I was asked to be the official photographer of a new sled dog race in Russia, a long distance race of 637 kilometers and much of it along the HUGE Volga River.
You can read all about the idea behind the race at: http://volgaquest.com/en.
I asked to have an English-speaking interpreter and guide with me. The person they assigned me is a photographer also and a VERY good one at that: Dmitry Sharomov http://www.lightstalkers.org/dmitry & https://www.facebook.com/dmitry.sharomov.5
Dmitry recently worked for Greenpeace for over a month when the “Arctic 30” crew from the ship Arctic Sunrise was jailed in Russia. He was quite stealthy in order to get some one-of-a-kind images. An incredibly talented and persistent man…and he speaks pretty good English too. I am certainly envious of many of his images from the Volga Quest.
Much of the time, he was off shooting on one snowmachine, and I was on another machine with a great guy, Eugeny. We couldn’t communicate real well, but we got the job done.
The people involved in the Volga Quest committee are all outdoor/expedition type people and all were wonderful, generous, kind-hearted people. I felt very much welcome and safe, though at the same time, WAY out of my element; I did not understand the language and was not familiar with the trail or how each day was planned out. Not your typical sled dog race. They had a “festival” each night in the villages the race came through. Very special. The unfamiliarity of the language, event and trail was the biggest challenge in getting the best images during the race. What has helped me in my success as a photographer was the adage:
“F8 and BE THERE!“ Be there on hand to capture what’s going to happen and know how to use your equipment. Unfortunately, I was not always “there” because of the language factor.
Below are some of my favorite images of the whole Russia— Volga Quest experience. All images from the race are available to look at on: http://iditarodphotos.com/volga.html
Hope you enjoyed viewing these photos!