The Weekly Margs by

I is for Iconic

Incredible. Amazing. Show-stopping. Spectacular.

If You Know, You Know

Icons are instantly recognizable. We talk about them a lot for software user interfaces: when designing an icon for a button, it needs to be clear what the icon means. Sometimes, icons outlive their metaphors (hello and goodbye, floppy disk save icons). In the real world, icons are usually just the things themselves.

This week’s photos are of icons around the world, the pictures should be unambiguously of the thing you think they are: no weird crops to hide what they are, just clear pictures, hopefully!

September 2016. Griffith Observatory (Los Angeles, CA)

I think Los Angeles has many iconic landmarks but not necessarily a particularly iconic skyline. There’s landmarks like the Santa Monica Pier, the Hollywood sign, and this one: the Griffith Observatory. I was practicing with my film camera, and I got this decent shot of the observatory with its classic Art Deco design.

March 2017. Westminster Bridge (London, UK)

Standing on Westminster Bridge, you look back, and you see this guy, Big Ben. The internet is telling me this is officially Elizabeth Tower, but whatever. It’s Big Ben, a London icon. The angle was probably unnecessary, but I feel like it adds some height to the building and makes it more fun.

September 2017. Whitney Museum (Manhattan, NY)

It’s not a building! This is just one of Ruth Asawa’s wire structures. She made many of them over the course of her life, and they’re all a little different, but are clearly identifiable as hers. Back in high school, my parents took us to an exhibit at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles: it was my first introduction to her art, and now I know to identify it everywhere. This particular sculpture at the Whitney in New York was by a window, and I took a few pictures head-on before realizing there was a wall nearby that would make for a better contrast. I like the angle of the shadow on the wall too.

November 2019. Ferry Building (San Francisco, CA)

The Bay Bridge will probably always play second fiddle to the Golden Gate bridge, but that’s OK. I think the Bay Bridge is under-appreciated. The slowly-changing Bay Lights that imitate wave patterns were added in 2013 as a temporary celebration, but have become permanent. They’re my favorite part of the bridge, and it feels like a treat every time I get to see this bridge at night.

Thanks and see you next time!