Cholula Moon

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peter826 Contributing Member • Posts: 531
Cholula Moon
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I have a minor obsession with the Iglesia de Los Remedios in Cholula, Puebla, Mexico. I've photographed it from many angles, often with the stratovolcano Popcatepetl in the background. Once, I got lucky and caught a full moon setting above the volcano with the church below.

This fueled a desire to get a nice shot with the church and moon, albeit with a huge full moon rising behind the church. I can't take credit for the idea -- I've seen this before on some Mexican photographer's Instagram. But, the photo was elusive. I made two trips to the area during full moons and attempted to get this photo from hotel rooftops. Both times were not successful.

Last October, I was in the area again photographing flower fields prior to Day of the Dead. While looking for fields, I wandered far out into the countryside and realized I could see the church from miles away (it sits atop an ancient pyramid). I was playing around with Photographer's Ephemeris and realized this was probably how others were getting the photo.

Although I had just returned a week earlier from a trip to the Yucatan, I hopped a flight to Mexico City in early January, bused to Cholula, and after checking into my hotel, walked out into the countryside to what I hoped to be the correct place. I quickly became aware I had found a good spot, as other local photographers began to show up. In the end, there were perhaps a dozen of us there.

It was a pretty clear night, and as the moon rose, I realized I'd finally get the photo I was after. It's always amazing how fast the moon rises, and before you know it, it's out of the frame. I hauled a Sigma 150-600 lens with me, and I'm glad I did. A small amount of haze lit up around the moon -- I'd have preferred it without. The following night, it was crystal clear, but the moon rose an hour later, and it was much darker. I think I like this one best, the light was a little better due to the blue hour.

Though I've checked this one off my list, I'm planning to return to this area again later this year. Even though I've been there a half dozen times, there's just a ton of good photos to be had there. Thanks for reading...

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