Winter in Svaneti with Ivan Dementievsky and Pavel Kosenko

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Feb 21, 2014 – Feb 28, 2014

Genre: Travel, Landscape, Genre

The workshop has been completed

Ivan Dementievskiy, Pavel Kosenko

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.


© Evgeny Chuprov

© Evgeny Chuprov

© Dmitry Kuznetsov

40 photos from 8 authors

Lead photographers

Ivan Dementievskiy

Photographer, traveler, journalist. Organizer of expeditions to hard-to-get-at corners of the Earth, explorer of the remote regions, small peoples of the world. Author of the "Kingdom of Mustang" book, and a numer of publications in journals, and online media.

Pavel Kosenko

Colorist photographer. Devout color explorer and an author of numerous articles on photography and image processing. An author of The Living Digit book (published by Treemedia in 2013). A co-founder of the Fotoproekt, a chain of photolaboratories and a photoschool. An organizer and participant of a number of photo tours across Southeast Asia, Europe, the Middle East and other regions. An author of a very popular Russian blog on photography and travel.

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

About the workshop

Svaneti is said to be the Olympus of Georgia, the home of Svans, place full of sunshine, songs and poetry, the motherland of brave, hard working, happy, hospitable and die hard highlanders. We will have a chance to see it all with our own eyes. To see it from the inside, not like tourists. To meet people, become their friends, touch the ages old traditions. To take photos, discuss them, and publish a joint exclusive photo-book "Winter in Svaneti" with the selection of the best photographies taken by the participants.

This trip is at the same time a travel experience, an adventure, a way to meet soul-mates, a practical master-class in genre photography and a joint work on an art project.

Program hide

Day 1: Friday, February 21

This day will almost in full be taken by the road to Svaneti. It is advisable to arrive to Kutaisi airport, but it's also possible to fly to Batumi or to get to Zugdidi from Tbilisi. Then, off-road vehicles will take us to Mestia (transfer will be made in groups, depending on the time of arrival). In this season, the road might take up to 6-7 hours. In the process we get to know each other better and discuss different things. In case of arrival to Kutaisi with a flight from Moscow, the arrival time to Mestia will be at around midnight. A welcome drink (strong drink), an introductory speech – and off to sleep, we will need a rest after a long road.

Day 2: Saturday, February

We get to know Svaneti. All day we walk around the town of Mestia, as well as smaller towns/villages like Lenjeri and Latali. We take photos of the famous Svan towers, meet the friendly local people. Before the dinner we find time to discuss the first photo results, and then we join a traditional Svan festive table. We will also participate in a culinary master-class

Day 3: Sunday, February 23

Off to Ushguli – a remote village right there at the foot of the snowy mountains. Snow in this places is everywhere in the winter, so the road will be a difficult one. We will make a lot of stops along the way, since the scenery is so beautiful that it's impossible to pass it by. On arrival we meet the local people (it would be good if we have with us some small presents - coffee, chocolate, etc.). We overnight in the houses of Svans, divided into groups of 3/4 persons. And don't forget about the photography. The more photos we have from the families we are, the more different they are, the better would the photo-book be. And we will definitely send these books to our hosts as well.

Day 4: Monday, February 24

Return to Mestia. This day we will attend a traditional dog flighting in Latali - we will try to find two different sites for that, so that we can divide in two groups. Later on we take our time to select and discuss the best photos made during the day.

Day 5: Tuesday, February 25

A walk (about an hour one way) to a small, just a dozen of houses, village of Lakhujdi, located across the river from Latali. Here we would definitely have a chance to visit the local people and climb up the stairs in the Svan towers. We will have a chat with the locals, and of course, will have a shot or two of araka (local fruit vodka) accompanied by a simple, but very tasty local food. On return - selection and discussion of photos. Later on, a dinner.

Day 6: Wednesday, February 26

When was the last time you felt yourself like a gold-worker? What about working gold in the winder, away from civilization? It's your chance now! We are off to search for the Golden Fleece. We will also get to know all the details of the process of making araka, and will not miss a chance to taste it, btw, did I mention already that all Svans are great toast-masters? Closer to the evening we get back to Mestia, have a dinner and make the final discussion and selection of photos.

Day 7: Thursday, February 27

The first part of the day is left free for the participants to continue exploring the topics, they liked the most. Possibly, we can go to the ski-lift, and get to the upper station. We might even hire a helicopter and ask the pilot to take us for an aerial excursion. Here, the joint program finishes. After the lunch, we depart to Kutaisi (Batumi, Zugdidi - individually), where we arrive late in the evening. We check-in to the hotel.

Day 8: Friday, February 28

Departure day.

P.S. The program can vary a little bit, due to weather conditions.

Useful information

Highest elevation of the tour - 2300 m (Ushguli).

Planned expenses (see the numbers above) include:

  • accomodation in Mestia on BB basis (twin occupancy)
  • accomodation in Ushguli on FB basis (in the local houses, 3/4 people in one house)
  • ethno-evening (Svan choir, food, alcohol)
  • culinary master-class
  • a trip to the gold-workers, araka tasting
  • a walk to Lakhujdi village with a treat
  • organization of dog fighting

Planned expenses do not include:

  • transfer from Kutaisi/Batumi and back
  • lunches, dinners (apart from Ushguli)
  • accommodation in Kutaisi/Batumi/Zugdidi on arrival/departure to/from Georgia (to be booked individually)

Supplement for a single occupancy (apart from the night in Ushguli) – 100$.

It is advisable to take a flight from Moscow to Kutaisi (once a week, on Fridays) – A9932, arriving at 17:30. It is also possible to fly to Batumi.

It is possible to get to Mestia with an off-road vehicle (usually Toyota Delica) that can take up to 6 people. The price for the one-way transfer from Kutaisi is $200, from Batumi it is $230, per car. The cars would be booked in advance, in accordance with the information on the flights of the participants.

It is necessary to have with you proper winter trekking clothes (boots, pants and a jacket), as well as thermal underwear. You will also need a sleeping bag (can be a light one), since it might get a little cold in the houses of Svans in the village of Ushguli.