A new look at Church of the Nativity

by Scott Loftesness on February 2, 2010

Church of the Nativity - Menlo Park

What a difference a bit of technology can make! The photo above – similar in composition to the one on the Church of the Nativity website – seems to leap off the page.

I shot this particular photo over the weekend using a Canon PowerShot S90 compact digital camera – a camera that I’ve been raving about over on my personal blog. This particular photo was shot in what’s called HDR – High Dynamic Range. With HDR, the camera is mounted on a tripod (in this case, very low to the ground) and three images are snapped – each with different exposures. Some special software is then used to combine them in a special way which results in the photo you see in this post. You can see some other examples of HDR on the Canon S90 here.

To give some context while you look at the photo, here are some facts about Church of the Nativity:

  • The church is one of only three buildings in Menlo that are on the National Register of Historical Places (the Menlo Park train station and Gate House are the other two).
  • Often called the “roamin’ church,” it began life as a chapel on the corner of Ringwood and Middlefield (under the name St. Bridget’s). It was moved in 1878 on log rollers to a location on Santa Cruz Avenue, and a year later moved again to its present location on Oak Grove where it was enlarged into a church.
  • Constructed of redwood, the church’s website notes that architecturally it’s typical of many churches built around the end of the 19th century. Inside features include handmade stain glass windows and hand-carved altars.

As one of the commenters noted about my photo when I posted it to Flickr, “oh that’s such a perfect little church – it looks like it belongs in another era.” Indeed it does – it’s a beautiful feature of Menlo Park!

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