Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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Todd Hido was born in 1968 in Kent Ohio. He grew up on Denise Drive, a cul-de-sac in the suburbs. Though he lives in the city now -- the San Francisco Bay Area to be exact -- he's still attracted to the suburbs as subjects for his work. Others that photograph suburbia are Robert Adams and Lewis Baltz.

Hido is a color photographer, who shoots suburban houses, seen from outside and inside, often taken in the evening or at night. He uses available light and long exposures to create an incredible slightly haunting, and mysterious view of suburbia. These nameless spaces are both attractive and repulsive, and bring out questions about the stories, which lie behind them. The insides are the homes whose previous owners have defaulted on their mortgages - and bear marks of sad lives and hurried departures. The subjects and light and color link Hido more to an early 20th century American realist tradition of a Hido often creates groups or compositions of his images in an irregular grid pattern which suggests the physical gaps in neighborhoods.

This is a photo of a slightly red shadow of a tree on the side of a house. As usual this picture was taken at night and used a long shutter speed. He didn't center the subject like a snapshot but instead shifted it to the right leaving negative space at the left. This makes your eyes "wander" around the photo. It makes me think about where the tree is and where the light is coming from. The photo feels questionable and makes you think and wander a lot, about what is in the house, why is the tree reflected on the house, etc.

This photographer's work is interesting, and enjoyable. In a sense it makes me think of my past, or just the past in general, with the shag carpet and the ugly wallpapers. Sometimes it does matter what you take a picture of not just that it looks cool, but the subject can give a different meaning or attract different viewers.