Welcome to Belize; Prisma app makes it suitable for framing

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This is the original photograph, which I snapped a few minutes ago after downloading the Prisma app. Wait til you see what follows!
This is the original photograph, which I snapped on my humble iPod a few minutes ago after downloading the Prisma app. Wait til you see what follows!

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.”

Image-1 (5)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!

Image-1 (6)

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.

Image-1 (7) prisma Image-1 Image-1 (1) Image-1 (2) Image-1 (3)

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.


8 thoughts on “Welcome to Belize; Prisma app makes it suitable for framing

    Phil and Tess said:
    July 15, 2016 at 3:34 pm

    Robert, This does look like an hours-of-fun application. Now it is possible with the Prisma technology we might discover more incidents of Buddha or Jesus face in pictures of mashed potatoes, but we like your original photo the best. It all started going downhill when Turner colorized “Casablanca”…


      robertjhawkins1 responded:
      July 15, 2016 at 3:56 pm

      I remember being appalled when Turner started his colorization of black and white movies. And it was far more primitive then, making the process even more disgusting. Even at its best, colorization of perfectly good black and white movies is still a sacrilege, especially one like “Casablanca’ where every space and shadow feels like it is accounted for. Thanks!


    Emily said:
    July 15, 2016 at 7:02 pm

    Wow, some really nice ones here (and a couple I don’t care for at all). My favorite part of the entire post, though, is this: “PC? Chrome? Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!” Too funny! As a PC person through and through, no “i” products in our humble universe at all, I can still find humor in this. 🙂


      robertjhawkins1 responded:
      July 15, 2016 at 9:24 pm

      Me, too, Emily. Even worse, I bought a Chrome book and am now shackled to the thin little universe that is Google. Ugly design, unimaginative features, blah! Sometimes I think I cling to my little iPod so that I’ll always be reminded that there are elegant solutions in computer technology.


        Yelter said:
        July 17, 2016 at 6:21 am

        Chrome books suck! I was lucky, I returned mine one day before the receipt expired. Yeah they’re cheap, they have a reputable brand, but they are difficult to use. Nice try Google. You’ll nail it eventually.


    Linda Young said:
    July 16, 2016 at 6:53 am



    CLE2SPR said:
    August 5, 2016 at 1:51 am

    Yeah, but did you read the TOS? Basically they (Prisma) retain the rights to your masterpiece and can do with it what ever they want. As a photographer, I say no thank you.


      robertjhawkins1 responded:
      August 5, 2016 at 5:32 am

      As a professional or serious photographer you are absolutely right to feel that way. And even amateurs like myself should not take such claims lightly, although the image would not have become a “masterpiece” without the collaborative “free” technology of Prisma. It is something we are being asked to do more and more isn’t it — turn over the rights to our creativity to third party technologies? I don’t like it either. Perhaps firms like Prisma should offer a fee-based version in which they can make no such claims?

      Liked by 1 person

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