Photography Marathon

As a member of Rastrick Photography Group we partake in monthly challenges to learn new skills, and share what we know with other members of the group.

Aside from our monthly projects, we decided to partake in a Photography Marathon challenge this year. The marathon is a challenge based around a few simple guidelines

  • 6 random subjects are chosen
  • take the photos in order of the list of topics
  • No editing or adding filters after taking a shot. (Except Filters and in camera settings).
  • jpg only – start with an empty card and end with 6 photos

We had to defer the challenge, twice, due to the terrible British weather but we eventually managed to go ahead last weekend (even though it still continued to rain). We all set out at 8:30 in the morning with the aim of capturing all of our images and submitting them to our Facebook group by 11am!

We had all submitted ideas for topics over the preceding months, and from this six were chosen, they turned out to be.

  1. Landmark
  2. Shop window
  3. Steps
  4. Something beginning with R
  5. Church
  6. Angles

We all chose our own locations, I ended up being in Leeds, around the Universities in the North of the city. I decided to try and challenge myself by limiting myself to only using my 50mm Canon prime lens and shooting handheld (The amount of rain and the reluctance to spend time getting soaked were a Big factor).

After a lot of steps off my daily 10,000 I had bagged 6 I was happy with.


Being up in the University district, the obvious landmark is the magnificent Parkinson Building with it’s elegant clock tower.

Shop window

I then strolled back down towards town, circling around Leeds General Hospital. I was looking for a shop window that wasn’t some high street brand so I thought I might be able to find something further out from the centre. Passing by the hospital I managed to catch a coffee shop opening up, so I took this.


Looping round the hospital and back onto the University campus, I already had an idea in mind for the steps shot having photographed some of the grounds on previous visits. The architecture of the University has many, many steps. I had intended to also stick to Monochrome but the steps with their vibrant yellow stripe worked really well against the concrete, so it had to be colour.

Something beginning with R

There was literally only one choice for ‘R’, ‘Rain’. Non-stop rain, all morning. A few shots over a puddle in the road to try and catch a nice drop pattern.


There are a couple of churches around the area but I opted for the one that isn’t actually a church anymore, the former Blenheim Baptist Church is now the Unison office. The church has some nice architectural features, so I snapped one of the doors on the North side.


Finally, hitting the topic I was really excited about. I knew before I even started the marathon that Broadcasting Tower would be the subject. I’ve shot the building multiple times before, but only using the 50mm this time I wanted to get close up and capture some the wonderful details.

That was it! I downloaded the images and submitted them to the group and sat down to look through everyone else’s submissions.

All in all a fantastic little jaunt, with a little bit of pressure, and some challenge to really think about composition and the final image, and not relying on any post-processing. Even without a group it’s something to challenge yourself with, go ahead, pick some topics, set a deadline and see what you can create.

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