The Spirits of the Polar Ural by Liseykina

About this series

This series of photographs was taken in the mountains of the Polar Ural. The hard-to-reach Lake Khadata-Yugan-Lor is hundreds of kilometers from civilization. There is nothing around but boundless tundra, wild mountains, glaciers, bears, hordes of mosquitoes, midges and several reindeer herders’ camps, where people live with their deer in the wild, just like their ancestors did centuries ago. We travelled by all-terrain vehicles through the swamps and tundra, and it took us two days. And our way back was the same.

On the way we broke the brakes on our cross-country vehicles, then our wheel fell off, we got stuck in the swamp, crossed lots of rivers, constantly repaired something and hid from mosquitoes and heavy winds. It seemed that the Spirits of the Polar Urals didn’t really want to let uninvited guests in.

And when you live in the wilderness for a week, some amazing things begin to happen in the tent. One evening I was lying on a soft and elastic moss. It was a hard day behind, so when I finally closed my eyes, some bizarre images of the spirits of these places began to appear in my imagination. Strange faces emerged in consciousness, they smoothly transformed one into another. I believe that in this way the mysterious spirits proved their good will, giving us a possibility to explore their wild and undisturbed possessions.

Well, I tried to convey this cryptic atmosphere in my photos.

Elena Liseykina


I'm travel and landscape photographer, and been taking photos for about 15 years. My education background is mathematician-programmer, and I have worked for more than 10 years in one of the largest IT companу. In order to learn how to take photos and process pictures, everyday I woke up at 5 in the morning, did my hobby for several hours, and then went to work. As I was traveling on vacation and on weekends taking photos, I began to develop myself as photographer, sending pictures to photo contests, and even started a blog about travel and photography. One day I got a call from the Fujifilm and was offered to become their ambassador. For more than 10 years I have been combining work as a programmer in the office, while juggling photography, travel, and my blog. I decided to leave the office behind 2 years ago, since then I have never regretted it, although it was scary.