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Photos: Jason Aldean @ Verizon Wireless Amphitheater

Jason Aldean performs on May 13, 2011at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis, Missouri. © 2011 Todd Owyoung. (Todd Owyoung)

Jason Aldean brought his “My Kind of Party” tour to the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater and a sold-out crowd of over 18,000 strong.

Way back in 2009, my brother Chris and I shot material for an advertising campaign with Jason Aldean for Wrangler Jeans. At the time, Aldean was a rising star, but still supporting larger artists and paying his dues.

Flash forward to 2011, and Jason Aldean is a country music superstar headlining – and selling out – 20,000-capacity amphitheaters across the US. When I heard that he sold out the ~18,000 tickets to his show at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, I was thrilled. Back in 2009, Jason and his entire band struck me as down to earth, hardworking guys who deserved to make it big. So after years of grinding it out, I couldn't help but smile to see Aldean and his band as one of the big dogs of country music.

Jason Aldean performs on May 13, 2011at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis, Missouri. © 2011 Todd Owyoung. (Todd Owyoung)

Jason Aldean performs on May 13, 2011at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis, Missouri. © 2011 Todd Owyoung. (Todd Owyoung)

Jason Aldean performs on May 13, 2011at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis, Missouri. © 2011 Todd Owyoung. (Todd Owyoung)

Jason Aldean performs on May 13, 2011at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis, Missouri. © 2011 Todd Owyoung. (Todd Owyoung)

Jason Aldean performs on May 13, 2011at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis, Missouri. © 2011 Todd Owyoung. (Todd Owyoung)

Jason Aldean performs on May 13, 2011at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis, Missouri. © 2011 Todd Owyoung. (Todd Owyoung)

Jason Aldean performs on May 13, 2011at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis, Missouri. © 2011 Todd Owyoung. (Todd Owyoung)

Jason Aldean performs on May 13, 2011at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis, Missouri. © 2011 Todd Owyoung. (Todd Owyoung)

Photographer's Notes:

Cameras Used:

  • Nikon D700
  • Nikon D700

Lenses Used:

This shoot was a straight forward two songs, with one catch – there was a thrust coming out from the center of the stage, with no barricade surrounding it. This mean picking and sticking to one side was pretty much essential, given the short time period for shooting. I went stage left for Aldean.

Anytime you have to pick and stick, you're going to miss out on some angles and some moments – this fact is a given. Overall, I was happy with my choice of Aldean's left side, as I felt it gave cleaner angles while he was singing and playing. The only slight sting was that when Jason came out from behind the mic to the front of the stage, he went to his right. Not once, but both times in the first two songs. And you know what? Those are the breaks.

On the flip side, when Jason was at the mic, he has a tendency to whip back very quickly while playing, pivoting his left shoulder back. In addition, Jason seemed to favor looking out to his left while performing, resulting in clean shots from stage left, zip from stage right.

The other obvious con to having to pick one side or the other of the thrust was limited angles on Jason's band. Having shot them before, I did have a tinge of regret at not being able to move around for more variety of shots in shooting the full band.

Again, just a situation where you have to make an executive decision on what kind of shots you want.

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My Camera DSLR and Lenses for Concert Photography

Nikon D850:
I use two Nikon D850 for my live music photography. A true do-it-all DSLR with amazing AF, fast response, and no shortage of resolution.
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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