Lucid Thoughts

Good Things out of Oakland: Photographer John Coyne

Sunday, November 27th, 2011

This is the second installment of the new Lucid Thoughts section of my website Lucid Communication.  It is a new area will I will introduce photographers that inspire me, images that I find intriguing and reviews of work and artistic content.  I am proud to bring you the second feature in Lucid Thoughts section.

I have known John Coyne for quite a few years now.  He was one of the first street photographers that I met back in the myspace days that could rock the streets with a camera the same way that KRS ONE rocks the microphone.  John is out there in the streets capturing the good, the bad and the ugly side of the city he calls home Oakland, California.

I lived in the bay area for five years and I always enjoyed jumping over the hills and into the city of Oakland.  Whenever I browse though John’s photographic images I am instantly transported back to the Bay Area.  The beautiful city streets of the Bay Area always brought comfort to my heart and lens.  John has definitely tuned into the gritty beautiful essence of the San Francisco Bay Area.

John has proved again that he has hear ear to the streets as well as his lens.  He collaborated with bay area DJ Platurn on the video track “The Bones.”  The first time I watched the video I was blown away by the imagery that John laid down to compliment the hip hop track.  John’s eye captured the essence of the city that DJ Platurn and John Coyne call home.  I asked John about where the inspiration came from to create the video.  He proudly replied that, *the inspiration came from the amazing track that DJ Platurn produced and my love for the city of Oakland.”

Oaktown, a place that is often neglected in the Hip Hop world, but John feels right at home in its streets and neighborhoods. John says that by being in the streets of the Bay Area infuses perfectly with his style as a street photographer.  John Coyne strives to show his love for the bay area and this video is a perfect melding of the Oakland and Hip Hop culture.

Like many photographers are on a path to seek out truth and beauty in their photography.  John sees his work as showing the gritty street of Oakland, and seeking the beauty, that is often looked over, that the city also has to offer.  He wants to be truthful to the city, and in this author’s opinion he keeps that beautiful raw street which makes his images glow with energy.

I was curious how he made the video which consists of 90,000 plus still HDR images and HDR video.  I asked him what equipment did he use to complete the video and re replied, “for the techies, I used my Canon 5D , a interval timlapse device , premiere pro to edit it and a lil creative thinking.”  I would have to say that there is a lot more than just a “lil creative thinking” going on when it comes to the way that John Coyne rocks “The Bones” video.

I invite you to check out more of John Coyne’s photographic work on his website Caught in the Scramble there are some beauty images of the Bay Area, Hip Hop artist’s portraits and much more to be found.

I am very proud to know John Coyne as a friend and a photographer.  I am sure he will be one of the first to tell you that by keeping it truthful to the streets is what photography means to him.

You can follow John on




Caught in the Scramble

Fernando Prats: Photographic Internet Master

Sunday, November 20th, 2011

This is the inaugural blog in my new Lucid Thoughts section on Lucid Communication.  This section will be where I write about artists that inspire me, things that cooler than cool, and other nuggets of Internet archaeology.  I hope that people out there will enjoy, visit, and follow the goings on in Cooler Than Cool Photography.  I look forward to creating more Lucid Communication with artists from around this beautiful globe.

I first met the Spain based artist Fernando Prats back in the wild west days of Myspace.  I was new to the Myspace world back in 2006 and I was quickly becoming frustrated with not being able to link up with any other visual artists.  There were an abundance of musicians of all stripes and sounds, but I kept on thinking to myself, “where are the artists, photographers, and filmakers?”  It was around this time that I came across the Myspace page for Y Sin Embargo Magazine.  I was browsing around the comments and the Magazines page thinking that this is pretty cool, and this is what the Myspace experience should be about for myself and other artists.

I wrote Y Sin Embargo an email on Myspace saying how much I liked the site and that I would love to collaborate on an upcoming issue.  Low and behold I received an email back from Fernando.  Not only did he reply but he also said how much he liked my work and that I should submit some work to the magazine.  This was the beginning of our cross the globe friendship and artistic collaborations with my work being included in Y Sin Embargo #11 issue, Hermosa.   Which was quickly followed up by my work being paired with a writer for inclusion in the Y Sin Embargo #12 issue, Habitat Habitos.

I was so impressed not only Fernando’s work as a photographer but his artistic layout design to create spaces where he and his fellow artists can showcase their work.  Fernando has a brilliant eye for layout design which he explores on Estudi Prats, and through the way in which his simple and elegant designs do not detract from the work that they are presenting but that they add another beautiful layer to the artistic expression.

Another space that Fernando has created for artists to interact with each other is the Flickr group Rhizome Candidum, Rhizome Premium, and Rhizome Summum.  I usually have stayed away from groups that demand the users post awards to other peoples work, but this Flickr group is different.  The level of work submitted to the three tiered group is some of the best work that I have found on the net.  Prats encourages the members of the group to create comments that are constructive and help all improve the overall quality of the group.  This is the essence of the Rhizome groups.  For the artists to work together and create stronger expressive work.   And much inline with my own personal philosophy of Lucid Communication, the artists interact with each other and we all strive to encourage each other to develop ourselves as artists.  I fully enjoy interacting with my fellow astists, including Fernando Prats on Flickr.

Fernando Prats has developed an international network of artists and puts the Internet to good use.  In fact, his presence on the Internet is the most profound that I have yet to find.  He manages to explore all the niches of the Internet where artists gather to exchange views, represent themselves, and further their artistic goals.  As the Internet is ever expanding Fernando will be right there using the latest tools to further his lucid communication with the artistic community.

Fernando Prats’ photographic work often deals with the theme of how humans interact, and build structures in the places that we inhabit.  To call his work simply architectural photography would be to miss the message in the photographs.  The space, and often seemingly empty space, allows the viewer to gaze into the city in a way that they have never seen before.  How the buildings jagged edges cut out sections of the sky as he aims his lens towards the heavens.  The dark shapes shift and comment on how humans try to reach the heavens, but we are still mentally pulled down by the earth’s gravity.  A collection on his studies of the interaction of architecture in Buenos Ares, called “a taste of immadencity.”    Prats says, that there is “a discourse of the shapes as a dialog of power,” about his collection of photographs that were all made in one day of shooting in the Puerto Madero area of Buenos Ares, and, “limited to obeying the histogram’s wishes,” Prats further explains.

I asked Fernando some questions about his online presence and what that means to him as an artist.

You have an amazing online presence. How has this helped your creativity?
To show works to various audiences through its peculiar mechanisms can help producing a new look & feel to those same works.  Although there are secure movements within certain styles -or at least, that’s what one can think…- each audience has its tastes and, surprisingly, they do not match very frequently.

Has it allowed you to make a living as an artist?
Well, certainly not because of online presence at all… the 2.0 audience is very reluctant to pay for contents or artworks even if their price is nominal and ridiculous[ly low].

Do you ever find your online presence to much to keep control of?
Probably I should be but my sincere answer is, I’m not sure why, no. Perhaps the fact of doing different things at the same time most of the time, could be considered a sort of training.
(author’s note: I especially feel Fernando on that one.  I too at times feel overwhelmed by training to keep an online presence fresh and constantly evolving.  I too, as a photographer, feel that the online presence is a form of training.  A way for artist to keep honing their creativity.)

What new artistic works do you have coming out soon?
The last book I published is “Deshielo” (poetry), the next one is the full version of “Immadencity: Buenos Aires Contemporary Architecture according to fernandoprats”.  I’m preparing one about New York and one about Barcelona and will be correcting “Monda Lironda” (poetry, which complets the three-lejía “Al Català’, alongside “Deshielo” and “Corto y afilado”) for next year.  Also, I’ve two or three series of new work in-progress with painter Miguel Ruibal and the idea of presenting a real exhibition of Prats/Ruibal.
This is just a taste of all the work that Fernando Prats has accomplished and his amazing presence on the web.  I feel fortunate to be able to count Fernando Prats as one of my dear artistic friends.  His work continues to inspire me and he has helped me to set high goals for myself with regards to my artistic expression.  I always look forward to seeing his work, and I know that someday we will be able to cross paths in the flesh.  I want to send out a heartfelt thank you to Fernando Prats for helping me to create this inaugural blog in the Cooler than Cool Photography section of the Lucid Communication website.
Fernando maintains an amazing Internet presence in the cybersphere.  He interacts, posts and generally uses the Internet to pursue his artistic visions.  This is a list of Fernando’s presence on the Internet.  I invite you all to take a look and browse through the different links.  Some of his works are available for free to download.
Below is just a small sampling of Fernando Prats photographic works.  Many of the images are from his soon to be releases book titled A taste of immadencity to be released in December this year.  Fernando describes the images in the book as follows: Immadencity: Buenos Aires contemporary architecture according to Fernando Prats.  He is awaiting the creation of some original music to accompany the images by RV
These images contained in this blog posting are copyrighted by Fernando Prats 2011.
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