The RIT Big Shot: Painting with Light

Airs Monday, March 19, 2012 at 8 p.m.

RIT Big Shot: Painting with Light documents the history of the Rochester Institute of Technology's annual nighttime photography project. The 2011 Big Shot took place at the National Museum of Play at The Strong and was documented in high definition by WXXI. Photographed on the evening of May 5, 2011, more than 1,000 volunteers convened at the museum and used flash lights to "paint the building with light" as photographers from RIT’s School of Photographic Arts and Sciences captured the scene using an open shutter and the dramatic technique of timed exposure.

What started as a project to get RIT's School of Photographic Arts and Sciences' students excited about electronic flash photography has turned into an annual nighttime event that brings a whole community together. Conceived by Professor Emeritus Bill DuBois and Associate Administrative Chair Michael Peres, the project began in 1987 with the shooting of Highland Hospital. Dawn Tower DuBois, Professor of Arts and Imaging at RIT's National Technical Institute for the Deaf, took the Highland Hospital photograph, and joined DuBois and Peres in photographing a total of 26 Big Shots over the last 25 years. In The RIT Big Shot the three share intimate details about the shoots, as well as talk about the process and the lighting plan for the photographs.

Using archival footage from a variety of sources, the film tells the stories of several past Big Shots including the inaugural shoot at Highland Hospital, as well as George Eastman House, Silver Stadium, Rundel Library, Mt. Hope Cemetery, The Alamo, The Royal Palace in Stockholm, Sweden, and The Pile Gate in Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Do you have a story to share about the RIT Big Shot?  Please add it to this page using the comments area below!


it was so cool

my wife and i went and had a great time we had our light and become a part of this and we just fell in love with it it was fun and a lot of people came out as wall. we had a great time. and cant wait to to do this more thanks you all for a great night .. and happy that the storm hald out as well lol

Each Big Shot is special

I work at RIT and have been to the Big Shots starting in 1994. I didn't go to the two overseas.

Each Big Shot is special and has its own story to tell! After we do the newest one, it becomes my favorite! They are all so unique and have interesting behind-the-scenes stories to tell.

May they continue for many years to come!

Donna Sterlace