Endeavour and the Hollywood sign: Photographer weighs in

Times photographer Gary Friedman on the helipad of the U.S. Bank tower.
(Los Angeles Times)

In a post on The Times’ Framework blog, staff photographer Gary Friedman weighs in on the discussion about his photo of the space shuttle Endeavour passing the Hollywood sign:

“As part of a team of more than 20 Times photographers, my position was on the helipad of downtown’s 73-story U.S. Bank Tower, the tallest building west of the Mississippi.

“I had a 360-degree view of the city. A photographer from the Reuters news agency and a video crew from NASA were also on the building to document the event.

“Using a Canon 400mm 2.8 lens on a monopod with a Canon EOS-1D Mark III body, I kept my hand on the shutter. I chose not to shoot with a longer lens as I was worried that the shuttle may be out of the frame.  The juxtaposition between shuttle Endeavour and the Hollywood sign seemed fortuitous.


“In all, Endeavor made three passes by the Hollywood sign, but none of the passes resulted in the same juxtaposition as that first pass.”

Friedman also shared his contact sheet, which has at least 15 images of the shuttle approaching and then passing the Hollywood sign.

Since Monday’s post explaining how Friedman got the shot, several readers have emailed or tweeted their skepticism. “Shuttle photo is a complete fraud. You should be ashamed,” read one particularly vehement one.

But other readers, calling the photo “iconic” and “splendid,” emailed to ask how they could get reprints of the photo for themselves.


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