Before embarking on any photographic journey, I make sure to look up and jot down all sunrise and sunset times in addition to the phases of the moon. This info (available on google) coupled with the Photographers Ephemeris helps me plan my itinerary of shooting locations. To take advantage of the full moon scheduled for Monday 10/29, I set up a sunset/dusk shoot from the Piazzele Michaelangelo. This raised perch offers stunning views that look out over most of Florence.
The weather cooperated with mostly clear skies and great visibility. Just as we arrived, the giant moon peaked out from behind the mountains with brilliant color. Normally, the moon is too bright to properly expose while also capturing a landscape. When it first comes up however, it's not as intense, making it possible to hold the detail in the brightest area while capturing shadow detail in the foreground below.
This particular location was the main reason I lugged my 70-200mm lens. It proved to be the only time I needed it. For everything else I shot in Italy, I relied on a wide angle 17-40mm zoom, and a prime 85mm f1.8. Here though, the extra reach at 200mm was ideal for framing a tight composition with the moon larger in the frame.
After this spectacular sight, we turned our attention to the equally stunning Duomo and Ponte Vecchio as the pastel colors of dusk settled over the city. Tripods were a must with long exposures and small apertures. The entire group made several frames before the special light vanished. We piled into the van exhausted, but rejuvenated by the wonder of all we saw in Florence.