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One Smart Day in One Smart City

Published on Friday, 8th September 2017

Saturday 30 September – Sunday 1 October 2017

Registration now open

The popular ‘24 Hours in Bristol’ photo-marathon competition, which sees 10,000 photographs taken in a single day, returns on 30th September with an exciting new format for 2017 – all entries must be taken on Smartphones or tablets only.

The annual competition to capture a day in the life of Bristol is now in its fifth year and will take place over 24 hours, from 12.00pm Saturday 30th September to 12.00pm Sunday 1st October.  Anyone with a smartphone can enter to compete for the £5,000 prizes.

The new smartphone-only format has been created to reflect the rapid advancement in mobile phone camera technology. Over 80% of the British population owns a smartphone, so now everyone is a photographer.  The inclusive new format will enable anyone with a smartphone to take part without having to own a traditional camera.

Smartphones are now increasingly used by professional photographers around the world and glossy magazines such as Elle and Condé Nast’s Traveler magazines, have recently featured iPhone images on their front covers. Instagram has an incredible 600 million users, more than two billion photographs are uploaded online every day and it is predicted that 1.2 trillion photos will be taken in 2017 alone. The best camera is the one you have with you and that is now the smartphone in your pocket.

The Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, one the 2017 competition judges, said: “I’m excited to be on this year’s judging panel and look forward to seeing how the new guidelines on smart phones will encourage more people to take part across the city”.  The competition has also been widened to include a new prize category for 13-17 year olds to encourage budding young snappers to capture 24 hours in the life of young Bristolians.

The 24 hour ‘snap-athon’ is expected to attract thousands of people of all ages from across Bristol, the South West and beyond to enter.  Two competitors from Bristol’s twinned city of Oporto in Portugal will flying into Bristol to take part and a photographer from Bristol’s twinned city of Puerto Morazan in Nicaragua has already confirmed her entry.

Online registration is now open at  Anyone who would like to enter is advised to register as soon as possible, as entry numbers will be limited.

The 2017 judging panel includes Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol; Ali Vowles, BBC Points West presenter; Martin Booth, Editor of Bristol24/7; Michaela Strachan, BBC wildlife presenter; Dr Shawn Sobers, Associate Professor of Lens Based Media at UWE Bristol; John Hirst, Chief Executive of Destination Bristol; Andy Butler, founder of Mobiography; Mark Tipping, award winning smartphone photographer and Trevor Osborne of the Trevor Osborne Property Group.

UWE Bristol is a Gold event sponsor and will be promoting the competition to its 35,000 students and staff.  Other sponsors include Stride Treglown, The Galleries, Bristol Waste, The Trevor Osborne Property Group, Central Appointments, Fotospeed, International House, Sundial Something, Joby, Wriggle, Manfrotto and the Bristol Marriott Royal and Bristol Marriott City Centre hotels.  

New 2017 prize categories include ‘Nature and Wildlife, judged by BBC presenter Michaela Strachan; ‘Bristol at Work’ sponsored by Central Appointments; ‘Bristol Architecture’ sponsored by Stride Treglown; ‘Recycle and Reuse’ sponsored by Bristol Waste; ‘Bristol Landscape’ sponsored by The Galleries; ‘My Neighbourhood’ sponsored by UWE Bristol; ‘Digital Bristol’ sponsored by Element78 and ‘Best Panoramic’ sponsored by Fotospeed.

There are a number of sponsorship opportunities available for Bristol businesses, including naming your own prize category, sponsoring an hour of the competition and offering competition prizes. A new website, designed to handle the expected increase in entry photos, has been created by leading South West digital agency Element78, based at Paintworks.

In a unique twist on other photo competitions, entrants are randomly allocated a specific hour of the 24-hour competition in which they must take at least one entry photo.  This gives a fun, added challenge and ensures 24 hour coverage of Bristol at work, rest and play. Up to 5 additional images taken at any time of the competition can also be entered.

Mike Porter, Managing Director of 24 Hours in Our City, said: “Our new inclusive Smartphone format will give all Bristolians the chance to record 24 hours in the life of this great city. Thousands of images of Bristol are taken every day, but remain trapped in people’s phones. We aim to set the creative heart of Bristol free!”

To encourage entrants to get the most out of their smartphones, the ’24 Hours in Bristol’ website features useful Smartphone photography tips and tutorials.  There will also be Smartphone workshops on the Friday evening and morning of the competition for last minute photography tips.

Contestants will have two days to upload their photos onto the event website for judging and judges will be looking for images that stand out from the crowd. BBC presenter Ali Vowles said: "Whether presenting in the studios for the BBC or out with a cameraman and editing my own material – we have all had to adapt to changing technology.  I’m hoping that lots of people will be inspired to take part with images of Bristol that show community life right across this wonderful city – not just in the city centre.  Can you capture a bit of that Bristolian humour?  Show me a portrait of some of the cities characters – from the hipsters to the true locals?  I love this city and know there are some brilliant pictures to be taken.  Get snapping!”

The awards evening and ‘One Smart Day in Bristol 2017’ exhibition will be held at the stunning new 8,000 sq ft Programme Gallery in the refurbished Pithay building, which will soon be a stylish new hub for Bristol businesses.  All of the competition entries will be exhibited alongside the winning and highly commended images.

With over £5,000 of prizes on offer, including an overall first prize of £2,000 - one of the world’s largest prizes for a mobile photo competition, the ’24 Hours in Bristol 2017’ competition is an ideal opportunity to put your smartphone and creative eye to the test. To register or to sponsor a competition prize, see