bay area

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

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