The “Big Shot” portfolio of photographs shot by Rochester Institute of Technology professors grew this past April with the stunning image captured in Croatia of the entrance to Dubrovnik’s Old Town known as Pile (pronounced pee-lay) Gate.
Since 1987, a total of 23 Big Shot photos have been taken. The Big Shot, often described as a nighttime “painting with light” photograph, requires volunteers to continuously bathe the subject area with light, using only flashlights or camera flash units while all other light sources are shut off.
Photography professors in RIT’s School of Photographic Arts and Sciences began the project as a way to teach students about electronic flash photography. Since then, the project has evolved from a simple class exercise into a large-scale complex undertaking involving a great deal of planning and logistics. Big Shot subjects have included such notable landmarks as The Alamo, the USS Intrepid, the Royal Palace in Stockholm, Sweden, the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, and most recently Dubrovnik’s Pile Gate.
Ines Winkler, a 2005 graduate of RIT and a native of Germany, recently won a portfolio of the Big Shot photos as part of a raffle to raise money to send RIT students to Croatia for the making of the photograph.
The photos will be on display from Sept. 1 through Sept. 30 at Museum Schloss Klippenstein in Radeberg, Germany, outside of Dresden.
“I have always been a fan of the art of photography and so to win the portfolio was perfect,” says Winkler. “I didn’t have a space though to hang them all. My parents, who live in Germany, were equally excited about the photographs, so we worked with a museum near their home to set up an exhibition that would be open to the public. RIT gave me so much, and organizing this exhibition is my way to say thanks and promote the university.”
There is also a permanent exhibit of the Big Shot photographs in the dining area in the CSD Student Development Center on the RIT campus.
RIT faculty, students and staff along with alumni, students, faculty and staff from RIT’s sister college, The American College of Management and Technology (ACMT), nestled in the heart of Dubrovnik along the Adriatic Sea, were among the 500 volunteers who participated in the most recent Big Shot photo project after sundown on April 12. The volunteers were responsible for providing the light source during an exposure period of 90 seconds. Families from Dubrovnik and even some tourists came out with their flashlights or “batteries” as is the translation in Croatian.
Guards dressed in costume along with three couples wearing Renaissance period clothing were posed on the bridge. The final image highlights the models, the entrance’s stone bridge, the fortress wall, turrets, bell tower and the Croatian flag. The exposure was 90 seconds at F11.
Faculty members Michael Peres, Bill DuBois and Dawn Tower DuBois are the coordinators of the Big Shot.
To view all of the Big Shot photographs, visit www.rit.edu/~bigshot.