Last weekend I went home to Sheffield. I am bias, I think it's the best city in the world. Not only did I grow up there but I also returned there as a student. Yup, I liked it enough to move back in with my folks for a year (no offense M&D)! Sheffield is a city of many sides. It has the somberness left by deindustrialisation of the steelworks but also the beauty of the Peak District on its doorstep. A lot of effort has gone into its regeneration and restoration, but a lot has also been left to crumble away. Touted as the 'greenest city in the UK' it has also been known as simultaneously the most educated and least educated city. Personally, I love the long rows terraces made from peak district stone, the fact that no matter where you go you always have to walk up a steep hill, that there are loads of trees, its sense of community, and that the water tastes reeet nice.
So, the purpose of this post. I've been asked for good places to photograph in Sheffield by the Oxford Photographic Society. I would say that because Sheffield is many-faceted it's great to photograph. Working on the theme of 'steel' could take you in so many different directions, from the existing and dilapidated steelworks to steel architectures and art in the city centre to the old millstones returned to their rightful place in the Peak District. Only a handful of photographs done by myself so far, but these are my recommendations for photographing Sheffield:
1. A walk along the Five Weirs to see the steelworks and the industrial/commercial landscape of the Lower Don Valley
2. A trip to Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet / Kelham Island / Shepherds Wheel, all Sheffield industrial museums and preserved sites that can show you steelwork practices of the past.
3. A meander around the city centre to see the sculptures that are starting to appear as part of Sheffield's regeneration (esp. the city train station, Millennium Galleries, and the Peace Gardens)
4. A trip out to the Peak District, specifically Stanedge Edge, Burbage Crags and the The Derwent Valley (HEADS UP: I have just discovered the fantastic photography of local photographer Stephen Elliot. To see how beautiful the countryside is I urge you to pay a visit to his web site at http://www.stephenelliottphotography.co.uk).
1. Salt Cellar (Derwent Edge Derbyshire) by Stephen Elliot
2. 'And Quiet Flows the Don' by me
3. Balls of Steel by Zekizeki