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The University Magazine

Big Shot in Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik women
Historic city wall of Dubrovnik at Pile Gate

More than 500 volunteers manned their positions along the historic city wall of Dubrovnik at Pile Gate on April 12, 2007, for an international incident of photographic proportions.

RIT photographers from the School of Photographic Arts and Sciences led the charge in the making of RIT’s 23rd Big Shot. Students, faculty, staff and alumni from RIT’s American College of Management and Technology converged at the entrance with their flashlights and camera flash units for the “painting with light” project. Families from Dubrovnik and even some tourists came out with their flashlights.

RIT and ACMT worked for more than a year with the City of Dubrovnik to hammer out all the logistics. During the making of the photograph, the city shut off all lights along the wall near Pile Gate as well as streetlights in the area. ACMT hired security guards to halt pedestrian traffic in and out of the Old Town through Pile Gate.

“A lot of planning went into this,” says Don Hudspeth, dean and president of ACMT. “It turned out to be a fantastic event. There was a lot of energy with all the students and we had a great turnout from the Dubrovnik community. With it being ACMT’s 10th anniversary, this photograph is a nice way of saying thank you to the city of Dubrovnik for hosting us for the past decade. The college looks forward to being here for many more years.”

There were eight lighting teams varying in size from 10 to 200 volunteers, depending on the area they were assigned to light.

“I led a group of about 60 people and a translator to communicate with the Croatian-speaking people,” says Kim Loeper ’07 (visual media photography), one of 12 photography majors who spent the spring quarter studying at ACMT. “We got to hide out in trees and fire our flashes and paint a fairly large section of the wall. We had some kids in the group and we were singing and chanting. It was a lot of fun.”

Costumed guards and 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. RIT faculty members Michael Peres, Bill DuBois and Dawn Tower DuBois reprised their roles as coordinators for the Big Shot.

“It was complicated, but awesome,” says Peres, chair of the biomedical photography communications department at RIT. “Everything came together. The weather cooperated. The costumes. The crowds. The unfurled flag. We certainly did something special in Dubrovnik. The final photograph is a home run.”

Kelly Downs