Monday, December 29, 2014

2014 Highlights - In Another Minute (Week 243)

2014 Highlights - In Another Minute (Week 243)

During the last two weeks of the year, I'd like to share with you the 2014 highlights from the places I captured for the Moving Postcard video series throughout the year. This week, let's take a look at locations I visited outside of the state of Colorado, which I publish under the sub-category In Another Minute.

I hope watching this quick video collage will inspire you to (re)watch the full videos listed below - or maybe even to visit some of those places. If you do, please share your videos and photos with me.

A big thank you to all who have gone on adventures with me, hosted or met me along the road. And thank YOU ALL for watching, commenting on and sharing my videos. It makes me so happy to know there are people who appreciate my videos.

Four Corners Monument (Colorado, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico) – In A Colorado Minute (Week 200)

Los Cabos (Mexico) – In Another Minute (Week 209)

Vedauwoo (Wyoming) – In Another Minute (Week 210)

World Cup 2014 (Germany) – In A Berlin Minute (Week 216)

Home Country Roads (Germany) – In Another Minute (Week 217)

Spearfish Canyon (South Dakota) – In Another Minute (Week 229)

Catskills Wedding (New York) – In Another Minute (Week 232)

San Francisco Bay Area (California) – In Another Minute (Week 233)

Sonoma (California) – In Another Minute (Week 236)

Chicago (Illinois) – In Another Minute (Week 237)

The “el” aka L Train Chicago (Illinois) – In Another Minute (Week 239)

Austin (Texas) – In Another Minute (Week 241)

One city I went to this year that didn't make it into this highlights reel is New York City. The video I brought back from there was already a highlights video from my entire In A Brooklyn Minute collection - because that week, we officially gave up our Brooklyn apartment and moved to Colorado. For now anyway... Good-Bye, New York City – In A Brooklyn Minute (Week 196)

The song featured in the video is the instrumental version of "Only Whispering" by Josh Woodward and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 US License. Thank you, Josh!

Piña Colada in Los Cabos, Mexico

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Tree Cutting - In A Colorado Minute (Week 242)

Christmas Tree Cutting - In A Colorado Minute (Week 242)

If you live in Colorado and are the type of person that celebrates Christmas, you have got to do this: cut your own Christmas tree in the National Forest!

Scott, Pascal, Lisa, our dogs Whiskey and Johnny, and I had such a wonderful day: driving up to the Canyon Lakes Ranger District, near the Red Feather Lakes, and run around the Roosevelt National Forest looking for just the right tree and finally cutting down the chosen ones. Granted, the trees we found didn't have that perfect shape or fullness as the trees grown in lots, but the natural look and the experience of having discovered and sawed down the tree yourself, up in the mountains, makes this the most special Christmas tree we've ever had. And it smells so good!

In the Fort Collins area, the cutting season was December 6 - 14. All you had to do was get a $10 permit from your local National Forests office and be in the Red Feather cutting area no later than 2pm. They will kick you out by 4pm. The biggest challenge was to find spruce and fir trees since it seems to be mostly pine trees up there. But just park your car and start hiking... Happy Christmas Tree Cutting (next year)!

Here's an article from the Coloradan how cutting down your own Christmas tree helps the planet.

The music in this video is a public domain recording of "O Tannebaum" by the US Marine Corpse Band - a bit sped up.

I'm wishing all of you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Cool Kwanza and/or awesome winter solstice pagan rites!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Austin, Texas - In Another Minute (Week 241)

Austin, Texas - In Another Minute (Week 241)

Austin is the capitol of Texas - and at the same time the least Texan city in Texas. At least, that's what I hear. What I can say for certain is that I loved it there, when Scott, Whiskey and I got to explore the city this past week after screening our documentary "All God's Children" at the Child-Friendly Faith Conference.

The weather in early December was gorgeous, the people were super friendly, the food was delicious and there was plenty of music, interesting architecture, food carts, neon signs, street art and a protest against police violence and racism to keep my camera busy.

The biggest challenge (yet again) in making this video was that I had too much footage and editing it down to a minute took a little longer than hoped.

Things you will see in this video (among other places): the Texas State Capitol, downtown, 6th Street, South Congress (with glimpses of  Snackbar, Austin Motel, Continental, Güero's Taco Bar, Lucy in Disguise, the "I love you so much" graffiti, and the Best Wurst food cart offering Berlin-style Currywurst!), the "til death do us part" street art by Federico (Archuleta) on the outside of the Mexic-Arte Museum, the Treaty Oak, Waterloo Records (where we splurged a bit), a Ghost Bike commemorating Robert Antony Ramirez, a visual shout-out to Sam Beam (aka Iron & Wine), whom I went to film school with, and Freddie's Place, which reminded us so much of a Berlin beer garden that we returned the next afternoon.

Only three things we missed out on this time around: the bats taking off from the Congress Bridge (because they've flown down south for the winter), a live concert (because dogs weren't allowed anywhere were bands were playing - so we opted to just hop around regular bars) and connecting with our local friends and other travel bloggers. But we'll be back.. that's for sure!

The song in this video is called "Acoustic Blues" and was written and performed by Jason Shaw, who made this song available via the CC BY 3.0 license. Thank you, Jason!

For the camera nerds among you: this is the first video I shot with my amazing Sony DSC-RX 100 III - the perfect compact point'n'shoot camera for this traveling video maker. I'm still learning the camera and all its video options. This video I shot in the AVCHD codec at 60p. I'm planning on shooting in XAVC S in the future, since I'll have to do conversions in post with all of the AVC codecs anyway. What this definitely means is that I'm finally departing PAL and embracing NTSC. We'll see how that plays out..

I took tons of pictures on this trip, and will post a selection very soon on my personal blog.

Texas flag + Longhorns flag + guitar = Austin

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Meet Günter Westphal (Visual + Social Artist) - In A Minute Portrait (Week 240)

Meet Günter Westphal (Visual + Social Artist) - In A Minute Portrait (Week 240)

Most people know Günter Westphal from Hamburg, Germany, as a photographer, a social artist and an activist in the Münzviertel neighborhood (in St. Georg, Hamburg). He also happens to be my father.

When he attended a Chicago artist residency (sponsored by the Goethe Institute and the Hamburg Ministry of Culture) for the month of November, I was able to fly up there from Colorado twice and explore the city with him and help with his presentation at the Experimental Station. I also took the opportunity to shoot this micro-interview with him. And because this week was his birthday, I thought this would be the right week to publish this video.

Günter is an amazing photographer, whose images always have a deeper meaning than you might think at a first glance. He gave me my first camera when I was 8 years old, and I'd like to believe that he also gave me my passion for photography and cinematography (if not also the photographic eye).

However, what I find even more inspiring, yet much more difficult to explain, is the social art he creates. To put it real simple: he's a social activist who sees his activities and makes his decisions with a sense of aesthetics or even based on aesthetic criteria. To look at it from the other side: he creates art that actually makes the world a better place - not just theoretically, but practically. This I wish I could say of my own work.

Günter would never put his creative, philosophical and social endeavors in such simple terms - because nothing ever is that simple. Part of his work is even to question this work...

So to put him on the spot and make him explain his work, his motivation and his philosophy in simple, short sentences was probably a bit unfair from the beginning. But I couldn't pass up the chance to have him in my little video series. Of course, it was just as much of a challenge to try to get all he said into a 1-minute video. I couldn't. So what you watch here is a stripped-down and simplified version of his answers. And because he spoke in German, you will also have to contend with English subtitles. My suggestion: watch it several times - once just for the words, once just for the images...

If you want to see more...

... please check out the following posts with photos Günter took during his time in Chicago:

Chicago 5./ 6.11.2014

City Development from the Bottom Up – The Example Of The Hamburg (Germany) Neighborhood Münzviertel – A Conversation with Günter Westphal – Saturday, November 22, 5pm Experimental Station – 6100 South Blackstone Ave, Chicago

Das Münzviertel in der Experimental Station 6100 S Blackstone Ave. Chicago 11/22/2014

... and some of the related videos I've made:

Günter Westphal Photo Exhibit – In A Berlin Minute (Week 6)

Chicago (Illinois) – In Another Minute (Week 237)

The “el” aka L Train Chicago – In Another Minute (Week 239)

Guenter Westphal in Chicago
November 2014

Monday, December 8, 2014

Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds - "In The Heat Of The Moment" + "Do The Damage" (MusicMonday)

Chasing Yesterday, the second album by Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds, won't come out until March 2nd (perfectly timed for someone special's birthday), but the single "In The Heat Of The Moment" with the B-side "Do The Damage" has already been out for a few weeks. And now there are full videos for both songs. Because I like them both and because my Music Monday posts have been far and few between (since I've been a traveling fool lately), I figured I'd share both of them.

"In The Heat Of The Moment" - Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds

"Do The Damage" - Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds