a photo of a basilica illuminated at night in front of a mountain in front of the moon

Image © Valerio Minato, shared with permission

Looking out from the high elevation of Castagneto Po in Italy on December 5, Valerio Minato photographed an extraordinarily magical alignment across the way in Piemonte. Already glowing in the darkness, the hilltop Basilica of Superga sits directly in the center of the Monviso mountain with the moon precisely framing the pair.

Minato planned the perfectly positioned shot well in advance—watch the night unfold on Instagram—and explains the distinct lighting within the image. “Even though the setting moon was captured in a crescent phase, the exposure was long enough for doubly reflected earthlight, called the da Vinci glow, to illuminate the entire top of the moon,” he says.

Minato frequently photographs cities and landmarks around Italy, which you can view on his site. Find prints in his shop. (via Kottke)

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