May 18, 2021

Baikal by Birds Eye



Baikal by Birds Eye
Seeing a frozen Lake Baikal is on almost every Russophile's travel list— and now with this video's help, you almost can.  Photo by Ekaterina Sazonova via unsplash.com

While manufacturers generally don't recommend you fly your drone at temperatures below freezing, that didn't stop videographer Vadim Sherbakov from shooting this amazing film depicting a frozen Lake Baikal. 

 

 

The short film is titled The Noor, which means "lake" in Buryat (the language of the native people who inhabit the region around Lake Baikal).

Every picture of Lake Baikal ever taken is breathtakingly gorgeous; it comes with the territory of the location. What makes this film unique is the high altitude camera angles and Sherbakov's expert command of the drone.

Another interesting quality of the film is the somber tone Sherbakov captured in his video editing. As he writes in the YouTube caption for the movie, he wanted to create a different experience in this video, specifically one that counters the cheerful, touristy vibe of most Baikal vacation videos. He wanted to help the viewer imagine what it might be like to be a lone traveler, or a person who has survived in the terrain for years. 

It wasn't only the well-below freezing temperatures that gave Sherbakov trouble during filming, but also the heavy winds (the drone he is flying should not be flown in winds over 10 mph). Occasionally, he admitted, he would set the drone down on the ice, walk away, only to find that it had started to blow away before it could take off.

But the beauty of the project is so worth the troubles. Sherbakov's other works, including one featuring Moscow are also well worth a watch. 

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