Adventure photography competition ignites a spring night

Heason Events

Photo by Heason Events

Top adventure sports photographers showcased their best shots at ShAFF to compete for £500 cash and over £2,000 worth of Arc’teryx kit.

  “I love mountaineering & being in the mountains. I wanted to share the climbing experience with people who couldn’t come with me,” said 2010 winner, Alex Buisse.

ShAFF is an unique Sheffield adventure film festival held annually and organised by Heason Events, an independent company run by Matt Heason.

The pub-style quiz, held at the Showroom Workstation, was a prelude to the exciting competition, which set a cheerful and relaxed atmosphere throughout the night.

Niall Grimes, 43-year-old comedian, is also a climber and volunteered to host ShAFF last year. He said he got paid this year and was excited to host it.

The game quizzed people about relevant information on some interesting pictures. Most questions were funny and tricky. There was one question guessing the name of a male celebrity, whose head was put on a woman’s body.

With amusing comments from Niall Grimes, most people laughed at the picture of the ‘Transformer’ and even forgot about the fact that they were competing with each other. Niall Grimes threw small gifts like chalk bags to the audiences in the middle of the quiz and continued building the atmosphere.


One of the audience members described the competition as a ‘bus-crash’. Niall Grimes said that the lively reaction from the audience made him feel fulfilled whilst hosting the event.

Tricky quiz: Which stadium is it?

Tricky quiz: Which stadium is it?

After a short break, another host Alex Ekins, who is also an adventure photographer, introduced five of the competing photographers.

These photographers were the finalists of the competition and gathered to compete the first honor. Each of them represented a different sport with a five-minute, high quality slideshow.

Niall Grimes used a carrot clock to rate the audiences vocal approval for different work, some impressive pieces made the carrot indicator go out of control. Having enjoyed the five fast paced slideshows and the unique humour of Niall Grimes, ShAFF judges gave the final result of the competition after a short discussion.

The winners

Jordan Tybon, Seattle adventure photographer, who flew over from Berlin for the weekend, was crowned with £500cash prize in what turned out to be a fierce competition.

Gravin Newman and Andy Day were placed second and third respectively, while Cheryl King and Lucask Warzecha both came fourth.

At the end people left with smiling faces. Dan Keller, who came all the way from Edinburgh to take part in the event, said he heard about ShAFF online and really enjoyed the evening.

Niall Grimes said that most of the audience were local and ‘loyal’ to ShAFF, and once they got ‘satisfaction’ from the event they would keep coming next year.

He also said that even people who didn’t do extreme sports would be attracted to ShAF. He said that the cheerful atmosphere and various activities would mean that people enjoy themselves even if they weren’t specialised in extreme sports.

About ShAFF

ShAFF offers audiences more than 70 of the best adventure, travel and extreme sports films around the world, which screened over one weekend in March at Sheffield,  voted the region’s best cultural venue.

ShAFF also held various relevant adventure activities, like talks and lectures on epic climbs, runs and rides by world-class adventurers.

ShAFF has been culturing a group of local and loyal audiences year by year. For the past seven years 100% of the audience said they’d come back again and recommend it to a friend.

Jordan Tybon: Slacklining

Review: The breath-taking photos went smoothly with the rhythm of the music. The contrast of colours is creative. Funny naked photo is a highlight.

Gravin Newman: Cave Diving

Review: Spectacular view. Lots of close-up shots create intense feelings. Excellent choice of music.

Andy Day : Parkour

Review: Special effect of the shaking photos is a creative move. Photos are impressive. A little bit repetitive in the end.

Cheryl King: Cycling

Review: Lots of shots captured affective moments and focused on human emotions. The only photographer who reminded people of the risks of extreme sports.