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What an amazing ending to 73in73!!

73 landscape photos, 73 locations, 73 days. That was the challenge and we have done it! We wanted to spend the evening at one of our favourite and most local locations; The Roaches. It was close enough to get to after work before sunset but more importantly, it's one of the places that led us to falling in love with the Peak District. Our intentions were to take no landscape photos, but to reflect on the last 73 days. It was cold, grey and very windy. After half an hour or so we took a couple of quick selfies for this blog post and did a quick video, we started to pack up our things when something incredible and completely unexpected happened...

The sky started to change, it went from grey to orange, then within just a few short minutes it started to go pink and before we knew it, the whole sky was lit up with vibrant orange and pink colours. We had seen something similar with Adam from First Man Photography at Winnats Pass but nothing like this. It was the sky we had been hoping for every single day throughout the challenge and now it was here! I have to admit, it was a very emotional evening, it seemed very much like Emily was with us. We both felt it and we will never forget it. We took a quick video of it and just 2 photos of it, we were there to enjoy it and we certainly did that. This is the final landscape photo of the challenge and wow, what a way to finish it:

There are a few things Tracy and I would like to say... We never ever expected this to take off in the way that it did, when we started this challenge we had aimed to raise £1000. We are currently sitting on £11,334.25 (inc gift aid) which is absolutely unbelievable! Thank you so so so much to everyone that has contributed and donated, it has truly been a heartwarming experience. The money that has been raised will soon be split between 3 fantastic charities and will go a long way to helping future families <3 Our final stats for 73in73 are as follows:

Miles driven: 2759.2 Miles walked: 160.07 Steps taken: 280787

An awful lot of people have played a very big role in this challenge and without them it wouldn't have been as successful. Thank you to every single one of you! It's been an incredible 73 days, we have met some incredible people along the way and we would like to just take a minute to mention them:

  • James Grant - Author of the book 'Peak District - Through the lens'. We couldn't have done it without your help James, You were always available to us and your book played a pivotal role in raising all this money for these three wonderful charities. Thank you.

  • James Pedlar - Landscape photographer - You accompanied us on numerous locations and kept us going. We would have struggled to complete some of the difficult ones without your help. Plus, you're an absolute legend! Thank you

  • Lindsay Bainbridge & Sadie Haynes - These two ladies blew me away with their kindness and generosity when we first met. They have been almost a backbone of the whole challenge. Sadie (representing Tesco Hanley) has provided us with all kinds of things to keep us going throughout. Lindsay has been our 'go-to' person for more or less everything. She is also the person that is arranging our exhibition at Zest Cafe in November. Thank you both so much!

  • Adam Karnacz - First Man Photography - Your fantastic YouTube video of our challenge brought in a significant amount of donations and a new audience too. Your generous donation of that Manfrotto tripod was very well received, it's been with us on every location since :) Thank you.

  • Thomas Heaton - Landscape photographer & YouTuber - Your heartfelt YouTube video brought in thousands and thousands of pounds in donations. The video completely touched everyone that saw it, we will never ever forget it, you propelled our challenge to a level that wasn't even on our radar. Thank you

  • Rebecca, Richard and Grace Ann Coles - Grace is the name of our Aching Arms Teddy, she is named after Rebecca and Richards daughter; Grace who sadly passed away. Grace-bear has been with us on every single location. Rebecca and Richard have been with us in a different way; emotionally and supportively. Thank you.

  • Simon Cunningham - I could write an essay of thanks about you! Simon was our consultant at the hospital throughout everything and has since become a good friend. He has been with us on a number of landscape locations, it's been amazing. Thank you.

  • Michael Cummins - Landscape photographer - Michael has been supporting us since the start of this challenge; he met us at the Roaches which is where we took one of our best shots of the whole challenge. He also donated one of his amazing prints for us to auction. Thanks for everything Michael, your support has meant a great deal to us both!

  • Andrew Yu - Landscape Photographer - Andrew has been with us on a number of locations and has also donated two of his outstanding prints for auction. Andrew, thank you so much for your support over the last few months, it's meant a huge amount to us both.

  • Chris Nowell - Landscape Photographer - Chris contacted us and offered us his help, ever since that day he has joined us on numerous locations, has donated one of his prints and helped us reach a new audience with his followers. Chris was always accompanied by his good friend Andy Evers, it was a pleasure spending time with you both, thank you.

  • Jason Riley & Stephen Elliot - We met both of these landscape photographers at Curbar Edge, they have both played a part in pushing our challenge out there and supporting us along the way, thank you both.

  • Claire & Glyn Wade & Willfield Camera Club - My local and much loved camera club. They have all been nothing but supportive, it's been amazing. Claire designed all of our leaflets and posters, she even got them printed for us free of cost thanks to Trevor at Graffiti Graphics. Claire also helped organise our private flight over the Peak District via Tatenhill Airfield and both Claire & Glyn accompanied us to Chatsworth House one very early morning. Thank you!

  • Michael Fage - Pilot from Tatenhill Airfield - Michael flew Grace and I over the Peak District in his private plane for well over an hour. It's an experience I will never ever forget and gave us opportunity to shoot some of our loved locations from a totally unique angle. It was one of the highlights of the whole challenge. Michael, a very sincere, thank you.

  • Steve Owen & Chris Upton - We met these two landscape photographers at our unforgettable morning at Mam Tor. They have been supportive of our challenge ever since. Thank you both.

  • BBC Radio Stoke, BBC Midlands Today, Outdoor Photography Magazine, The Sentinel & Nikon UK - All of these massive organisations have helped us promote our challenge, publish our photos and help us raise as much money as possible. We are absolutely certain that without their help we wouldn't be in the position we are now. Thank you all so much. Our last couple, where would we be without you guys??

  • Aching Arms, 4Louis and UHNM - Our beloved charities. Without what they did for us over the last 7 months, we wouldn't have been able to do this challenge in the first place. These charities mean more to us than words can express, what they did for us could never be paid back. They have all been supportive throughout this challenge with a special thanks to Leanne Turner (founder of Aching Arms) who has been in constant contact with us, sent us hoodies to keep us warm and has been promoting our challenge non stop. Thank you.

  • Family, friends and work colleagues - Our support network. Whether it's been looking after the dogs, helping with the house work, words of encouragement or a couple of hours off work to recover. You have all played a huge part of this challenge and without you all I don't think we would have managed. It was a real struggle trying to fit normal life in-between the locations. Thank you

And finally... Tracy... It's been only 7 months since our little girl came into the world. A lot has happened since then. I don't think either of us could have predicted that we would have been hiking around the Peak District for over 2 months, especially so soon after your surgery and physical recovery. There have been times where this challenge has been a real struggle, it was testing. But time after time you refused to give up and refused to give in, despite the pain and despite how tired you were. I hope you have impressed yourself with the quality of the images you have taken because you have certainly impressed me and everyone else. I think your strength and determination is incredible, I love you.

I realise this post is a lot of text, apologies for that and apologies if I have missed anyone out. It's been a crazy but fantastic journey. It started out all about the photography but very quickly became about the people. When we have the final details of the exhibition at Zest Cafe in Hanley we will make sure you all know about it. We will also make sure you know about the auction details for our signed & donated prints.

The fundraising page will remain open to donations for the next 3 months, if you'd still like to donate, you can do so here:

Thank you.

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