A “Big Shot” for RIT Photo – Cowboys Stadium

Published Mar. 24, 2013

Dallas Cowboys fans, RIT students and alumni, and eager participants from across the globe came together March 23rd to make Rochester Institute of Technology’s 28th Big Shot photograph a resounding success at the world’s largest domed stadium.

Since the project’s inception in 1987, scores of willing volunteers no matter the city or country have responded to Big Shot organizers’ call to help “paint with light” and this year in Arlington, Texas at the football home of the Dallas Cowboys was no exception.

The Big Shot team of Bill DuBois, Michael Peres, Dawn Tower DuBois and Willie Osterman led thousands of volunteers in creating the annual nighttime photograph. About 40 RIT students joined faculty, staff and alumni (who enjoyed an exclusive social event inside Cowboys Stadium before the photograph was taken) in illuminating the 3 million-square-foot venue, using flashlights and camera flash units.

“The Big Shot represents one of RIT’s signature projects, and we are absolutely thrilled with the outcome of this year’s nighttime photograph of Cowboys Stadium,” says Bill DuBois, who added that capturing the image culminated 20 months of painstaking work to execute the photo. “We’d like to thank everyone who came out.”

The annual event relies on hundreds of participants to provide the primary light source for the Big Shot image, while RIT photographers shoot an extended exposure. The effort to capture the image is led by RIT’s School of Photographic Arts and Sciences, which is nationally recognized for its degree programs.

View a slideshow of related photos.

The Big Shot is often described as “painting with light” because participants are asked to “paint” or shine their light source onto a particular exterior area of a landmark while the photograph is taken. Participants were tasked with continuously painting their assigned area of Cowboys Stadium with light while RIT photographersperched atop a scissor lift nearly 40 feet in the airshot an extended exposure. The photo was taken after sunset Saturday, around 8:30 p.m., Central time.

Since RIT started its Big Shot project in 1987, the event has journeyed to several national landmarks and twice crossed the Atlantic Ocean. Big Shot photographers have captured such landmarks as The Alamo, San Antonio, Texas; the U.S.S. Intrepid, New York City; and the Royal Palace, Stockholm, Sweden.

Nikon Inc. has been a longtime sponsor of the event and was among the sponsors again this year.

In a new twist this year, RIT students and faculty from the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science created an image of their own in connection with the project by producing a 3-D reconstruction of the stadium. The reconstruction will allow viewers to do a virtual walk around the area in which the Big Shot is produced.

“We would also like to congratulate our colleagues from Imaging Science for their three-dimensional reconstruction of the stadium,” says DuBois. “What a night for RIT!”

RIT’s Big Shot event began as a way to teach students about flash photography. To view the nighttime images of all Big Shot subjects, go to www.rit.edu/bigshot.