Photographers Land on Kildin Island
November 12, 2014
We have been waiting for the morning to break, taking refuge from the night storm between the mainland and Kildin Island. The day is very short, no longer than 5 hours, but the low transpolar light provides fantastic conditions for the photographers. The weather changed every 5 minutes. The incoming waves were moderate, up to 1.5 meters (5 ft). The storm raged beyond the island, and the wind gusted over the strait up to 10-15 m/s (22-33 mph). We started landing on the island at the crack of the dawn. Kartesh rode at the anchor some 600 meters (0.4 miles) from the shore, and we covered this distance on a motorboat in several minutes. A group of five photographers wearing waterproof clothes and equipped with full sets of gear, lodged in a boat, lashed by salty waves. The crew made a quick and well-coordinated landing, successfully dealing with the most challenging task to force the boat out of the water against oncoming sea. The boat eventually got back to the vessel and awaited the order to return. We took off our waterproof wear and unpacked the equipment. Everything out of the waterproof containers got soaked. The weather was a bit frosty; the wind constantly and insistently gusted. We started shooting on the beach and dispersed in the area of 5 km (3 miles). Large-format camera shooting was a challenge, the wind being a certain impediment. We took photos against the wind, holding the tripods and hiding cameras from snowdrifts. We have been shooting all the four hours of daylight without a single pause. Kildin is a unique island but has a story in its own right. Photos by Alexander Vaynshteyn, Alexander Terekhov, Andrey Yermakov, Vladimir Vaskin, Yaroslav Amelin.