Student to participate in annual Big Shot event

Student Spotlight
Robert Deitchler, fourth-year advertising photography

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Submitted by David Beyerlein

Ryan Harriman, left, and Robert Deitchler, right, at Big Shot 28 at Cowboy Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

Robert Deitchler is a fourth-year advertising photography student from St. Paul, Minnesota. This Sunday, Feb. 9, he will participate in his fourth Big Shot photo event at High Falls in Rochester. At Big Shot 28 last year, Deitchler helped with communication between lighting teams and assisted in the retouching of the final image of Cowboys Stadium in Texas. At High Falls, he will be helping light up the falls and aiding in retouching the final image again. Deitchler is also a student manager at the RIT Photo Facilities Cage, where he has been working since the start of his second year at RIT.

Question: What brought you to RIT?
Answer: I knew that RIT had an amazing photography program from their reputation. It was something I wanted to be a part of because I knew it would put me in the right direction.

Q: Why did you decide to major in advertising photography?
A: The major enabled me to mold my focus on architectural photography and its purpose in the industry.

Q: What is Big Shot?
A: The Big Shot is an annual photograph made of a large structure that is lit using a method called painting with light. This technique uses handheld lights moved across an area to illuminate a subject, usually in a dark space, while a long camera exposure is taken.

Q: How did you get involved?
A: I became involved with the project because of Dawn Tower-DuBois, one of the four Big Shot team leaders. She was the first professor I met here at RIT and I am extremely thankful for it.

Q: What is your role with Big Shot 29?
A: This year at High Falls, I am strobe lighting the face of the falls with a lighting crew. After the shot is taken, I am then running to the camera platform to do basic image optimization for immediate publication with the team. The following Monday, I will be retouching the Big Shot.

Q: What has been your favorite Big Shot memory?
A: My favorite Big Shot memory was being put on the Screamin’ Eagle ride with my two best friends as part of Big Shot 27 at Seabreeze Amusement Park. The team put a dozen students on the 70-foot tall, upside down, back and forth ride and ran it for three minutes at a time until they captured the shot. The goal was to create light trails of the path the ride took us by strapping glow sticks to our legs, which I saved and still have!

Q: What makes Big Shot such a unique event?
A: The Big Shot is unique because it brings communities together, whether we do it in Rochester or another city. Last year at Cowboy Stadium, we had more than 2,400 people help to produce the final photograph. To be a part of something that big is special.

Q: How has participating in Big Shot helped you with your major?
A: As an architectural shooter, the Big Shot is the largest photo production that focuses on the built environment and architecture I will probably ever be a part of. With any photo project, big or small, there is a certain amount of production that goes into it and being able to control every aspect of a shoot is essential. This experience has taught me that if you can do your best with what is in your control, then you are doing everything you can to get the perfect shot.

Q: What are your plans for after graduation?
A: After graduation I plan on working for an architectural photographer in New York City and continuing to shoot to make my work better. I will be back for Big Shot 30 next year though, wherever it is.