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It happened. Thomas Heaton!

Thomas Heaton is a landscape photographer from the U.K. He runs a very successful YouTube channel and website. I have been a big fan of his since I first started getting into photography, his videos and content are all about getting out there, enjoying the surroundings and taking quality photos without worrying too much about the technical aspects. It's fair to say that he is an inspiration to a lot of budding photographers, myself included. I emailed him at the start of our 73in73 challenge to see if he would be interested in helping out, I wasn't honestly expecting much since I know how busy he is, but he emailed me back and said he would love to help out.

I was blown away, I had only emailed two YouTube based landscape photographers (the other being Adam Karnacz from FirstManPhotography) and both of them were fully on board! We had already spent an amazing evening with Adam and had a truly fantastic response from his subscribers, to have more of the same from Thomas Heaton was utterly brilliant. Thomas confirmed what I already knew, he was incredibly busy but really wanted to slot us in. The only dates he was available were when Tracy was back at work which was a shame but couldn't be avoided. Together, we chose Chrome and Parkhouse Hill as the location for the shoot, we would be doing it at sunrise.

Thomas came and spent some time with Tracy and I at our house the night before the shoot, he filmed some video of us talking about our challenge and about Emily. It was actually quite emotional, both of us got a bit upset talking to him about everything but he was so lovely about it all. It's always a bit scary meeting someone you only know through a medium like YouTube, you can never be sure that the person they portray themselves to be is actually who they are, but Thomas was as great in person as he is in his videos. Before he left, we checked the weather for Buxton, it looked promising; lots of high cloud and little low cloud, could we be treated to another epic shoot?

Since Tracy wasn't able to come due to work, Thomas and I were accompanied by James Grant. He is the author of the book we are using (Peak District - Through the lens) and now, a good friend. The three of us met up at 5 a.m. the weather still looked really promising! We walked up to Chrome Hill and did some more filming, sunrise was at 6:30, by the time it reached 6:00 a thick layer of fog/low cloud started to form in front of us. We waited and waited; sunrise came and went, still nothing but cloud! It was disheartening and disappointing, but it didn't matter, that's not what this morning was all about. This is the shot that I came away with, not at all what I wanted but this location is nice and close and I need to come back with Tracy anyway so hopefully next time it will be better!

It was odd being there without Tracy, it was the only thing (other than the weather) that I didn't enjoy about the morning. I still had grace with me though, there wasn't an obvious place to put her for a Gracescape so I placed her on the camera and took this:

I have to admit, I got carried away with the morning and what was going on. It was so great spending time with Thomas and James that I completely forgot about filming for our own YouTube channel and even forget to take a shot of Thomas, Tracy and I the night before. I almost forgot to do it at Chrome Hill too, we had already packed our gear away but luckily Thomas still had his smaller camera out so we took a quick selfie on that:

All in all, the photography side of the morning had been a bitter disappointment, but everything else about the morning had been wonderful. Thank you so much to Thomas and James for all of your help <3

Tom's video featuring our 73in73 challenge was uploaded last night at 6 p.m. Since that video went up we have had a huge response and a massive amount of money donated. When we started this challenge we set a soft target of £1000, when we passed that we thought it would be great to reach £3000 as that would mean £1000 per charity. Well now we are approaching £7500 which has absolutely blown us away. Thank you so much to everyone that has donated, it's been an emotional 24 hours, Tracy and I couldn't thank you all enough. Link to Thomas's incredible video below:

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