A cross in a tree

Todd Hido

March 30, 2024

The photographer normally labels his motifs with a simple number; but for this LFI cover motif he took the time to explain how the picture came about.
The American photographer has put together a collection of 80 motifs for his most recent photo book, The End Sends Advance Warning. Many of the images capture mysterious landscapes devoid of any people, where weather phenomena have had a devastating impact. At the same time, they lead the viewer to making their own associations. The signs found in nature are not always as obvious as there are with this cover motif.

“This image was made last March, somewhere north of the town of Livingston in Montana. When I walked down the path into a stand of dying trees, I instantly saw that unmistakable crucifixion shape: once you see it, it’s awfully hard to unsee it... At other angles the branches come together in a way that is not quite so directly religiously evocative, but I liked the dynamic nature of this composition.

I’ve always been inspired by paintings, whether it’s the cold winter light of Dutch portraits, the sparkling landscapes of Hudson River School paintings, or the emotionally laden skies of J.M.W. Turner and Caspar David Friedrich.

It’s so important to me that the meaning of the image resides with the viewer, and that people bring their own experiences and emotions to each photograph. That inherent ambiguity means that I'm not trying to direct anybody how to respond; I'm simply asking the viewer to look and feel. That’s why I don't title my photograph with anything other than numbers, so as not to lead anyone down a narrative path beyond what is provided from the image.”
Text and image: © Todd Hido
EQUIPMENT: Equipment: Leica S3, Elmarit 45 f/2.8 Asph

Todd Hido+-

Todd Hido(C)Kiran Karnani
© Kiran Karnani

Born on August 25, 1968 in Kent, Ohio, USA. He studied at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, and at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Hido received his M.F.A. from the California College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, California, in 1996. His work has been widely exhibited and is represented in numerous collections. He prefers to publish his series in illustrated books; more than 15 publications have appeared to date. He now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.  More

 

A cross in a tree

Todd Hido