In case you missed it last weekend, the people at “Our Favourite Places” organised the Sheffield Photo Marathon. 150 people or teams of amateur or semi-professional photographers went out into Sheffield between 10am and 4pm on Saturday with the aim of taking 6 photographs with the following titles:

Making shapes

Making a noise

Making history

Making a meal

Making connections

Making faces

These photos could be taken on any digital device but had to remain undoctored and had to be the last 6 images on the device in the order of the titles. We loved the idea and so signed up as Thread Architects. Between the three of us we had to find, decide upon and take the six photos on a single device. With kind of a plan we jumped in the car and started to travel around Sheffield taking lots of photos on our camera phones to build up as many images and ideas to discuss before selecting the final 6 shot locations.

It didn’t take long to realise that we needed to stick to a smaller area of Sheffield as drive time was eating into snap time. Therefore we decided to stick to what we knew – Neepsend, where we are based on Burton Road – to find possible subjects. In reality this ended up being partially true as although all our photos did come from Neepsend in the end they all, bar one, came from places we had never been and didn’t know existed. This is what we enjoyed the most from the day that even with the brief of taking just 6 photos with 6 titles we started to look at and appreciate places we never knew or did know but had never fully taken in.

150 people taking 6 pictures each led to the creation of 900 photos of Sheffield from 6 hours on a grey October day. All of these photos are going to be exhibited in November and the winners and runners up from each category can be seen on the Our Favourite Places Facebook page. Here are our final 6 – we were really pleased that our entry for “Making a Noise” was awarded as the runner-up for this title.


Making shapes – Skyline over Sheffield from Neepsend – this photo required a bit of a clamber and pushing through a fair bit of undergrowth. The view over the industrial rooftops of Neepsend up the hill to the University and city centre we thought provided an interesting contrast between the jagged manmade urban skyline and the dramatic clouds over.



Making a noise – Go karting amongst the trees – we had just found our site for photo 5 and followed our nosed up the hill to see where it led us. At the top of the road was a small but well used go-kart track brought alive by karts whizzing around. It was tricky to find a good image with the restrictions of using mobile phone cameras and fast moving. However, after a LOT of snapping we caught this image of the three karts at various stages of the track that we were happy with.



Making history – Foundation stone – we had, obviously, pondered an architectural theme for all the photos. This photo came from this idea. Neepsend has a diverse industrial history with this history sometimes disappearing but also sometimes appearing as strata’s in the buildings. This foundation stone was sat in the base of a wall where there have been obvious additions and omissions over time as well as new less crafted signage added.



Making a meal – The Diner – this title was probably the most interesting as it raised the obvious food links as well as anything that might be seen as a struggle or mess. In the end though we went with the obvious after spotting this little boarded up Diner on the way into Neepsend. It is on the main road and therefore very visible and is an important part of the working week, but appearing abandoned at weekends.



Making connections – The Gas Pipe – this is the photo that got us the most excited. The large gas pipes in Neepsend are a feature of the area but not something that we had ever looked at closely. Their scale and volume describe a demand for power that has dropped with the decline of the industry. Choosing the final image was quite tough but we liked the various scales of this shot with the massive pipe and the detail of the fixings.



Making faces – Transformer – not called this due to the robotic appearance of the face but because it comes from a close up of the large blue transformer that sits in the middle our car park at 92 Burton Road. We’ve been here for a year now but never noticed this little face until we looked! This is probably our favourite photo.



We’re now looking forward to the exhibition so we can see everyone else’s entries. Our near neighbour Russel from the Bicycle Shed also took part and his blog and photos are great to see now if you want to see more.


Fingers crossed the marathon will be held again!