The Photographic Journal

To Dwell Among Sheep & Horses

Essay 521 • Feb 20th 2023

In September of 2022, after working on a month-long conservation documentary project, where a great deal was spent at sea along the coast of Iceland, I needed to escape life again and rid my head of the doom and gloom that seemed to drown me at this point.

I did the only thing I could do and the one thing I knew has always worked for me: I took to the road on a solo adventure geared with only a backpack, camera, a few rolls of film and a traveller’s necessities. I spent 10 days hitchhiking around the whole island of Iceland, rediscovering the strange and beautiful country, myself and our place as humans on this planet in a time where we’ve lost our respect and healthy relationship with it.


Willem van den Heever is an award-winning independent filmmaker, photographer and conservationist. He
specialises in writing, directing and editing and has the soul of a pure adventurer and explorer.
While exploring the world, he likes to gather and capture human stories, not just about the
unknown and what’s busy happening to our natural world, but stories of hope that inspires. He
started exploring filmmaking and photography in 2011 and graduated with a bachelor’s degree
in Film Arts in 2015. His short films have travelled the world to numerous film festivals
throughout the U.S. and Europe, including the acclaimed Sundance International Film Festival.
Having been to over 40 different countries (including Antarctica), Willem is considered a
well-travelled man for his age. Some of his adventures include a five months backpacking trip
through the untamed wilderness of North America and an 8500 km train journey via the
Trans-Siberian Express. He has worked with brands such as National Geographic, Sony, Levi’s,
Tag Heuer and Sea Shepherd.
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