Dave Matthews & Willie Nelson @ Farm Aid

Dave Matthews performing with Willie Nelson, Farm Aid 2009

Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds performed cozy-feeling acoustic set at Farm Aid, joined by special guest Willie Nelson for the 2009 benefit concert.

Dave Matthews performing with Willie Nelson, Farm Aid 2009

Dave Matthews performing with Willie Nelson, Farm Aid 2009

Dave Matthews performing with Willie Nelson, Farm Aid 2009

Dave Matthews performing with Willie Nelson, Farm Aid 2009

Dave Matthews performing with Willie Nelson, Farm Aid 2009

Dave Matthews performing with Willie Nelson, Farm Aid 2009

Photographer's Notes:

This performance by Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds during the Farm Aid 2009 benefit concert was one of the lucky catches of the event. As I mentioned in the posts for Willie Nelson and Neil Young, press photographers were divided into two groups.

For Dave Matthews's performance, I was in the second group to shoot, which left songs three and four. During the third song, Dave Matthews performed with longtime friend and collaborator Tim Reynolds. For the forth song, Dave was joined by on stage by Willie Nelson, which made for a fantastic photo opportunity.

Like all the performances for Farm Aid, space was very tight, and for the most part, wherever you came into the pit when filing in with press was where you stayed. This situation was especially true for the larger performers of the night, and Dave Matthews was no exception.

All the music photographers were fairly closer to the stage, the front of which was lined with monitors, so one challenge of photographing Dave and friends was constantly contending with these obstacles during composition.

In my previous experience photographing Dave Matthews, I knew that he tends to have the neck of his guitar relatively high, so I decided to go slightly to his left for this performance. As luck would have it, that also meant a nice clear view of Willie Nelson as well.

I photographed this set with the Nikon D3 and 70-200mm f/2.8 as my primary combo, with the 24-70mm on the D700 as back up.

My Camera DSLR and Lenses for Concert Photography

Nikon D750:
I use two Nikon D750 for my live music photography. Amazing high ISO performance in a compact body with tons of pro features.
nikon-24-70mm-f28-lens-squareNikon 24-70mm f/2.8:
For most gigs, the 24-70mm is my go-to lens. Exceptional image quality at wide apertures and super-functional range.
Nikon-70-200-squareNikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR:
A perfect pair to the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8, I can basically shoot any job with the midrange and this lens. Superb image quality.
nikon-14-24mm-f28-lens-squareNikon 14-24mm f/2.8:
Ultra-wide perspective, ridiculously sharp even wide open at f/2.8. I love using this lens up-close and personal, where it excels.
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