Once a year, for the last quarter of a century, Rochester Institute of Technology's photography professors, students and staff have been joined by members of the community, braving the cold Rochester, NY temperatures, occasional raindrops and snowflakes to capture the RIT Big Shot—a photograph of grand proportions.
The RIT Big Shot consists of a community effort in light painting, using—in this case a mix of electronic flashes and flashlights—to illuminate the exterior of a large building or structure during a long exposure of around 30 seconds. The shutter is kept open for a specific amount of time, at a small f/stop which ensures sufficient depth of field, while numerous volunteers illuminate the subject. When the project first began, electronic flashes were used to light the buildings photographed during the Big Shot shoots. Recently, flashlights have become a regular lighting instrument.
RIT professors Dawn Tower DuBois, Bill DuBois, and Michael Peres may be the organizers for each Big Shot, but without the students, alumni, staff and hundreds of volunteers, these large scale photographs would not be realized.
The exposure is accomplished by photographing the architectural subject in the evening, so there is little ambient light. The goal of the Big Shot is to provide the lighting for the photograph to be created.
Bill DuBois and Michael Peres came up with the idea for the Big Shot over two decades ago, "In May 1987 we were debriefing as the school year came to a close," Michael began. "We wanted to come up with a way to teach flash photography to the sophomore class, but in a fun, energy filled, and non-traditional way." A quarter of a century later, not only does the entire RIT photo community get involved but so do hundreds of Rochester locals, all learning about photography at t