Iconic Photo


For my iconic photo, I chose something that personally struck a chord with me from a very young age. I chose the Hollywood sign located in the hills of Hollywood, CA. I mainly think that any image of this sign can be considered an iconic image because of the story, and meaning behind it. The sign represents a town that was founded on, and continues to run off glamour. The sign is something that had not only become a Mecca for travelers and tourists, but for those who move into the Hollywood area in order to pursue a better life for themselves.  I have a friend who recently moved to Hollywood and he told me that the first thing he did was go visit the sign the sign mainly because, “that’s what you do when you get here.”


There are six major perspectives for analyzing this image. The first is a personal view, which is a gut reaction. My gut reaction every time I see this is that this sign is something that I want to see someday. To me, finally seeing it in person is a culmination of whatever desire I have had to be a part of that area of the country.


The second perspective is a historical view. This sign has everything to do with history. It was constructed a long time ago and many important, as well as common, people have laid their eyes upon it. The town stands for the city and is an icon within it.


The third is technical, which refers to how to work is displayed. This sign is located in one of the most visible locations it could possibly be. It sits on top of a large hill overlooking Hollywood, and from certain points in the city you find yourself staring at it. Placing the sign up high gives the feelng that it is watching over the town.


The fourth is ethical, which refers to ethical responsibility of the work. To me, this sign has an ethical responsibility to always be there. I think that if an iconic image of this magnitude became absent from the city, a huge portion of its culture would go along with it. People would miss it.


The fifth is cultural. The Hollywood sign represents a specific culture. Hollywood, or “tinsel town,” is a place where everybody wants to be somebody, and those who are celebrities rule the streets.


The sixth is critical, which is concerned with the feeling that an icon can bring up, and what personal reaction is formed because of it. I guess for all the positive things I have said about this sign, it can also have its downfalls. For instance, the sign may stand as a symbol of what someone may never achieve in their life. The fact that it is up in the hills may put people down because of its unreachable nature.


I think that the sign is a good representative of the golden mean because of its pleasing aesthetic qualities. The sign, which stands rigid but straight, and structured into a natural background, creates a pleasing mix of emotions. Although it is placed high up on a hill, its solid foundation show that it will not be going anywhere. Also, in most pictures such as the one I am displaying, the sign sits below a blue sky causing its white letters to stand out even more from the desert hillside. There are usually very soothing colors associated with a picture of the Hollywood sign, however on rainy dull days it has its gloomy side. Luckily, California is a sunny place.



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