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Russia is an amazing place to visit if you are interested in photography. As well as being the largest country on earth, it is also one of the least explored for western photographers. I’ve been an avid amateur photographer for a long time and I think Russia is one of the best places I’ve seen for photography.
There are countless opportunities to photograph places, building and people that have rarely been seen in the west. Once you head outside the well known areas of Moscow and St Petersburg you will experience the true beauty of this amazing country. The quality of the light, especially when reflected off snow is astounding.
Bring your best cameras and lenses, lots of memory cards and film, and just get out and explore.
There are few restrictions on photography, although it would be wise to exercise some caution around military installations, government buildings and policemen.
People do seem reasonably tolerant of photographers in Russia. There is little of the hysteria seen in countries such as England, where anybody with a camera is viewed as a potential terrorist or bad man. In all my years in Russia, I’ve only had a couple of occasions where somebody has asked what I was doing. Once they realise that you are a foreigner and simply interested in capturing the beauty of Russia then they will leave you alone.
Prices for cameras and lenses in Russia tend to be higher than in the west so I would recommend buying most things at home before your trip.
35mm film is easily available everywhere, and virtually every supermarket will have a kiosk selling USB memory sticks and SD memory cards for your digital cameras.