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Cowboys Stadium, Ready for its Closeup

Cowboys Stadium All photos: Rochester Institute of Technology

On Saturday night, Cowboys Stadium will light up in a way it never has before. That’s because thousands of people will be shining flashlights at it. It’s all part of an effort to create a unique photograph of the stadium.

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The project is called The Big Shot.

The Alamo

Each year since 1987, the Rochester Institute of Technology has picked an architecturally significant structure to photograph. Stockholm’s Royal Palace and the Alamo have each been subjects.

An alumni of the school suggested Cowboys Stadium for this year’s shoot.

“When we arrived at the stadium last June and really took a look at it, we all knew this was a huge challenge,” says  Bill DuBois, a retired photography teacher at R.I.T. and a founder of the Big Shot. “Lighting a structure with a glass skin is never easy – especially when you’re bringing your own lighting crews in and making it happen.”

The Royal Palace, Stockholm

So why not just shoot it during the day? The short answer is – the night offers the opportunity to take a unique photograph. All of the lights in the stadium and parking lot will be turned off, as well as lights along Legends Way near the stadium. That’s when an army of volunteers will be asked to illuminate the stadium with flashlights, cellphones – pretty much anything with a light.

“So instead of having pin points of light throughout the building or having harsh parking lights, we’re going to be giving a soft, diffuse look to the building,” says Dawn Tower DuBois, another retired faculty member who will be snapping the picture.

There’s still time to volunteer; organizers are hoping 5,000 people show up, lights in hand. Willie Osterman, an R.I.T. faculty member, says giving people the chance to hang out and participate in something creative is another goal of the Big Shot.

Pile Gate, Dubrovnik

“We’ll have retired people, we’ve had kids, we’ll have artists, we’ll have photographers,” he says. “So it just brings the whole community together to create this one picture. It’s all made by everyone who’s involved. So without them, there would be nothing.”

And they’ll get to see the results quickly. The image should be on the school’s website late Saturday night.

KERA will air a documentary about The Big Shot Friday at 7:30 p.m. You can find more information about how to volunteer on Saturday