I went there and back again

Story of the Toneagraphy Northern Tour

10 Days on the road, nearly 800 miles covered, 6 photo shoots 5 cooked breakfasts and I am back from my northern tour.

I decided to do the northern tour for a few reasons. I have to go to Newcastle to get my tattoo completed, so I figured while I was up there it would be a good chance to see friends and get some photo shoots in. It was also a good test for me to decide on kit I wanted to take on a much bigger trip I am planning for next year. I want to travel from London to Istanbul by train stopping in 18 different countries and taking 2 months to do the trip. This is going to be a huge trip and I am hoping to cover many different styles of photography on this trip but having never planned a trip of this size I decided to do a smaller tester trip in the north.

So, what did I get up to ?

Day one

This was very much a travel day leaving at midday with friends driving we was a car full of loons but its was an awesome way to start my travels. Driving from Reading to Newcastle with a few breaks for food, toilet stops and smoke breaks we got to Newcastle about 7 pm it was a fun trip even if I was made to listen to 80’s pop music. But I arrived safe and kind of sane in Newcastle. A good friend of mine Shannon was putting me up for a couple of nights and it was really lovely to catch up outside of our normal meeting place Kupocon.

Day Two

we start with breakfast (Witherspoon special) before heading to the grotto to do a shoot for Shannon what turned into a shoot for me too once Shannon got her hands on my camera. Lots of banter, lots of laughing to me this is how a photo shoot should be not a cold clinical experience for either sides

thebrosisterscosplay on Instagram
Me

After shooting it was a chilled out day in the pub before heading off to do some landscape shots

Windmills on the hill

Day 3

The day of the tattoo, Kayley of Masamune Tattoos did an amazing job finishing my tattoo that I am so pleased with.

Odin by Kayley of Masamune Tattoo

Before heading off to my first hotel in Newcastle. A chilled out afternoon editing images was a good break.

I had headed out to get food when I saw what would have made a great shot it was a car show room on lots of levels all lit up in blue lights all glass but I decided to wait until later when it was quieter to do the shot that was a mistake. By the time I decided to go do the shot they had switched the lights off, but that was OK because the TGI Friday that was then closed provided another nice shot.

Yellow Cab anyone ?

Day 4

Leaving Newcastle for Scarborough, this required a change of trains at York. Here was another mistake I love York I really should have put some time aside for York but that wasn’t in my planning so on to Scarborough and my third mistake.

I had booking into a lovely looking hotel on booking.com. Well that was a big mistake the room was tiny and No WIFI! when it said it had wifi on booking.com. So down to reception and asked about the WIFI and they confirmed no WIFI.

On to my phone I went and booked into the Travelodge same price but included breakfast and WIFI and a bigger room! In the evening I met up with Donna and after a drink and a catch up a quick photo shoot in my now larger room before a macD for dinner (living the high life)

doctordonnaoddling on Instagram

Day 5

Weather started badly in Scarborough but brighten up by midday, a quick shoot for Donna in the morning.

The afternoon was a fun packed time with a few fashion shoots with Donna and Natalie with a very able assistance of Dave. We gained a few strange looks for the locals. but it was all good fun.

we rounded of the day with some Boudoir shoots for both Donna and Natalie before going out for a steak and good company.

Donna, Natalie and Dave was amazing company and I really enjoyed my time in Scarborough and hope to return to explore it more

doctordonnaoddling on Instagram
smallcosplayer on Instagram
happy snap of Natalie, Dave and Donna after our exciting ride on the tram blinked and we almost missed it

Day 6

Up early to capture the sunrise over Scarborough I have to admit I struggled and was in two minds about even getting up for this but as always it was a struggle to get up but once i was up and out it was all worthwhile.

Sunrise over Scarborough long exposure using Lee ND !0 Stop filter

A lovely breakfast with Natalie and Dave before packing up and on the road again next stop Liverpool.

Liverpool was rammed and yet again I was in a not cheap hotel from Booking.com again WIFI issues but at least this time it was available just not included.

To be honest I was pretty tired after all the travelling so a bite to eat and some editing and an early night was in order.

Day 7

Met up with Claire and Steve for breakfast (witherspoons again). The weather was against us but still managed to capture some nice moody images around the docks

Royal Albert Docks In Liverpool
Locks of Love from liverpool
Claire and Stephen my Liverpool hosts

Claire and Steven where perfect hosts and I very much enjoyed being able to catch up with them outside of con I have had a tough year this year but both have been amazing friends to me. Supportive and caring people I am very luck to have there two amazing people in my life and very much enjoyed spending time with them.

Day 8

Headed into Liverpool city centre with Claire and then got the train to Manchester.

This was the shortest train trip of the whole trip just 50 mins and seemed like we got there in no time at all.

Manchester is a bit of an old friend over the last 20 years I spent a bit of time there, Although I didn’t really know it as a photography location.

I met up with Michael after checking into my Ibis (yes WIFI included) the weather was against us so we wandered for a bit I took a few shots and then we coffee shop and bar hopped until meeting up with Kevin and James for a few drinks and bite to eat. Was a fun evening and well you can guess get 4 photographers in the same room we talked a lot about photography. Whats amazing is 4 photographers together and not a selfie taken but the Burger in Seven Brothers was great and the company even better.

Day 9

met up with Michael, Neil and Helen for a mixture of fashion and cosplay shoots. It was a fun day. A real mixture of shoots always makes it interesting.

foxybopcosplay on Instagram
cosplayclement on Instagram

we shot some images on a place Kevin had mentioned the previous evening. Weather was a little mixed so we made the most of what we had including a visit to The John Rylands Library.

foxybopcosplay on Instagram and cosplayclement on Instagram

Evening met up with Emma and another two set shoot before meeting up with Kevin for dinner another busy day done but had so much fun

crashqueenbaby on Instagram

Again a Bit of a theme here but It was lovely to spend time with everyone mentioned on day 9 but in particular it was lovely to spend time with Helen who has been an amazing friend and kept me laughing and smiling when things have been bad. I so needed this trip to remind me of what great friends I do have.

Day 10

Late start the weather was bad in the morning so I took it slow before meeting Kevin for lunch.Met up with Harley for a lovely afternoon shooting around the Piccadilly basin area in Manchester.

Then rushed back to the hotel grab my suitcase quick meal with Kevin and then train home

Some people mentioned in this post that not previously tagged are my Fellow photographers

Kevin Pack, Michael Wlach, James Bissett

They are all amazing photographers and lovely people. thank you for you excellent company and many laughs

So what kit did I carry and what did I use ?

Camera – Nikon D810, Nikon D500

Lenses – Nikon 24-70 VR Mark 2 F2.8, Nikon 70-200 VR Mark 2 F2.8 Nikon Nikon 16-35 F4, Sigma 35 1.4 Art lens and Sigma 50mm 1.4 Art lens, 1.4 Teleconverter  

Lighting kit

2 x AD200 2 lighting stands 1 x godox Flash, LED lighting panel, Beauty dish, shoot thought umbrella, reflective umbrella, small reflector with grid and gels for AD200, Small Barndoor with gels for AD200

Other kit

Shutter Release Cable, Whole mix pack of ND Grad and Full Filters, Manfrotto Befree tripod

Light meter, battery chargers and a whole range of filters

Laptop and External HDD

So as you can see I was carry a lot of kit to much in fact so I will be reducing this kit for my longer trip, While I used both AD200 I could have got by just using Flash and lighting stands I could have used my tripod for a lot of the time rather than carry two stands I could have reduced to either one or zero. I didn’t use my 50mm once and I could have lived without the Nikon 70-200 quite easily and the teleconverter. IP would always carry two bodies thou as a backup.

Lots of lessons learnt.

Stick to big brand hotels you know what your getting and they cover most things people need.

Reduce kit carry stuff just in case is a bad habbit of mine i need to reduce the load and purchase if i need

Think more about the major stops I really wish i had taken at least an afternoon at York

But over all an amazing trip thank you to all of the people that was part of it. It was a great way of seeing lots of people. also huge thank you to my friends at home Anthony and Gemma for stocking my fridge up so I could have a chilled day today without worrying about food you guys are amazing and you know one of the best things about being away is coming home but coming home to bacon is even better.

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