73 landscapes. 73 locations. 73 days.
That is quite a challenge for just two people, especially when you realise that that this is on top of working full time. But this is the epic and exausting challenge that Willfield Camera Club member Jason Bould and his wife, Tracy have set themselves. However, anyone at the club can vouch for what an extremely talented and versatile photographer Jason is so, if anyone can do it, he can. They are doing it on behalf of three charities: UHNM, Aching Arms, and 4Louis who all supported them after the loss of their baby daughter, Emily. WCC interviewed them to find out more:
1. Tell us about yourselves
Tracy and I have known each other for over 20 years, we met in school and last August we got married. Soon after we found out we were expecting our first child, a little girl. Unfortunately, the pregnancy turned out to be extremely complicated and resulted in our daughter, Emily, being born at just 27 weeks. The complications of the pregnancy meant that she was very, very small, even for 27 weeks. She came out kicking but after a short but brave battle she passed away.
2. You are supporting three charities: UHNM, Aching Arms and 4Louis, why these ones?
After Emily passed away a new world opened up to us, but not just one of grief and pain, but one of kindness, charity and benevolence. Three charities were particularly amazing and now we want to raise money to ensure their services continue for others in the future:
We are fortunate enough to have Royal Stoke (UHNM) as our local hospital. They have 2 special rooms in a private area of the maternity ward called Forget-me-not rooms. These rooms are specially decorated and specially equipped for parents/families that have lost a child before, during or just after birth. The staff there are out of this world and some of the most amazing people we have ever met. They made our 5 days in the hospital bearable to the point where we can look back at that time with a warm heart and not just heart ache.
Aching Arms UK – They provide teddy-bears to parents so that they have something to hold onto when they leave the hospital, it doesn’t sound like much but it really does help. The bear is named after another baby that has passed away, the parents of which would have paid £10 to have a bear named in memory of their child. We have paid our £10 to have one named after Emily. Our bear, Grace, will be coming with us on all 73 locations and will feature in some of the blog posts and social media.
4Louis – They provide hospitals with memory boxes which contain all sorts of wonderful things such as a hand and foot clay impressions kit, a certificate of living, SD memory card, curl of hair box and many other priceless keepsakes. The memories you can make with these wonderful items really are priceless, especially the photographs. I don’t think I will ever take a photograph that was as difficult to do as those in Forget-me-not rooms.
3. Why 73 landscapes in 73 days?
Photography plays a large part of our life, not only did it play a large part of our time at the hospital after Emily passed away, it was also a welcome change of subject at all the appointments leading up to it. Our hospital consultant was a landscape photographer, we have become good friends since, he is also joining us on this challenge. Whenever I am in the Peak District I take a book called ‘Through the lens’ with me, it’s by a local author – James Grant. In that book he marks 73 locations in the Peak District that offer the potential for good landscape photographs. We are aiming to take all 73 photos, at all 73 locations in just 73 days. Most of the locations are between 30 mins and 2 hours drive from our home in Leek, some of the locations are then a further 2 hours of hiking to get to. The photos (for the most part) will be taken during the golden hour which is just after sunrise and just before sunset, so plenty of early mornings and late nights! Both Tracy and I work full time, trying to fit this into a work schedule will be extremely difficult.
4. Are there any places you think will be harder to shoot?
There are a few locations in the Peak that are very hard work, especially around Saddleworth and Kinder Scout. These are the mountainous areas of the Peak, they are hard to get to and neither Tracy or I are particularly fit! I think that the logistics of everything is going to be one of the biggest hurdles, especially trying to adapt to our every changing weather!
5. Have you taken much landscape photography before?
My photography to-do list for 2017 included “get better at landscape photography” because my experience has been quite limited. I have been out in the Peak a few times, before we kicked this all off, as a bit of a practice run. It turned out to be more successful than I thought it would be, but I did have the luxury of cherry picking the locations and only went when the time/weather was right. I think the most important thing with landscapes is the location and the time of day. I think the photography side of things is a lot easier (to a point). If you put the effort in to get to a beautiful location and have luck with the weather and light, then I don’t think you’ll go far wrong.
6. What have you learned so far?
The main thing we have learnt is that we have to be able to adapt very quickly and have backup plans in place if the weather changes. We are 1 week into the challenge and we have adapted our plans to the weather 3 times already. The first day I packed my backpack with a selection of lenses + water + my drone and it was ridiculously heavy. We have learnt to pack the right equipment for the location rather than as much as we can carry. The other thing I think we have learnt is that this is a lot tougher than we thought it would be. So many early mornings and late nights in just a week is taking its toll. But then again, it is meant to be challenging, we are very determined!
7. What do you plan to do with all of the photos?
At the end of all this there will be a number (at least 1) of exhibitions. The main one will be at Zest Café in Hanley (Stoke-on-Trent) in late November. The best of the locations will be printed and displayed there. People will be able to buy prints on the opening night and throughout the duration of the exhibition, all money raised through the prints will be added to the total amount raised.
8. How can anyone who wishes to do so help?
The best way anyone can help is to donate on our Just Giving page, the money raised is being split between all 3 charities. We understand that not everyone is in a position to do that though so the next best thing is to just share and spread the word of what we are doing as much as possible. Share the blog/website, follow us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, just help us get out there as much as possible. The links for all of the above are below.
Tracy and I would just like to say a very sincere THANK YOU to everyone that has helped and already donated to our challenge. It really is taking it out of us so the continued support is a massive, massive help. When you’re up a mountain at 4am and your phone vibrates with a new donation or new message of support the feeling is amazing. Thank you all!
Jason and Tracy have also received help from Tesco plus some well known photographers – it is all very exciting and we’ll let you know more about this in the next month or so.