This is a photo of my back yard — or front yard, depending on your penchant for pedantry.
I must confess it has been really really hard to take a bad picture of this. And it is quite stunning to watch the composition shift with the introduction of weather, sunrises, strolling people, boats, storms and even the careless placement of a wheelbarrow and ladder (as you can see above).
The hardest thing to do is incorporate the lovely birds and butterflies that soar in and out of this composition. No picture has yet done justice to the hummingbirds, orioles, pelicans, blackbirds and yellow butterflies in migration that fill me with joy every day.
However, I have a completely new way of looking at this scene. You might call it “through artists’ eyes.”
My friend Ben Popik discovered this new app, called Prisma which takes the annoying image filters of Instagram, iPhones, etc. to a whole new level of quality. And a whole new way of seeing your own world. Ben is an artist, a film maker and he transformed a sweet photo of his wife, Joanna, holding baby chicks into a most artful and appealing portrait, using Prisma.
Image filters are usually overlays that ride atop your photo and change the colors, textures and spaces accordingly — like looking through a screen door and not looking through a screen door.
Prisma rebuilds an image from the ground up in 35 different styles — some echo the specific style of famous artists — like Picasso, Mondrian, and Munch –some reflect genres and some are just uber-crazy-cool.
Naturally, like all really good art programs, Prisma is available for Apple products only, on iTunes. An Android version is rumored on the way. PC? Chrome? Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!
So what follows is a sampling of this one image, filtered through Prisma.
Each seems to elicit different emotions or finds a different chamber in the soul of the image to exploit.
This isn’t art. And I’m no artist.
But I really am opening up to how an actual artist might feel, happening upon this scene and how he or she might have interpreted it.
The debate will soon rage, if it has not begun already: Will such a faithful interpretation of a specific artist’s style soon cheapen the work of real artists?
I would like to think not. These are just images and collections of pixels. There is no paint applied to a canvas.
And while these images may be stimulating and pleasant to look at, I should like to think that 10 seconds’ worth of effort will never replace the emotion, rapture, inspiration, vision, skill and judgment that a real artist applies to a subject.