Strictly St Andrews

Somehow this was my final year in St Andrews but the first time I'd heard that St Andrews BALLADS hosts a Strictly every year - I guess I probably have Covid to thank for that - but what a delight it was. An excellent group of dancers with mega talent, wrapped into a 2 hour show that threw you back to watching on a Saturday evening with your parents when you were younger (or maybe I'm projecting).

From a photography perspective, this was a bit of a challenge - as this was a one-off cover for me, I wanted to stick to the sidelines a bit more and be sure I wasn't getting in front of the audience, so I stuck to the balcony with a 70-200 2.8 for our closeups and 16-35 2.8 for wider shots. However, the lighting team were going for drama and ambience (and so they should - it did create an incredible atmosphere), but when you're behind the camera trying to use a higher shutter speed for fast dancers without losing all your detail to ISO noise, *aaaaaaaaaahhhh*. Anyway, Lightroom is your noise-reduction friend, ladies and gentlemen. And I'd much rather have to stretch my camera's limits for an awesome atmosphere than have a photographically-speaking perfectly-lit show with no pop or colour.

St Andrews has some truly incredible dancers, and incredibly dedicated celebrity dancers who dodged deadlines and all managed to pull together stage-worthy performances. Tech team, a beautiful atmosphere that felt just like the real show. A complete pleasure to photograph - thank you to Rosie and BALLADS for having me!

Keep Dancing...