25th Annual Big Shot Photo Looking For Volunteers for Light Painting

Saturday, Sept. 26. Be a part of the annual night-time community photography project sponsored by the School of Photographic Arts & Sciences at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Rochester, New York. The Big Shot photography project relies on the participation of over a thousand volunteers who combined provide the primary light source for the extended exposure image - this year the phenomenal architecture of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian will be showcased.

Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of the American Indian.

A look back at the 23rd RIT Big Shot, April 12, 2007, at Pile Gate, Dubrovnik, Croatia; reported by Kelly Downs of RIT University News:

Every year this spectacular evening event brings together diverse participants: RIT students and faculty, the Washington D.C. community, museum members and staff, and visitors from around the world. Anyone is welcome to participate in the Big Shot event. "For me the project is about challenges, teamwork and community. At our very first Big Shot at Rochester's Highland Hospital in 1987 we had about 35 people come out in below- freezing temperatures," says Dawn Tower DuBois, professor at RIT's Nat'l Technical Institute for the Deaf and one of the Big Shot organizers.

RIT Big Shot No. 20, The Royal Palace, Stockolm Sweden, Oct. 9, 2003. Exposure: 45 seconds @f/16, 17C, Film: Kodak 400 NC film, Camera: Sinar F with 65mm lens, All external lighting was provided by multiple hand-held electronic flash units operated by approximately 350 participants. Produced by: the RIT School of Photographic Arts and Sciences, The Lennart Nilsson Conference, The Royal Palace.

From the RIT website: "The basic principles of the project are quite simple. The picture is made at night using either hand-held electronic flash units or flashlights. When the camera shutter is opened, participants "paint" the subject with light during a timed exposure. Lights are aimed randomly across the scene and the exposure is created over time rather than as a result of one large discharge."

This year the National Museum of the American Indian is celebrating it's 5th Anniversary on the National Mall. "I can't think of a more fun way to celebrate," says Kevin Gover (Pawnee/Comanche), director of the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian. "I hope everyone in the Washington Metropolitan area shows up and participates."

Volunteers will meet at the museum on Sept. 26, 7:45 p.m. Volunteers should bring a flashlight or camera flash unit and wear dark clothing. Nikon, Inc. is providing a complimentary copy of the final image to all participants.There will be a reception at the museum immediately following the making of the photograph. To register for the reception, visit

To learn more about the project and view photographs of past Big Shot photos, go to

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Filed under: Photo Events August 18, 2009
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