June 10, 2009 – Opening up for Aerosmith on the Guitar Hero tour opener, Mississippi's 3 Doors Down started off the evening with a big dose of no-frills rock – just a taste of the spectacle that followed.
3 Doors Down was a challenge shoot primarily due to position, but we photographers in the pit still benefited from abundant lighting and the dominating stage presence of frontman Brad Arnold. I wasn't all that familiar with the band aside from their work with the National Guard on the video “Citizen Soldier,” but I was pleasantly surprised by the show.
As Aerosmith's stage setup included a catwalk into the pit seating, shooting was limited to one side of the stage. Due to a crate for videographers in the photo pit, fans, and speaker monitors on the stage, lines of sight were limited for much of the band, though Brad Arnold generally was in fine position, and thus the singer was a prime subject.
Aside from angles, lighting also played a role in the coverage of this event. Arnold was well lit with spotlights from the front for the entirety of the three-song limit; the rest of the band didn't fare quite so well, often left to play in the dull washes of blue and red that covered the stage.
The exposure for this set was roughly ISO 800 at 1/400 and f/3.2, give or take a stop.
The Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 was the primary lens used for this set, with supplemental help from the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8.