‘Big Shot’ to shine on Erie Canal

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Photograph submitted by Bill DuBois

Test shot of RIT’s 24th Big Shot along the Erie Canal in Pittsford.

A popular annual RIT project will experience a “flashback” to life along the Erie Canal in the 19th century.

On May 8, the world famous waterway along Schoen Place in Pittsford will be the subject of RIT’s 24th Big Shot, often described as a “painting with light” photograph.

The Sam Patch, a replica of a 19th century packet boat, will be in the foreground of the photo and models dressed in period costume will be posed along the deck. Various businesses in Schoen Place, housed in converted barns, mills and canalside structures, will fill the background of the photograph.

Faculty from RIT’s School of Photographic Arts and Sciences and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf will lead volunteers in creating the nighttime photograph. While volunteers illuminate the subject area, RIT photographers will take an extended exposure. Hundreds of volunteers are needed to create the image.

Participants should arrive by 7:45 p.m. and meet in Schoen Place by the Coal Tower. Volunteers should bring a camera flash unit or a flashlight and are asked to wear dark clothing.

“This is one of RIT’s signature projects and we are thrilled to be part of a community-wide event that will bring greater visibility to the canal,” says Victoria Schmitt, president of Corn Hill Navigation. “RIT has selected sites all over the globe for its Big Shot photographs, and the Erie Canal is a world-famous site right in our own backyard.”

Michael Peres, RIT professor of photography and one of the Big Shot organizers adds: “Following the huge success of our Big Shot last year in Dubrovnik, Croatia, we are excited to bring the project back to Rochester. We hope a lot of people from the community come out on the evening of May 8. Teams of volunteers will be needed on both sides of the canal to light the area. We want to thank the village and town of Pittsford, the Schoen Place merchants, Corn Hill Navigation and RG&E for all of their support and help in making this event possible.”

Parking is limited in Schoen Place. On-street and off-street parking is available on Main Street and Monroe Avenue near Schoen Place.

The Big Shot event is sponsored by Nikon Inc. Participants will receive a memento print of the final photograph.

Past Big Shots have highlighted historical places including Pile Gate in Dubrovnik, Croatia; the Royal Palace in Stockholm, Sweden; the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas; and the World War II aircraft carrier, the USS Intrepid.

For more information on Big Shot, visit www.rit.edu/bigshot or call 475-2863.