I was in Mexico over Christmas, visiting the Yucatan peninsula. I didn’t take many photos. After returning, I decided to take another trip to Cholula, as there was going to be a full moon in early January, and I once again wanted to try to take a full moon photo with the Iglesia de los Remedios. For those of you who don’t follow every post on this blog, this has become a minor obsession with me, and after several visits I still haven’t gotten a good photo.
When I was in Cholula in October, I spent some time wandering out into the countryside looking for marigold fields. I noticed during that visit that the church was visible from many miles away. I had always imagined taking the moon photo from a rooftop, but that can be hard — limited room to maneuver if things aren’t quite right. I reasoned it would be far easier to take the photo from the ground, a couple of miles away. I could always quickly move if things didn’t line up. An empty field would be ideal.
I’d also never visited this area in the the winter. I looked as some weather forecasts, and what I saw was encouraging — cool, clear weather. Perfect for taking a photo of the moon.
So, just ten days after returning from the Yucatan, I flew to Mexico City. I took a bus from the airport to Puebla, and then a cab to Cholula. I arrived the day before the full moon. I scouted my location and found it to be perfect. While doing so, I ran into another photographer, one who lived in Cholula, who was doing the same thing. We decided to meet the following night at the location.
The next day, I arrived at the location with two more photographers I had met during the day, and met my new friend from the night before. In addition, there were a few others there — a local photographer was doing a workshop, and there were perhaps a dozen of us there in total, all waiting with long lenses for the moon to rise. And rise it did — and in the perfect place! I couldn’t believe my luck, I took photos until the moon was high, and out of the frame. I think this is the best one:
I particularly like this one as the moon is rising and it’s not quite yet pitch dark — it’s more of a blue hour photo. It’s also approaching maximum fullness, 99.9%.
I returned the following night, and the same scenario played out, albeit one hour later. The moon wasn’t quite as full, only 97.9%. It was much darker, and there were no clouds (there’s a little cloud haze on the photo above). I may share some photos of the second night in a future post.