At nightfall, on March 13, my brother sent a message to the family chat: “those of you who live in Cáceres, have a look at the moon.” And he attached a photograph.

It was something surprising: around the moon there was a bright halo. I went to the balcony and I managed to see the moon for very little, because it had just hidden at the top of my building, in the zenith, but taking half a body out I still achieved to see it. Without so much effort, I could also observe a huge semicircle around it.

The kids had just finished dinner. I took the opportunity to put them to bed, with an audiobook, while I commented with my wife about whether to go out to take photos or stay comfortably at home because I was looking forward to going to bed.

I wanted to stay, but I knew that if I did I would regret it, I would remember that photograph I did not take of that anomalous event.

I prepared my photo bag, with three lenses and the tripod, gave a kiss to everyone at home and ran out to the old part of Cáceres. It was not easy, due to the artificial lighting in the historical part: the moon shone intensely, but in the light of the spotlights of the old part the lunar circular halo was largely lost. I needed a dark corner, and I kicked the medieval part without finding a single point in the darkness. Eventually, I was lucky and I found three dimly lit patches. I share the photos with you of what I found. In the darkness, I was astonished by this strange phenomenon, it was something unique that I had never contemplated, it looked like an opening in space. Then I learned that this phenomenon happens when there are crystals in the upper layers of the atmosphere, which is unusual in the latitudes where I live.

Returning home, already at midnight, tired, frozen but happy, I began to reflect on what is really needed to take good photos. It’s true that knowledge and equipment make a difference, especially in complex situations. But those two factors only participate in the photo, they are unable to produce any image by themselves. What is really needed to take good pictures, to make photography an important and lasting part of a person’s life, is to be passionate about it. Behind the best photographs there is a person in love with photography itself, who leaves behind his or her laziness, fears, comfort zone, and overcomes all the difficulties that arise along the way to get the best achievable image. Perseverance and passion, the two fundamental elements to succeed in any aspect of our lives.