Two simple minutes

When you see something interesting, you might stop, pull out your phone and snap a pic. Then you move on. Good for you to stop and capture the picture! But what if you spent a little more time with that interesting subject? Maybe slow down and take a one-minute video.

That’s what David Friedman of the awesome ironicsans blog started 15 years ago. He captured intriguing moments like “60 seconds in the life of a landing gear” and “60 seconds in the life of a boat (by Niagra Falls)“.

I loved his little moments of zen so much that I recorded my own similar videos, but of my town Chicago. I wanted to make mine a little bit different than his, so I recorded two minutes instead of one minute.

Over the years I’ve posted nine such videos to a YouTube playlist called “2-minute scenes“.

I’ve recorded many more two-minute videos that were simply never uploaded. I plan on going back into my archive to find them, and upload them to their proper place on YouTube.

For now you can enjoy these nine videos. None of them has many views, so you can be one of the first to view them! I suggest you play these on a second monitor while you are working, and enjoy them as simple background wallpaper.

2-minute scenes on video

Two minute scene: Spotlights in Chicago on foggy night
67 views • Dec 8, 2015
The spotlights form an interesting moving pattern in the sky. It’s like painting in the sky.


Two minutes on Illinois Center patio in Chicago
58 views • Jul 25, 2016
This nice view is from a regular lunch break location for me when I worked in the Tribune Tower. Located at Illinois Center, most Chicagoans didn’t know this spot was open to the public.


One minute of Chicago beach in spring. Hand-written note in sand
241 views • Mar 16, 2011
Ahhh, the moment when spring arrives. I walked to the beach and wrote “yay for spring” in the sand. The waves were so calming, that I recorded 60 seconds of this.


Two minutes of ducks feeding off Chicago Riverwalk wall
34 views • Jun 9, 2017
There must be algae or plants growing on the banks of the Chicago River. These ducks seem to be enjoying it. I think this is the only time I’ve seen ducks eating off like the wall like this.


Two minutes on Dominica flag in Chicago from Wrigley Building
65 views • Mar 7, 2018
One of my favorite places in Chicago is the Walgreens in the Wrigley Building. On the second floor they have a FANTASTIC view of the flags in the Plaza of the Americas. During lunch breaks, I would go to these windows and just watch all the colorful flags blowing in the wind. In this video, you can see occasional little people walking through the plaza.


One-minute drip down Picasso
8 views • Mar 8, 2019
The journey of a raindrop. You can see the reflection of the sculpture in the water. (more about drips on the Picasso in this blog post)


Two minutes of snowflakes landing on the Chicago Picasso
52 views • Feb 26, 2019
Watch the delicate snowflakes sit happily upon the cold metal base of the Picasso sculpture in Chicago. As the wind blows, random individual snowflakes dart along the surface. It’s almost like a mini snowflake race. Zip. Pause. Zip. Pause. When the snowflakes move, they really move FAST! Then they stop and are completely solemn.
My favorite part is at 2:12​ when the church bells start to ring.

The coreten steel was a bit cold. I was resting my hands on the steel to steady my camera for over two minutes. I should have been wearing my gloves. I took them off to record this. But well worth the few minutes of cold.

Two minutes of water dripping down Chicago Picasso
10 views • Feb 12, 2019
As the snow melts on the Picasso sculpture, the water drips down the angled base. For a moment, the artwork by Picasso becomes a calming water fountain.


Three minutes of Chicago rain at Metra entrance
40 views • Aug 14, 2019
At first glance, this just seems to be a video of everyday city life. But the specific viewpoint is of a train entrance during the rain. You can see the transition of people going from rain to shelter. All the umbrellas collapse upon reaching the sanctuary of dryness. I liked this video so much that I recorded three minutes of it, instead of two.


Hopefully more two-minute videos to come!

If you make your own one-minute or two-minute videos, please do let me know! I’d love to watch yours.

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