As I’ve pointed out in the past, sometimes it is possible to “salvage” a less than optimum, blurry, or just plain bad photo and turn it into a “work of art” using special effects features in a photo editing program.
And the same software can be used to convert a boring shot into one that is far more eye-catching.
For years I’ve used Adobe’s Photoshop Elements, the “Lite” version of its flagship product, Photoshop, to create alternative, more “artistic” renditions of photos taken with my point-and-shoot digital cameras.
But I recently stumbled upon an even better way to turn photos in to “paintings” – the Prisma app for smartphones and tablets.
Prisma (free for both Apple and Android mobile devices) couldn’t be easier to use. Just take a photo using the app, or pick one from your phone’s Camera Roll (on the iPhone), rotate or crop the shot, and then apply one of several filters or templates to create the look that you want.
Don’t like the preview of the finished “painting”? Just pick a different filter.
Swipe your finger left and right across the screen to increase or decrease the extent to which the filter modifies your original photo.
You can share the finished “artwork” on Instagram or Facebook, or via any of the other sharing options on your mobile device, or save it to your device’s Camera Roll (which can be done automatically through the App’s settings).
This photo which I took of “Cloud Gate” (also known as “The Bean”) in Chicago’s Millennium Park will give you an idea of the variety of “paintings” the Prisma app can let you quickly create from a single shot.
Here’s the original shot.
Although compelling enough, these three variations created with the Prisma app are even more dramatic.
I prefer to do photo editing on my desktop computer which has, of course, a much larger screen than my iPhone or iPad. Unfortunately, Prisma doesn’t make a version of the program for Windows PCs or Mac computers.
If you’ve got a video editing program, such as iMovie, on your mobile device, or if you want to move your Prisma photos from that device to your computer so you can use a computer -based video editing program such as Final Cut Pro X, you could produce a “movie” out of several Prisma “paintings” such as this one which I did and which has been airing on my local public access television station.