin snow. Jagged islands appear powerfully out of the cracked ice.

Baikal is not only a paradise of stunning photography but an adventure of epic proportions.

The tour is 8 nights long in total and begins and ends in Irkutsk. You will be collected from the airport and brought to your hotel to ensure you have a comfortable and secure arrival. This tour is for people who appreciate some genuine adventure. Nevertheless, we bring the ExploreLight promise of ensuring we don’t cut corners and make every aspect of the trip as comfortable as possible while still maintaining our primary focus, the photography

  • Night 1 – Irkutsk
  • Night 2 and 3 – Khuzhir
  • Night 4, 5 and 6 – Barguzin
  • Night 7 – Khuzhir
  • Night 8 – Irkutsk

The split of nights allows for comfortable departure and arrival from Russia while the split of nights on opposite sides of the lake provides the right balance of time to explore and photograph the winter wonderland of Lake Baikal.


  • 8 nights accommodation
  • 3 meals per day
  • spacious vans for transport across the lake
  • airport pick up and drop off
  • 1 photographic guides
  • 1 local guide
  • 1 local translator
  • 2 drivers

This tour is hosted by Baikal Extreme

All necessary forms will be provided in order for you to acquire the appropriate visas to visit Russia. Our local tour provider will be an essential connection to ensure a unique and amazing experience.

The cost of the workshop is €4250. For this fee, you will receive all tuition and location guide as described above. Accommodation for 8 Nights, 3 Meals per Day, spacious vans for transport across the lake, 2 photographic guides, 1 local guide, 1 local translator, 3 drivers, airport pick up and drop off

FLIGHTS are not included.

It is not advised to book flights until we confirm we have adequate numbers for this workshop to go ahead. In the event of the workshop not going ahead, we will refund deposits in full. However, we will not compensate flight costs.

  • On Location Guidance
  • Compositional Instruction
  • Post Processing Instruction in Free Webinar
  • Understanding Exposure Triangle
  • Modes of Exposure
  • RAW, White Balance and Filters
  • Why is the angle of the sun so important – Understanding Light and seeing like your camera
  • Using Graduated Neutral Density Filters
  • Sharpness From Here to Shanghai – Understanding Depth of Field
  • Choosing the Correct Shutter Speed to get the best Outcome
  • The Importance of Composition – Using Lines and Texture
  • Histograms ExplainedExposing to the Right for Maximum Details

Daragh Muldowney – view gallery of Daragh’s images HERE

Camera gear:

  • For equipment, we recommend at least a DSLR. Wide, fast lenses are more popular with night and aurora.
  • We recommend an ND filter, grad filters and polariser. Sturdy tripod – think windy!
  • An expected amount of gear would fill a camera backpack.Typically we will be shooting landscapes, so a quality wide angle is important… the lens needs to be fairly fast i.e. f/2.8 if possible
  • Spare Batteries, European charger. Car charger
  • Shutter Release
  • As we will be shooting at night, it is important to have a headlamp.


  • The correct way to dress is to have suitable layers of clothing, so that layers can be added or removed accordingly. Icelanders dress with 3 or 4 thin layers, starting with wool and ending with Goretex (or similar).
  • You can expect temperatures between 12 c and -12 c
  • Layers of clothing, for example, thermal-shirt, fleece, jacket, long-johns, Outdoor trousers (not jeans!!), rain jacket and rain trousers.
  • Sturdy shoes for light hiking (waterproof is best), wool socks.
  • Hat and gloves, scarf and balaclava.
  • Spare gloves – spare shoes.

Luggage Guide:

  • One large suitcase, small personal bag, camera bag and tripod each.

MODERATE: There are no strenuous walks on this trip but some bumpy rides in the van and careful footing needed on the lake.

Our team is dedicated to getting you the best images possible on every trip. We are an experienced team of leaders and always willing to go the extra mile for our participants. Ask our repeat customers. Most workshops have 50% or higher returning customers. We are a community of photography lovers and we would love it if you could join the ExploreLight experience too.

We will get you to the right place at the right time of day to maximize your chances of making great images. That’s the core focus of every trip. What drives us forward. We love the light as much as you do and our primary goal is always to give you the best chance possible of bringing home special images.

We have small groups and a really high teacher to pupil ratio. Most workshops are only 6 or 7 people. Our max is 9 and there will be 2 instructors. This means that there is always time to give advice and help when on location. It also means we always travel in comfort with 2 people to a 3 seat berth. We’re all friends but a bit of space while traveling is essential too. We take your comfort seriously with single occupancy rooms with private bathrooms as standard. There are one or 2 small exceptions on this point, but they are few and far between, and always noted in the description. We also have a dedicated office team managing logistics so you have a pint of contact for your arrival and departures or other logistical questions you might have around the trip.

The ‘craic’ (fun) is always mighty. We like the feeling of community and fun when on tour. We’re together as a group chasing the light but laughing while we do it.

Every workshop of 3 days or more comes with a free follow up private webinar for the group. 2 hours of post-processing of the images from your trip. Recorded live and emailed back to you so you have a road map through the edit of the whole trip.

So why not join the adventure?

“On a workshop with ExploreLight, there are always laughs, but there are always great photographs too.  Peter and his team go to great efforts to ensure everyone gets the shot they want at a location – whether it’s the continuous checking of local weather conditions, to in depth knowledge of each location, to prepping the group prior to arrival at the location by showing past shots, to walking among the group during the shoot, offering advice and sharing their own shots, total dedication to the client.  I’ve taken some of my best shots while on ExploreLight workshops and that’s no coincidence.

The aftercare is second to none, with a private Facebook group where you are encouraged to share your shots (and where you can receive suggestions for improvement) to social nights out and emails on upcoming workshops, editing sessions, etc.  Peter is building a community of photographers who return again and again.”

Barbara Tanzler

“Something deep within tempted me to attend an ExploreLight fundamentals workshop in the Wicklow National Park in March 2015. I remember coming home feeling invigorated, that a new world was about to open up for me. My photography has improved steadily so much so that I recently achieved my Associate distinction from the IPF but more importantly I have met fantastic people many of whom are now considered friends, I’ve attended many more ExploreLight workshops since and visited fantastic locations all under the expert guidance of the ExploreLight team. These guys are good and are at the top of their game and super professional. I recommend ExploreLight because they are the best Photography workshop and tour operators out there.”

Noel McIntyre AIPF

“I have been on several ExploreLight Workshops and have thoroughly enjoyed every one of them.  The ExploreLight workshops are a perfect combination of excellent teaching, superb locations, and great “craic”. Your enthusiasm is infectious, even if it means getting up at 5am to shoot the sunrise, or staying out until 4am to shoot the aurora. I look forward to returning to many more workshops with you guys.”

Paul Byrne

Iceland South Coast : 24 – 31 Jan 2022

Iceland North/West : 25 – 30 Jan 2022

Lofoten : 2 – 8 Feb 2022

Once we confirm the workshop is going ahead the following terms will apply.

If legal restrictions change and the workshop leaders cannot enter the destination country then, of course, we will not be able to run the workshop. If this happens your balance payment is fully refundable. Your deposit is also fully refundable but we would ask that you consider transferring this to another trip to happen at a later date.

If you are restricted from legally entering the destination country then your balance payment is also fully refundable. Your deposit is also fully refundable but we would ask that you consider transferring this to another trip to happen at a later date.

If you decide to cancel the workshop after balance payments are made but there is no legal impediment to you entering the destination country we will not be able to offer any refund.

Regarding flights or other personal expenses, we cannot take responsibility for costs if a workshop does not go ahead. We suggest having insurance or a ticket that allows you to move dates. This is available with most airlines at the moment.

Please read our Terms & Conditions HERE

Email if you require any further information


For the coming autumn season and winter season, we will require participants to be vaccinated to attend our tours. This will not apply to self-drive trips in Ireland but to all other trips where we will be sharing vehicles. We are not trying to make a political stance on this point but the reality is there is a definite move towards vaccination requirement for indoor dining in Europe making it unworkable to come on tour if you’re not vaccinated. We also want to take as safe an approach as possible for our participants as we begin down this journey of reopening. You will be required to confirm you are vaccinated by email. Also bear in mind you will be asked to produce proof of vaccination in most indoor dining settings in Europe.

Entry Into the workshop country

Entry requirements can be different depending on your departure country. We will provide the appropriate link for you to establish what are the requirements for entry bearing in mind situations can change. We do not book your flights thus It is your responsibility to make sure you have the right documentation to enter the destination country.

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