(CTN News) – The Italian photographer from Turin won “Astronomy Picture of the Day” for Christmas 2023 from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) for his one-in-a-million snap of the moon.
This stunning moonshot, taken by Valerio Minato, frames the Basilica of Superga’s dome near Turin, the tip of Monte Viso, the highest peak in the Cottian Alps, and the moon itself.
Minato’s fixation with getting the moon, cathedral, and mountain all in one photograph started in 2017 when he had the concept for this photo.
Photographer’s Secret Revealed: Changing Perspective and Patient Waiting
He went on to say that he spent six years trying to acquire the right shot.
“Changing your perspective and learning to wait are the secrets.”
“I have been shooting since 2012, first in Turin, then in the surrounding area, to view the city from different points and distances,” Minato stated while speaking to Corriere Torino, a Turin-based news agency. I began searching for the exact spot where the domes of Superga and Monviso would meet.
Located on a hill in the Chivassese area, some 40 minutes by car from San Raffaele Cimena and Castagneto Po, I noticed it in 2017. From that point on, the idea of having a heavenly body frame them both became an obsession.
To get the perfect photo, Minato tracked the moon’s phases, horizon location, and meteorological conditions down to the tenth of an inch.
“Exactly there with a circular appearance, in this case, the crescent half illuminated and the other highlighted by the ashen light of reflection” is how he described the moon’s annual configuration.
Additionally, he mentioned that the weather had been overcast for the past five years leading up to December 15, when he finally had the opportunity to get the photo shortly before 7 p.m.
Even though he received praise and gratitude from some Facebook users who saw Turin “with new eyes” thanks to his work, others accused him of employing “photomontages or artificial intelligence” in his editing.
He shot back, saying, “We must not get the idea that only technology can now surprise us.” after hearing the claims. Having the right approach, being patient, and observant can get the job done.
“We must persist along our individual routes, confident that among photographers there are still individuals who can value authenticity,” he continued. Any synthetic product can’t compete with a well-planned and executed photo.