LONDON – The moon eclipse reflected on the Etna volcano. Taking the picture, the Sicilian director Alessia Scarso, the only Sicilian artist and the only woman in Italy to have been selected at the prestigious photo contest “Astronomy Photographer of the Year”, the most important photographic competition in the world dedicated to astronomy, organized by the Royal Observatory Greenwich in collaboration with Insight Investment and BBC Sky at Night Magazine. The director, known to the general public for having directed Italo, a successful film released in 2015 that tells the story of the stray of Scicli became mascot of a community, was chosen by an international jury of experts on 4600 participants, from 90 different countries, among the most famous and talented astrophotographers in the world.
A photographic picture, a pictorial shot that of Scarso, who has captured an incredible night view of the lunar eclipse on the Etna volcano on the night of January 15. “I was in the company of my friend and astrophotographer Marcella Giulia Pace – says the director – We climbed up despite the weather forecast indicated overcast skies. But at the time of the eclipse the sky cleared up enough to see the moon overshadowed. In fact, the clouds that remained in the sky optically merged with the ash of the smoking volcano. When shooting in that cold weather, at a time when the body is used to sleep, there is no immediate perception of the result of the photographic interpretation. At that moment there is only the relationship with nature, and a wonderful silence. But during the development phase, when a series of elements become clear to the eye, another emotion comes along: under the sky there is the ecstatic moment, during development the aesthetic moment manifests itself. For me, photographing is contemplating – continues Scarso – They are very intimate moments of silence that put me in tune with a certain frequency of the universe, which speaks to me and reassures me. I shoot for me, and I participated in the contest on the suggestion of astrophotographer friends, a group called Pictores Caeli. A beautiful name, for a truly stimulating relationship of scientific and artistic comparison. Being selected for this competition is mainly a pleasant and gratifying surprise, and I am amused by the idea that the meridian 0, Greenwich, is related through one of my shots with meridian 15, which passes right on Etna.
The selected works will remain on display for a year at the National Maritime Museum in London and published in a book published by the BBC.
Appointment in London next September 12, where the winners of the nine categories in competition (20 prizes totalling £1,500) and of the various special prizes will be revealed.