Rochester technology students choose Cowboys Stadium for Big Shot project

ARLINGTON — More than 2,430 participants from across the country and around the world came together Saturday at Cowboys Stadium, the world’s largest domed stadium, to help make Rochester Institute of Technology’s 28th Big Shot photograph. About 40 RIT students who traveled to Texas from upstate New York and 175 alumni who live in the area, provided the primary light source for the Big Shot image, while RIT photographers shot an extended exposure. This year’s final image is a 30 second exposure at f16 @ISO 400. This is the first time since the building was built that all of the lighting was turned off.

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 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, photographers have captured such landmarks as The Alamo, San Antonio; the U.S.S. Intrepid, New York City; and the Royal Palace, Stockholm, Sweden.

RIT’s Big Shot event began as a way to teach students about flash photography. RIT’s School of Photographic Arts and Sciences is nationally recognized for its degree programs.

To view the nighttime images of all Big Shot subjects, go to