June 18, 2009 – Opening up for Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley defied the 100º+ heat index to deliver an aerobic set that saw the country singer bounding over the length of the stage and making ample use of the tour's three ramps.
The rules for this set were the second and third songs, which was a good thing, since Dierks spent most of the first song running around every square inch of the stage and the three ramps. Of course, he only turned it down a notch during the second and third songs. This near-constant movement kept the press on our toes, and there were still plenty of opportunities to photograph the country singer from a stationary spot at the front of the stage.
The setup for the evening included two ramps/catwalks out into the crowd from the stage: one center and two on the sides. The middle ramp terminated in a small round satellite stage, which Dierks went out to on occasion, but he mostly rocked the two side ramps.
The 8:10 set time for Dierks Bentley still left a little daylight hanging in the air, which provided a diffuse fill light to the stage. Spotlights with a magenta gel were trained on Dierks for the first three songs, and their intensity kept shutter speeds up and ISO down.
There was no dedicated photo pit for this concert, so photographers simply hung out at the front of the stage near the center catwalk. Dierks moves around so much that I think the left and right sides are pretty equal as far as angles and photo opportunities. For right-handed guitarists, I generally take house-right for my own compositional preferences, so that's where I choose to shoot from for this performance.
The Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 and Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 easily took care of this gig.