enter image description here Ever since I saw the photo of the Iglesia de los Remedio in Cholula with the volcano Popocatépetl behind it, I wanted to see the view myself. While I will probably visit the church itself too which is much easier to ask for directions to, I would like to find a spot where I can get a clear unobstructed view of it as shown above in the only photo with a volcano in it.

Where should I go to get a similar view? Anything that I should know or ask for before getting there?


The volcano is almost straight west from the church. So you will have to go east from it to get that view.

To find the right spot, one source would be the explorer bar of Google maps. If you open google maps along the road Routa Quetzalcoatl and check the bottom photo bar, you can hover over photos. There will be a white line from the photo to the map pointing to where the photo was taken. Those locations are not 100% correct but the fact that there are several similar photos in the neighborhood tells me that you cannot be that far off.

This photo specifically seems to be pretty much from the same location, just at night. Another good location seems to be here. This last one was taken with a 300mm lens, so you better carry something similar if you want this type of shot.

So my answer would be to go east from the Church, along the Routa Quetzalcoatl and be prepared to go a bit into the neighborhood to get the right angle. I would also check that you are there early in the morning when the sun rises so the church is properly illuminated. You will have to walk a couple of hundred meters to get to the right spot. For the perfect shot it might be worthwhile to carry a tripod so you have ample time to setup and then take the shot when the sun is out. Or scout the right spot the day before and come back the next morning.

  • The perspective on the picture presented in the question also suggests a long-focus length (it feels “flat”, the distance between the church and the background looks small). The angle of view is also narrower, which helps getting rid of the things left and right of the church (technically, you don't need a zoom at all, just a long focal length). It certainly won't feel the same in person. – Relaxed Nov 28 '13 at 11:40
  • @Annoyed technically correct yes. Zoom = changing the focal length, 300mm = long focal length. Will change the text to not mention "strong focus". I assumed one would understand I mean long focal length. Sorry if I confused you. – uncovery Nov 28 '13 at 11:52
  • It seems like a well-researched answer. I'll verify it next month on-location. Now I have to choose what lenses to bring or, worse, which ones to leave. – Itai Dec 5 '13 at 14:59
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    Unfortunetly the volcano was just a shadow behing clouds yesterday but that is the right spot except that you need to be on an overpass. The closest one leads to the university. Even that a 500mm lens is required to not get unwanted objects in the shot. – Itai Jan 27 '14 at 15:27

This photo is manufactured. It's a fake. It does not exist and cannot be taken as a single shot from any perspective with any type of lens. If you actually go to Cholula as I did today, you will realize that Popocatépetl is too far away to appear as it does in this photo. That means that the volcano picture was taken separately then enlarged as a backdrop to be combined with the photo of the church using Photoshop or some other editing program. Don't waste your time trying to recreate this photo from s single shot. Impossible.

  • "I could not do it" and "it is impossible" are not automatically the same thing. The fact that the asker accepted an answer, and made a comment suggesting it is possible, leads me to think it is, indeed, possible – AakashM Oct 28 '16 at 11:50
  • If you look for the image, you can find dozens of similar shots on the internet. I would be highly surprised if they are all fakes: google.com.hk/… – uncovery Oct 30 '16 at 8:39

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