Inspired by Iceland
SEEDS 014. Easter Photo Marathon in the outskirts of Reykjavík - Úlfarsfell

The time had finally arrived, I found myself preparing to greet the imminent arrival of my first work-camp.

I stood at the door of our accommodation Ulfarsfell or as I have come to affectingly call it, Hoover-kettle. For the next ten days this remote and wild place we would call home, I took in a long breath of fresh Icelandic air and listened to the Mountains as they whispered to me in the distant winds.

I was nervous to say the least upon greeting my first crew at Ulfarsfell, however I was not alone and was with an experienced fellow long-term volunteer and camp leader Madara Liepina. With my best and loudest Welsh accent I began to introduce myself to my new found friends and from the very second I met this circle of intrepid travellers, I knew from their open and welcoming greetings that this was a good group and going to be a fun week not just for me but all of us.

After the dust settled and introductions where announced I was pleased to see such a varied mix of people from all aspects of society and corners of the globe, I thought to myself this was great and one of the many reason why I came to Iceland and volunteered for SEEDS.

Over many cups of tea and coffee, debate and decisions the group had decided that the current theme of this photo-marathon was (Lost Reality) which at times is how I felt being so far away from home. As exciting as this title was it did present the work-camp with a difficult challenge of trying to interpret this theme through the means of digital-photography.

However the group’s moral was high and the motivation was spontaneous and creativity was flowing. I was pleased to see that everyone was working together as a unit and even though the time I spent with them so far was short there was a strong feeling of family unity throughout the camp.

The group by now was well-oiled machine with every member carrying out the cooking and cleaning duties, as well as many photographs. I found it very interesting to see how each member of our group interpreted (Lost Reality.)

I was even more pleased to see them all develop their ideas and watch them evolve organically into something really interesting. Everyone was original in their approach and in the end the final outcome was very positive indeed. Everybody left feeling happy and satisfied and even though the theme (Lost Reality) would have challenged even the most experienced of photographers, everybody was successful in interpreting this theme in an interesting and creative manner and I hoped they all left with many wonderful images to cherish for life.

After the excursions to the South Shore, Hot River Hike and our International and final dinner had past, in my opinion time had passed too fast, the inventible had fallen upon us.

 Personally I have never been one for good buys and always keep them short and sharp but the time I spend with this special group meant that this good bye was going to be a long and for me a sad one, emails and Face Book names were exchanged and handshakes and hugs took place, bags where packed and the door to Hoover-Kettle was shut, we all departed on a good high.

I left with a big smile on my face, everyone was happy and I know I have made some new friends along the way; I was relieved that my first work-camp and photo-marathon was successfully over and looked forward to the next work-camp and challenges that awaited me.

I would like to finish by saying a big thank you to the following,  Madara for your help and support also to all the members, Danial, Ayalone, Laura, Louisa, Vanezza, Seungju,Sunny and of course the wonderfully funny Leander, thank you for the good times, wonderful memory’s and I hope to see you all again in the near future.

“Sing like no one's listening, love like you've never been hurt, dance like nobody's watching, and live like its heaven on earth.” - Mark Twain

Tomos Owen
SEEDS Workcamp Leader

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