The SEEDS photographic project

United Kingdom




Written by Stephen

August 2015

The SEEDS photographic project to Iceland in May 2015 has been successfully organised here on many previous occasions. I was privileged to be working with a group of international volunteers, who were keen to improve their creative techniques using digital cameras.

There were a number of short informative Powerpoint displays on different aspects of photography, explaining the use of settings on the camera, how to take interesting pictures, and how Iceland has been portrayed by professional photographers. These were then followed by a discussion and practical tasks in the botanical gardens next to our hostel. We were given time to explore Reykjavik itself, which was about a 20-minute walk from our accommodation. The city provided great opportunities for group members to come up with something original. It is compact enough to be able to easily explore on foot the main streets, the harbours, the lighthouse, and the impressive Hallgrimskirkja (church tower). The resulting work was printed out and displayed in the nearby youth hostel.

In addition to the photographic work, we did two days volunteering in a local cemetery, which gave us a major task in reducing its rubbish disposal costs through a well-organised recycling system. Our job was to tidy various graves and remove piles of leaves with an electric vehicle to the rubbish dumps. It was enjoyable work, and we were provided with an excellent lunch in the adjoining recreation rooms. We also had a day’s work in the garden attached to the Café Florian in the botanic gardens, weeding and rearranging piles of soil.

On the two days we had off, we drove by minibus to the South Shore of Iceland, which enabled us to see Iceland’s stunning landscapes: black volcanic beaches, basalt columns, huge mountains covered with snow, lava fields, waterfalls, and ice floes. This provided additional opportunities to take some stunning photographs of a country that is truly awe inspiring.

I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of volunteering on this project, which was also because of the great bunch of people who were there at the same time as me.