Tag Archives: Sheffield

Photos: Sheffield at Christmas

While admiring the decorations in London, it’s always nice to appreciate the ones a bit closer to home. These decorations aren’t new but the variety of lights across the city centre are fun. I especially like the projections of snowflakes across the Town Hall building.

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Photos: Sheffield skyline

An afternoon walk is not a usual Easter tradition for me, but this year in between chocolate and a roast we wandered to a new bit of Sheffield for us.

I knew the story behind the city’s amphitheatre and the Park Hill flats but I’d never walked up there before. I see them on an almost daily basis with my walk to the station so we finally went to go and find out more.

I learnt that it’s very quiet up there and is also a good example of Sheffield’s green credentials. You also get some fantastic views of the city. It was the wrong time of day to take good photos, the sun was right in my eyes, so these photos are actually heavily processed. Again it’s just photos on my phone and the tweaking was all done by Google’s automatic features.

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Photos: Tour de Yorkshire

Since I moved to Sheffield it’s felt that Yorkshire has been very excited by the Tour de France. This year the Grand Depart took place in Yorkshire, the first stage between Leeds and Harrogate and the second stage between York and Sheffield.

There were several places in Sheffield celebrating the day, but we went to Meadowhall to go to the Fanfest and cyclists passed by before the finish line at the nearby Motorpoint Arena. These are some photos I took of the day on my phone.

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Google automatically made some of my photos into gifs, they aren’t perfect but I think it’s an interesting way to show off the photos.

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Sheffield Doc/Fest

When I moved to Sheffield I decided to get involved with as much as possible to find out more about the city and the people. One of the first things I did, without realising how big and important the annual event is, was to sign up as a volunteer for Sheffield Doc/Fest. To point out how important the event is it included the premier of a film from the Oscar award-winning director Martin Scorsese, who even appeared on Skype at the festival.

I worked in the interactive part of the festival which, from 7-12th of June, showcased interactive documentaries on computers and iPads as well as games and a story on the virtual reality headset Oculus Rift. We were based in the Millennium Gallery in the centre of Sheffield, which was a lovely space to work in for the week, and were there to help people understand and show how things worked.

The interactive exhibit at Sheffield Doc/Fest | Photo: Charlotte Reid

My favourites in the exhibit where the two games, Type:Rider and Papers, Please. Type:Rider is a platformer game where you play as two little dots that teaches you the history of typography. In Papers, Please you work on border control and have strict rules about which people you can let in. You also have the opportunity to get bribes as you need more money to look after your family and pay the bills, but can get caught. In the ending I got I was dobbed in by my neighbour for taking a bribe and sent myself and my family to jail.

On a few of the days we had sessions to organise as well, which included setting up the room and looking after the speakers and delegates. These were interesting as some of the talks were linked to the exhibits and you got to hear from the creators and learn a bit more about their pieces.

The lovely room we held sessions in as part of Doc/Fest | Photo: Charlotte Reid

Doc/Fest also has a number of notable people who attend to show their films, do talks or present at the festival at some point. It was good to see them get involved with the rest of the festival too. The comedian Jeremy Hardy came to some of the sessions we held, and I got quick chance to tell him that I love the News Quiz which he was lovely about.

The greatest part of the week was seeing the editor of the Guardian Alan Rusbridger in our interactive section. He quite happily pottered around looking at the different exhibits and then he got a chance to experience the Oculus Rift. Naturally as he was tackling virtual reality we grabbed our cameras and snapped this frankly amazing but bizarre moment.

Alan Rusbridger on the Oculus Rift | Photo: Charlotte Reid

What I learnt from Doc/Fest

I don’t know if I learnt these things or they were ideas that I had reinforced throughout the week but it definitely gave me something to think about — warning they may sound a bit clich├ęd.

First of all always expect the unexpected. The interactive section was open to delegates and members of the public and we soon discovered that the Millennium Gallery was a popular place for school trips. So on a couple of occasions we had to quickly get ourselves ready for lots of school children visiting our exhibit. It was excellent to see their interest in it, and also it was great because young children understand computers, games consoles and iPads better than anyone else.

Also the questions that people have are always far more out there than you expect. This included in-depth conversations about the exhibits (some quick revision beforehand always helps) or just general questions. We fielded so many questions about toilets, wifi, the rest of Doc/Fest and where you can get passport style photographs done in Sheffield. This then leads me to my next point.

Be honest and friendly. If you don’t know the answer to something don’t make something up, ask someone else who you think might know. It’s also just more fun if you are friendly when chatting to delegates, the public, other volunteers and staff members and try to learn names as well. Doc/Fest has a reputation of being the friendliest festival, and I think Sheffield as a city is pretty friendly too.

It works the other way round too, be friendly to volunteers. These are the people who will help you out or know the people who can help you out. Also it makes the day more fun when you have silly chats. All delegates had to have their passes scanned when walking around the festival and one lady liked to think of herself as a grocery item each time she was scanned. So when we saw her we had to quickly think of new items to describe her, which varied from lemon curd to toothpaste.

Overall it was a great week. I had no idea what to expect and I was pleasantly surprised. It’s reassuring to know that Sheffield is so friendly and inviting, I learnt a lot and I’ve got a few interesting stories to tell.

All closed down | Photo: Charlotte Reid

Sheffield’s Botanical Gardens

I’ve been discovering more about Sheffield and this week I walked to the Botanical Gardens.

There was plenty of pretty flowers, including some Bird of Paradise flowers, and I tried to take lots of arty photos with my smartphone.

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Sheffield’s fountains turn yellow

The fountain at Sheffield’s Peace Gardens turned yellow recently to celebrate 100 days until the Tour de France arrives in Sheffield.

Yellow was chosen to represent the winning jersey at the Tour de France. In the evening UV lights were set up near the fountain to make them luminous.

The water was made yellow by adding fluorescein which is usually used for medical purposes like eye examinations.

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