Tian Shan. Photo tour in Kyrgyzstan with Vladimir Trofimov

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May 30, 2015 – Jun 9, 2015

Genre: Landscape

The workshop has been completed

Manager: Владимир Трофимов

Photos of the workshop participants

Here you can view the photos, taken by the workshop participants. These are the best works, selected by the master in the process of joint discussions.


© Zlatnikova Galina

1 photos from 1 authors

Lead photographer

Владимир Трофимов

Professional photographer, specialized in landscape, genre and travel photography. Has publications in National Geographic, National Geographic Traveler, Conde Nast Traveller, Daily Mail Online, etc. Leads several publishing projects. Is engaged in organization in off-site photo-tours since 2010.

List of participants is visible to the club members, who have attended at least one workshop.

About the workshop

We invite you on photo journey in the mountains of lake Issyk-Kul. Photographer and traveler Vladimir Trofimov will lead the group. Early summer is the best time to go on this trip. Down below mountain valleys are carpeted with grass and flowers, while summits are still white with snow. It is a fleeting moment. In two-three weeks the sun’s harsh glare will burn down the growth and melt the caps.

Together we will visit the most picturesque gorges and valleys, climb up on a syrt (plateau) to the source of Naryn river 3800 m above sea level, firmly in the grip of winter this time of the year. We will spend two days at Song-Kul lake high in the mountains just as shepherds begin to drive their flocks there and set up their yurts (tents). We too will sleep twice in a Kyrgyz yurt, for the rest of the trip comfortable hotel lodging will be provided.

Program hide

Day 1. Saturday, May 30th

Morning flight from Moscow (arrive at midday). Those coming in by different flights may come the day before. At the airport Mitsubishi Delica shuttles with drivers will be waiting. Based on the SUV Mitsubishi Pajero, the shuttles are fairly comfortable and can handle cross-country well, which is important for highland travel. There is space for baggage and food for the trip, we will also be accompanied by a cook. We drive directly to Issyk-Kul lake, some time in the evening check in a lakeside hotel in Cholpon-Ata. Training will begin later that night in the conference room.

Day 2. Sunday, May 31st

Get up before dawn and drive out to Grigoryevskoye gorge, one of the most picturesque places at Issyk-Kul. Shoot the sunrise here and spend the rest of the day till sundown. In daytime discuss photography, have dinner made by the cook, relax outdoors. In the evening take more pictures and come back to the same hotel in Cholpon-Ata. The first batch of snapshots will be reviewed the same night in the conference room.

Day 3. Monday, June 1st

Around dawn we will take a steamer around Issyk-Kul, take pictures of snowy peaks in the morning sun as they rise over the mirror-like water. Then breakfast and set out to Karakol town, our next base for visits to other, equally impressive-looking gorges. After check-in we will visit Karakol gorge for an evening photo session to be followed by a review.

Day 4. Tuesday, June 2nd

We will meet sunrise in Jeti-Oguz, an extraordinary gorge with red-colored cliffs. It is a very beautiful place, well-known in Kyrgyzstan. In the 1970s Soviet cosmonauts trained there. We will come back to Karakol for dinner, in the evening take an elevator to 3080 m from sea level, a perfect place to capture Tien Shan mountains and Issyk-Kul. More training and a review of pictures.

Day 5. Wednesday, June 3rd

By sunrise we need to make a rather long trip to Djuuku gorge, where we will spend the entire day, visit the yurts of Kyrgyz nomads. In between hiking and shooting we will have dinner cooked in the open air, come evening travel to a new hotel in Kaji-Sai village.

Day 6. Thursday, June 4th

By this time we probably will have adopted to middle-range mountain heights and be prepared to get higher, to Barskaun plateau at 3800 m. It is one of the most beautiful places in Kyrgyzstan and requires an entire day to shoot. We will make sure to break camp for a tasty dinner in nature’s bosom, then get back to the hotel.

Day 7. Friday, June 5th

The previous days having been intense, you will probably be tired enough to want to sleep it off and discuss pictures and photo treatments. Some may venture for a dip in lake Issyk-Kul, there are fine beaches by Kaji-Sai village.

Day 8. Saturday, June 6th

We start the day by riding the shuttles to another extraordinary place, lake Song-Kul 3000 m from sea level. There we will spend two nights in Kyrgyz guest yurts. Guest yurts are genuine tents, only cleaner, without unpleasant smells and with more local color. On the way we will stop for lunch with some hospitable Kyrgyz people, who also sell great souvenirs. In the evening move into the yurts and take pictures at sunset.

Day 9. Sunday, June 7th

This day will be spent strolling by the lake, shooting mountain landscapes and nomads. Dinner, rest and a photo discussion around midday.

Day 10. Monday, June 8th

A morning photo session followed by packing and a long drive to Kyrgyzstan’s capital Bishkek and a good hotel in it. Have dinner, a photo review and a farewell supper.

Day 11. Tuesday, June 9th

Early in the morning drive out to the airport and fly back to our homes.

Useful information

Costs not included:
— plane ticket to Bishkek (about $550 from Moscow);
— alcohol, private expenses.

You need to bring along your own set of photo equipment: a camera, lenses, a tripod. A notebook is recommended for picture reviews, time has been set aside for them in the schedule. Contact me for suggestions on equipment.


We will spend the entire journey at middle-range mountain heights, 1500 to 3000 m above sea level. After full 4 or 5 days to adopt we will proceed to 4000 m for 1 day, no overnight stay. Healthy people should not even feel any discomfort, at most you may be slightly out of breath after active hiking. Those with high blood pressure or possible heart trouble should bring medication.

Also at these heights UV radiation is very strong and may give you a quick sunburn, even in cloudy weather (depending on your skin type). Sunscreen is recommended for everyone, especially if your skin is sensitive, and sunglasses are also a good idea.