Rewind 2015: Top photo galleries picks

It’s fair to say that in 2015 there has been no shortage of exciting events for me to cover as a photographer. It’s been a privilege to be involved with some really high-profile events like the Magna Carta anniversary, the Lincoln Castle and Magna Carta vault unveiling, the National Cycling Championships, Harley Davidson Super Rally, and of course the Lincoln Baron Trail — there’s never been a better time to be involved with documenting what goes on in Lincoln. Here are some of the highlights from my year photographing for The Lincolnite.


Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

BBC Springwatch presenter Chris Packham opens the Joseph Banks Laboratories

When you go to the grand opening of a new building you normally expect a ribbon cutting, but the university went one better by letting Charles Darwin the tortoise do the honours of chewing through a ribbon of rocket to open their new laboratories.


Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The St Barnabas Lincoln Colour Dash

A new addition to the event calendar for 2015 was the 5k Colour Dash. This shot was from the start of the race where powdered paint was blasted onto the runners creating this great effect. If you decide to photograph this next year be warned. Powder paint gets everywhere on your camera and is hard to get off which I found out when I tried a shot with a small group after the race. See this video on Facebook.


Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

1940s Weekend

One of the most unique enthusiast events that happen throughout the year, taken at the uphill 1940s weekend. It’s nice to see the effort that people put in to bring the history to life and inspire people like myself to learn more about World War Two and the passion people have for the era. Many tour the country with their costumes going to various events.


Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Magna Carta Festival

The celebrations for the Magna Carta 800th anniversary were a fantastic weekend that had me running all over the city for various events, but the highlight was the Magna Party at Lincoln Castle featuring a performance by the dance group Diversity. The night-time setting with a large stage in the newly opened castle was a fantastic sight and made for some great pictures.


Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

British National Cycling Championships

This year the Lincoln Grand Prix was replaced by the National Championships, bringing the top British cyclists like Mark Cavendish to the city and also large crowds. I don’t think I’ve ever seen more people in Castle Square at once! Taken at the finish line where photographers were crammed in the corner of the track — in front of the barrier that on the previous night bore the impact of a nasty finish line crash involving three bikes. I was just hoping that did not happen again.


RAF Scampton is currently home to the Red Arrows. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

RAF Scampton is currently home to the Red Arrows. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

STEM Day at RAF Scampton

The STEM Day (Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths) aims to inspire school children to pursue careers in these subjects using demonstrations and through meeting people who work in the field. The location of RAF Scampton meant that the Red Arrows would perform a display just for the children who were watching from the side of the runway. This offered me the chance to get this shot with the two spare aircraft on the ground.


Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Lincoln Flume

A new charity event for 2015 was the Lincoln Flume. Hosted by Rotary Club of Lincoln Colonia, it was a huge success with hundreds of sliding down Flaxengate for charity and getting their picture taken when they hit the pool of suds at the bottom. It was great, but messy fun! I look forward to its return next year.


Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Steampunk Festival

The Steampunk Festival has become one of the most popular weekends on the event calendar, with enthusiasts flocking from all over the world to Lincoln. I even spoke to a couple who had come from California for it. I found this group in Castle Square and moved them to a quieter spot, (there were cameras everywhere so you have to be quick to get something before someone steals it) and posed all the guys up and got the shot. Then I turned around to find about 15 people stood behind me getting my shot. So much for a quiet spot!


Tech guru, TV personality and University of Lincoln visiting lecturer Jason Bradbury. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Tech guru, TV personality and University of Lincoln visiting lecturer Jason Bradbury. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Future Fest with Jason Bradbury

Future Fest was hosted by the University of Lincoln and featured newly appointed visiting professor Jason Bradbury talking to students outside the Engine Shed with his own DeLorean, which has been his project leading up to the date from the film when Marty goes to in the future. At the end of the talk Jason wanted to get a selfie of him with the crowd that had gathered and I saw the opportunity for a fantastic shot.


Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

Donald Nicholson and the Lancaster Flypast

There are moments in my job where I feel very privileged to be doing what I do and this was no exception. Donald Nicholson, a veteran of World War Two who, on his way to the opening of the International Bomber Command Memorial Spire lost his medals and sparked a search of the site to find them, was reunited with them and given a special flypast of the newly repaired Lancaster bomber at the Spire. It was a special moment for Donald who it’s fair to say had been through a lot in that week and was lost for words when the aircraft came over. It felt great to capture that moment for him and for the people of Lincoln who were not able to see it.


You can buy prints of Steve Smailes’ favourite photos from Lincoln events on his website.