It’s Photography at Play as RIT’s Big Shot Photo Project Comes to The Strong

Volunteers from the community are needed to make a nighttime photograph May 5

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Rigoberto Perdomo

Despite the rain, more than 800 volunteers converged on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., for RIT’s 25th Big Shot at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian in September 2009.

The National Museum of Play at The Strong provides the young, and young at heart, a chance to be a kid at play.

In collaboration with Rochester Institute of Technology, The Strong invites the community to come out and “play with light” for RIT’s annual Big Shot photography project—an interactive, fun project that relies on volunteers to help make a spectacular nighttime photograph.

On May 5, The Strong will be the subject of RIT’s 26th Big Shot. 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 of the museum’s exterior. While volunteers illuminate the subject area, often referred to as “painting with light,” RIT photographers will take an extended exposure. Hundreds of volunteers are needed to light up various areas of The Strong’s campus.

Participants should arrive by 7:45 p.m. and gather on the sidewalk opposite the museum pedestrian entrance on Manhattan Square. Volunteers need to bring a flashlight or camera flash unit and are asked to wear dark clothing. Each participant will receive a memento print of the final photograph thanks to Nikon Professional Services.

“The structure has a huge footprint and we will have two complete sides of the building in the final image,” says Bill DuBois, RIT professor of photography and one of the Big Shot organizers. “Our friends at ESL Federal Credit Union are letting us shoot from their terrace rooftop to provide us an amazing vantage point of The Strong. This is why it’s so important that we get as many volunteers as possible to light up the unique architectural aspects of the museum like The Dancing Wings Butterfly Garden and the cubes.”

Adds Rollie Adams, president and CEO of The Strong: “We are delighted to take part in this year’s RIT Big Shot photography project. And we look forward to having the Greater Rochester community come out and join us at The Strong to help light our award-winning architecture and create a magnificent nighttime photograph.”

Parking in the museum parking lot is limited. Participants using the lot are asked to enter and exit at Pitkin Street. Additional parking may be available at nearby municipal lots. For a map, go to

RIT, The Strong, ESL Federal Credit Union, Nikon Professional Services and the city of Rochester are the event’s official sponsors.

RIT’s Big Shot photography project began in 1987. Past Big Shots have highlighted historic places including The Smithsonian’s Museum of the American Indian, Washington, D.C.; Pile Gate in Dubrovnik, Croatia; The Royal Palace in Stockholm, Sweden; World War II retired aircraft carrier the USS Intrepid in New York City; the Erie Canal along Schoen Place in Pittsford, N.Y.; and Mt. Hope Cemetery in Rochester.

To learn more about the Big Shot project, go to