Cathedral Moon 2 #14938

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The Story

This is one of two night pictures made of the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament dome under a very full moon. It was photographed at night from Gospel Hill which is one of the higher points in the city of Altoona PA. A prominent part of the city skyline and a visual landmark, the cathedral dome can be seen from most places in central Altoona. In the picture, you can see part of the city laid out below to the left and the mountains in the distance.

Day or night, railroad passengers can easily see this beautiful rotunda from the train station and mainline which lie a few blocks below the Altoona cathedral. Therefore, the building has been seen by people from many places since it went up beginning in 1924. Some people have mistaken it for a government building and not one belonging to the Roman Catholic church.

The cathedral is large and imposing with an exterior done in the style of Italy’s Renaissance cathedrals. Of course, the main feature is the dome, which rises to an impressive height of 198 feet.

Photographing the Cathedral

I had photographed the Altoona cathedral before from other angles in daylight and wanted to try a different approach using night photography and add an enlarged moon into it. This black and white version has a color companion in Cathedral Moon 1 #12743 if you care to see this picture with all the varying color casts outdoor creates in night photography. There are shades of green, yellow, and orange against the building which makes for an interesting shot!

What About That Moon!

Now, as for that huge looming moon, it’s clearly a bit of artistic license. I put it in for effect and for fun. Although it’s clearly a visual stretch, not to mention a celestial one, the picture wouldn’t be the same without it. Overall, the entire picture was created from the start with impact in mind anyway. A few pinpoint stars were added too, but the faint clouds are part of the original image.

Location: Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, Altoona, Blair County, Pennsylvania. Image and text © Andrew Dierks

 

 

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