Thursday, March 31, 2016

Christ the Redeemer - World Wonder (Brazil) - In Another Minute (309)

The massive statue of "Christ the Redeemer" (Portuguese: "Cristo Redentor") in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was declared one of the New 7 Wonders of the World in 2007.

Christ the Redeemer - World Wonder (Brazil) - In Another Minute (309)

While I visited the statue atop Corcovado Mountain in January 2013, it wasn't until I filmed another World Wonder (the pyramid at Chichén Itzá) that I decided to cut a video specifically about Christ The Redeemer. You guessed it: I'm now aiming to see all 7 Wonders of the World and make 1-minute Moving Postcard videos about them.

The 30-meter tall Jesus Christ statue has been looking at Rio de Janeiro since 1931. Several international men were involved in designing and creating the Art Deco monument: Brazilian Heitor da Silva Costa, Romanian Gheorghe Leonida, and French Paul Landowski and Albert Caquot. The statue, made of concrete and soapstone, weighs 635 metric tons.

Of course, the statue itself is impressive. But I think the ride up the mountain with the tram (Trem de Cocovado) is the most fun part or the excursion. It is possible to hike to the top of Cocovado Mountain on an easily visible trail through the Tijuca Forest National Park. While the hike is free, you'll still have to pay an entry fee (under 10 USD) at the top if you want to see Christ the Redeemer up close.

The bird's-eye views of Rio de Janeiro, including the neighborhoods Copacabana and Ipanema, are the enough reason to get up on the mountain. Of course, if you're trying to collect Wonders of the World, then you must go up there - even if it's yet another cloudy day in Rio.

Right, it rains a lot in Rio. It's rain forest climate, after all. The low-hanging rain clouds combined with a still very bright sky makes dealing with video footage challenging. Especially shots of the statue against the bright, cloudy sky were very difficult to match to how the eye would see them. Working with this older material again, made me realize how much better my current camera handles such challenges - and that I'm still not great at color correction in post. Nerd talk, I know.

The song featured in this video is "Modern Jazz Samba" by Kevin MacLeod ( It is licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License.

More videos from Brazil:
Rio de Janeiro – In Another Minute (Week 147)
Coastal Paradise: Ilha Grande + Paraty – In Another Minute (Week 148)
Carnaval (Carnival) in Salvador – In A Brazil Minute (Week 149)

More Wonders of the World:
Chichén Itzá – World Wonder (Mexico) – In Another Minute (262)
Christ the Reedemer - Cristo Redentor
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Moving Postcard Trailer (2016)

Finally, I've put together a new Moving Postcard trailer, which gives a you super quick glimpse into the main Moving Postcard categories: In A Berlin Minute, In A Brooklyn Minute, In A Colorado Minute and In Another Minute.**

Moving Postcard Trailer (2016)

The Moving Postcard video series wants you to travel... even if it's just for one minute. Every week, a new 1-minute video explores a place or an event in Berlin, Brooklyn, Colorado or more exotic places. All videos are shot and edited by me, Luci Westphal, a German New Yorker currently living in Colorado.

I started making these videos to "send a moving postcard about what I saw and experienced" to my friends and family when I moved to Berlin in May 2010. Since then, I moved back to Brooklyn and then Colorado - and the audience became much broader. Thank you so much for watching, commenting and sharing. I'm so grateful for all the new friends I made through this video series!

And for those of you who think one minute is just too short, there sometimes is even a longer video about a destination:

With over 300 weeks worth of videos, there's sure to be a place that you would like to escape to, discover and share. So go ahead, come on a short trip with me or send someone else a Moving Postcard...
xx Luci


The music in this trailer is by Jason Matherne:


Thursday, March 24, 2016

Cañon City and Florence - In A Colorado Minute (308)

Cañon City and Florence are two charming old towns east of the Rocky Mountains, in Fremont County, Colorado.

Cañon City and Florence - In A Colorado Minute (308)

Cañon City and Florence were both established around 1860. The remaining buildings from the late 1800s make these towns so picturesque and already worth a visit.

But there's more. While Cañon City was originally established as a mining town, it is now known for tourist attractions like the Royal Gorge and Royal Gorge Bridge, the Skyline View Drive, and dinosaur fossils. Some also know it for its history of prisons.

Florence became a settlement when oil was discovered and it became the first oil center west of the Mississippi. Today it's known as the antique capital of Colorado with lots and lots of antique stores. As you can see in the video, Scott and I acquired a set of drawers that makes a perfect end table in the retro living room of our Mod Manor.

If you pay close attention, you'll also see my friend Miriam Blaich walking into an antique store. The giveaway that I actually shot these images during week 300. Originally, I wasn't planning on making a video of these towns. There wasn't enough time to get a lot of video, especially because the sun was already setting while we were in Florence. However, I appreciate the look of Cañon City and Florence so much that I wanted to share them with you this week - even if it meant using more photos than moving footage.

The music in this video is the instrumental version of the song “Adventures of the Deaf Dreamer” by Josh Woodward. This song is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 US License. Thank you, Josh. You rock!

Please check out my other videos from Fremont County:
Royal Gorge Bridge – In A Colorado Minute (Week 300)
Skyline Drive (Cañon City) – In A Colorado Minute (303)

Reynolds Bank
Cañon City, Colorado

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Cabo San Lucas (Mexico) - In Another Minute (Week 307)

The town Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, is the perfect quick beach getaway from the Western USA. Less than a 3-hour flight from the Denver airport, Los Cabos (the towns José del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas) at the tip of the Baja California Peninsula has become our favorite quick escape from the Colorado winter. You get up in the morning in the freezing cold, and by mid-day you're sitting on the beach overlooking the Sea of Cortez, sipping on a Miami Vice (strawberry daiquiri + piña colada) in nothing but a bathing suit. Mmmmmh...

Cabo San Lucas (Mexico) - In Another Minute (Week 307)

So when Scott and I tried to find a place where he could go fishing on his birthday during the first week of March, Cabo San Lucas with its marina and lots of sport fishing options was the natural choice. But there's a lot more to do than just fishing. Some of the highlights included in this video:

Watching the sunrise over the Sea of Cortez on Medano Beach and then the sunset over the Pacific on the other side of Lands End all in one day.

Visiting Lands End, the very tip of Baja California, with El Arco (The Arch), Lovers Beach and Divorce Beach (watch out for undercurrent and crashing waves), which you can only reach by boat, preferably a glass bottom water taxi.

Being enchanted by all the animals: sea lions, pelicans, frigate birds, flamingos and turtles (at the Pueblo Bonito Los Cabos Hotel). We even got to see a humongous sea turtle climb up on the beach and lay eggs right next to us! And of course, there is whale-watching!!! Oh, and eating "the original ceviche" made with the Spanish mackerel Scott had pulled out of the sea just hours earlier.

Besides jet skis, paddle boards, parasailing and plain swimming, Medano Beach activities include the latest craze: flyboard.

By the way, Scott is the person in the front of the Poseidon boat pulling into the marina. Being a Pisces, he had booked the birthday fishing trip with Pisces Sportfishing.

There are plenty of places to eat and drink, besides the hotel bars and restaurants, for example The Sand Bar and The Office on Medano Beach and a multitude of spots around and near the Cabo San Lucas marina, for example The Nowhere Bar. Though nothing beats an El Pastor taco from a small street taco place!

Because I thought the sunset makes a nice closure for the video, I decided to leave out any of the nighttime activities - but there are plenty. The lively nighttime and clubbing scene actually is a main difference between Cabo San Lucas and the more laid-back José del Cabo.

There is so much that I couldn't include in this video that I'm determined to publish a longer version. But then again, I keep saying that about many of my 1-minute videos... But I will definitely release a few more 1-minute videos from Cabo with more focused themes: whale-watching, Cabo wildlife, Lands End + Lovers Beach.

Other videos from Cabo:
Cabo Sunrise (Mexico) – In Another Minute (Week 306)
Los Cabos, Mexico – In Another Minute (Week 209)

The music featured is "As I Figure" by Kevin MacLeod, who is making tracks available for free through a Creative Commons License. He's very well known to the online video community for all the great and diverse music he offers for use in videos. For a good while now, I've stayed away from his compositions because there were some YouTube copyright issues. I'm so happy to know that they have been resolved so we can enjoy, utilize and share his music freely once again. Thank you so much, Kevin!

In closing, I would like to thank the staff of the Pueblo Bonito Los Cabos Blanco Resort, especially Nazarely in reception and waiter Raul and the chef at the hotel's Cilantro Restaurant. Chatting in German upon arrival was fabulous. Getting Scott's Spanish mackerel prepared and served to us at the outdoor beach restaurant was an even bigger highlight than watching whales out in the Pacific. Other perks included the view of Lands End from our balcony, tacos and cocktails delivered to the beach, and bars and most restaurants at Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach and Pueblo Bonito Rosé (next to Blanco) being part of the all-inclusive package, which made our last-morning-before-heading-home tradition possible: Mexican breakfast pastries and mimosas on the beach. Ahhh, I can't wait for the next trip...

El Arco - Land's End
Cabo San Lucas - Mexico

Monday, March 14, 2016

EL VY - "Sad Case / Happiness, Missouri" (MusicMonday)

The band EL VY (the musical collaboration of Matt Berninger of The National and Brent Knopff of Menomena and Ramona Falls) put out one of my favorite records of 2015: Return To The Moon.

EL VY - Sad Case / Happiness, Missouri (Lyric Video)

Now they have released my favorite lyric video to date - featuring the songs "Sad Case" and "Happiness, Missouri."

Instead of just showing text, editor Kelly Lyon has done a fine job combining black-and-white VHS-looking footage with the lyrics in an appropriate font. It creates a nice atmosphere of surveillance footage. Simple and effective.

EL VY - Sad Case

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Cabo Sunrise (Mexico) - In Another Minute (Week 306)

A Cabo sunrise looks even more special if you watch it from Medano Beach with a view of the Land's End rocks towering out of the water just to the right of the rising sun.

Cabo Sunrise (Mexico) - In Another Minute (Week 306)

This past week, we went on a short trip to Cabo San Lucas at the southern tip of Baja California Peninsula in Mexico. On the first morning, I got to see (and film) the sun rise out of the Sea of Cortez - slowly lighting up, and thus revealing, Land's End. Because it was our first morning in Cabo San Lucas, I felt extremely lucky that I managed to set the camera up in a way that actually showed the sun in frame once it came up - even though I couldn't be sure exactly where it would rise in the dark.

Conveniently, we stayed at the lovely Pueblo Bonito Los Cabos Beach Resort right on Medano Beach, which allowed us amazing views of Land's End every day. The only thing missing from our previous trip to Cabo, when we stayed in San José del Cabo.

This Cabo sunrise was the beginning of Scott's birthday, and proved to be a sign of a perfect day to come. I will share more of that day and the entire Los Cabos trip next week.

A little insider information: Scott was on a fishing boat heading out into the Pacific during the Cabo sunrise. This means that he is on one of the boats you see entering frame from the right and going around the tip of Land's End before disappearing behind the rocks and heading out into the open sea.

One of the unique things about Cabo San Lucas is that it straddles Baja California, with the Sea of Cortez on the east side and the Pacific Ocean on the west side. So not only did we get to watch the sun rise out of the water in the morning of Scott's birthday, we also got to see the sun set in the Pacific from another beach that same day - without ever leaving the area! Amazing, right? Well, I'll show you that sunset next week... and whales in the Pacific and Lovers Beach and The Arch and, and, and...

This week's video features the instrumental version of the song "Memorized" by Josh Woodward. This song is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 US License. Thank you so much, Josh, for all your great and free (!!!) songs!

If you can't wait until next week for more of Los Cabos, check out the video I shot in San José del Cabo in 2014: Los Cabos, Mexico – In Another Minute (Week 209)

Cabo Sunrise
Medano Beach and Land's End in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico

Monday, March 7, 2016

The Kills - "Doing It To Death" (MusicMonday)

Wonderful news! Not too long after the release of the latest album by The Dead Weather, comes the announcement of a new album by The Kills, Alison Mosshart's other/main band. Their fifth studio album Ash & Ice will be released on June 3rd, 2016.

The Kills - Doing It To Death

This past week, The Kills released a video for "Doing It To Death" - directed by Wendy Morgan. The video is right up my aesthetic alley, with its simplicity and beauty of band and dancers dressed in black moving and dancing smoothly in a cemetery. Of course, the rhythmic and melodious song is already stuck in my head and will help me move and dance smoothly through this day and many days to come.

Can't wait for the album and seeing The Kills live again... Will pre-order right now...

The Kills - Doing It To Death

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Mount Lemmon, Arizona - In Another Minute (Week 305)

Mount Lemmon, just north of Tucson, Arizona, is the perfect reprieve from the heat of Tucson and the Sonoran Desert.

Mount Lemmon, Arizona - In Another Minute (Week 305)

With the summit at 9,159 feet (2,792 m), Mount Lemmon has the highest peak in the Santa Catalina Mountains. It features a popular skiing area on the north side, Mount Lemmon Ski Valley, and the small town of Summerhaven, which apparently has mostly summer residents and a few year-round residents.

The only paved road up to the village Summerhaven near the top of Mount Lemmon is scenic Catalina Highway (aka Mt. Lemmon Scenic Byway). To experience what that looks like, please check out this 1-minute video: Catalina Highway (Arizona) – In Another Minute (289).

After you get to Summerhaven, it's time to hike...

Mount Lemmon is a stop along the Arizona National Scenic Trail. The 800-mile long Arizona Trail cuts through the length of Arizona, from Mexico to Utah. And there are plenty of other trails along the mountain.

When I visited my friend and acupuncturist Jess Grotfeldt in October, we chose Sunset Trail. It offered a refreshing creek, dramatic boulder-strewn valleys, tall pines, bright wildflowers and even the discovery of a Horned Lizard. If you look closely, at the end of my video you can even see Tucson far, far below and trying to hide in the haze.

Mount Lemmon was named after botanist Sara Plummer Lemmon, who made it to the peak by horse and foot with two other people in 1881.

The featured song is the instrumental version of “Fool's Gold” by Josh Woodward ( This song is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 US License. Thank you, Josh, for all the great music.

Hiking on Mount Lemmon, Arizon