[Tech Talk] Painting and Photography Collide with Prisma

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Have you ever wanted to marinate inside of a moment? Venture into mind melding visions of alternate realities while mediating comfortably in place? If you’re my kind of human, then you’re answer is undeniably, unequivocally – yes.  In my opinion, we’re all several shades of guilty – from real dreaming to daydreaming, and everything in between, as humans our escape fantasies eagerly, effortlessly and egregiously effuse from our souls like pheromones in search of a higher purpose, catalyzing creativity and breaking us free of old molds and mindsets.  To me, it’s part of the reason we create, coddle and crave the arts: through music, literature, art and theater – we discover new, previously hidden parts of our personalities while filling our soul with passion like a warm meal on a cold night.

Photography is an out of body experience where distortions of reality, mind melding visions of what’s possible and bends in time and space, painting – double so.  But unfortunately some of us (waves hand), weren’t blessed with a drawing gene or with a paintbrush in their hand  My stick figures are relatively lackluster and the cat face I’ve been trying to draw for the last 31 years hasn’t gotten much better. Suffice it to say, I’m in awe of true artistry when it comes to painting, drawing and all things in between and will try ad nauseam. So, when I caught wind of a photo app that alters your images with filters of popular artists – I was immediately sold; hook, line and sinker.

It’s happened before, and my heart swoons as it happens over, and over again: every once in a blue moon, a smart phone photography fad stops me dead in my tracks and requires hours of endless exploration.  Now that we’re 7 solid months into this year, I can safely proclaim that Prisma has been that app. Just a quick upload of a square sized photo (thank you, Instagram), and you’ll be on your way to fantastical results.  Once inside the app, Prisma applies an intricate and advanced learning algorithm to your photos that combines artificial intelligence with neural networks.  Basically, it’s like Deep Dream, Photoshop and Instagram had a psychedelic love child and it doesn’t matter if that last sentence made sense to you or not – because any way that cookie crumbles, the results are simply stunning.

Try on the tantalizing stylings of esteemed artists ranging from contemporary pop art legends Roy Litchenstein and Andy Warhol to classic stylings of Van Gaugh and Picasso, with detailed renderings that from a repository that looks like the lovechild of Android Jones art, fractals and street art.  There are also nods to artists such as Miyazaki, Kadinsky, Mucha, Chagall, Hokusai and Kadinsky – as well as eras of artistic prowess like Impressionism, Gothic Art, Manga, and more. Once your new work of art manifests in front of your eyes, you’ll have the option of taking the photo at 100 proof, or adjusting the edits down to a smaller scale.  If you just tap into your settings you can remove the watermark from the app, and last but certainly not least – it’s free! The only slight downfall of the application is the need to be connected to the Internet to query the algorithms to work – as the app gains popularity, the servers are also noticing a surge and have rendered themselves as over capacity; quick solution – just try, as try again – you’ll get through eventually!


From top, Left to Right: Tears, Urban, Tokyo, #GettUrban, Illegal Beauty, Dreams, Mononoke, Gothic, Curly Hair

My current favorite filters include Tokyo, Urban, and the Natalie Ratkovski-inspired Illegal Beauty – and I think I’ve even found a favorite way of manipulating the photos a second time using Instagram’s Layout app and creating a photo stack from the same image.  The results? All sorts of magical.

 

Did I pique your photography curiosity? i surely hope so, this is one of the most fun photography apps I’ve played with in a while – and admittedly, I play with a LOT!  The proof is in the blogged pudding, head here to check it out

Download for iOS | Download for Android

For fantastic edits and more information on Prisma, head to their website or social channels:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

[Tech Talk] The Best Photo Editing Apps for The iPhone

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When it comes to camera, photography and picture editing applications for the iPhone and Android (sorry, Blackberry…) there’s a menagerie of good ones to choose from; so much so, that it might seem overwhelming at times – at least, it has to me. Fortunately for y’all, I have an affinity for apps and a growing love of photo editing. When I start playing around with elements in a picture (Saturation, Contrast, Hue, Tone, Temperature, Vibrance, etc) I have one of two goals. To either make the picture look exactly the way I saw it with my own two eyes, or -conversely – to manipulate the image into something otherworldly and fantastical. My favorite part of the later is to make the unimaginable and unreal both visible and accessible to everyone that so much as glances at it.

Though I’ve technically only had an iPhone since last February, I’ve been using my dad’s deactivated iPhones as ‘Glorified iPods’ for the last three years in conjunction with my varied and beloved HTC Android models. Technically, that means I ‘ve been horsing around on photo editing applications just as long as the next iPhone addict. There are a few apps that I was first introduced to on my Droid, that bless their beautifully coded hearts exist in duplicate in the App Store and Google’s Play Store; when they do, I’ll be sure to point them out. Truth be told, I’m always interested in the latest and greatest apps to see how they stack up against my tried and true go-to gadgets. Some were recommended by friends, others I’ve been lucky enough to snag during an ‘App of the Week’ deal and the residuals – well, they’re just worth it. Without further ado, let’s get to know these awesome, and essentially effortless, editing tools while I use them on some of my favorite snaps.

RePix

A quick fix of an editing app – with great built in presets and easy to use metrics to toggle, it’s fun to edit pics and watch them transform right in front of you. But beyond simple touch ups, you can add flares, bokeh, “magic dust”, crackle effects and more! A great beginners app to getting creative on some pics.

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Fragment

The most fun I’ve had with an app in forever! Currently, Fragment is an ‘App of the Week’ over in the Apple Store so go head and treat yoself to a copy. At a basic level, you’re overlaying and intertwining fragmented parts of the picture on top of itself – the results are spectacular.

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Mextures

Mextures comes with built in filters that you can layer over your images – color fades, grains and blending modes; and it contains fun presets for when you just want to play around.

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KaleidaCam

For those times you just want to be a trippy kitty, this is the purrrrrfect adventure of an app. You can use your camera and snap a pic in app to use, or you can use a pre-existing image on your photo roll and the app will fractal the image around itself and look, well, like a kaleidoscope! There are add ons if you really get into it but the free version is great.

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PixlrExpress (Android Version)

I first fell in lust with this editing app on my Android; there are a few different variations and I’m super happy that there’s a version made for the iPhone. You can do it all – tint editing, filters, color burns, adding galaxies and changing the focus of the picture. A great all around editing app.

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SquareFX

Because let’s face it, we all love Instagram and it would help if the pictures would just fit on their own. With SquareFX, you can pick the outline of your picture – hearts, stars, circles and geometric shapes, the opacity of the background and the color of the background itself.

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FilterStorm

All encompassing editing app for beginners to expert level; highly recommend the iPad version because it’s just that awesome. When you’re editing a picture, the image gets split in half so you can really see what changes you’re making to the original.

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Roll World

Back when I had my HTC, I was in love with ‘Globe Photo‘ – so when I found an equivalent in the App Store, I was stoked.  Roll World takes the two ends of your picture and stitches them together to make ‘worlds’!

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Sketch Guru

If you’ve got the insane idea that you’d like to transform a photo into a chalk scribble, a penciled out doodle or in neon lights – this is your savior. You can literally transform a picture into dozens of other media right before your eyes.

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Over

For those times that you need or want to add some delightful, and colorful, text to your pictures: Over is your man. From flirty to childish, typewriter to serif, the stock version comes with heaps of fonts to choose from and for just a dollar or two extra you can buy awesome add-on packs.

 

 

[Oh, Snap] Stunning Sunsets Vol 2

Photography, like writing, is something that each and every person could excel at if they simply give themselves the chance.  The more I’ve been able to develop my craft as a photographer, the more I’ve come to realize that  we all have an eye for excellent pictures  because we’re all attracted to the simple beauties that this world has to offer.  Over the course of the past year I’ve managed to snap, edit and proudly publish more pictures than ever before – and for someone like me, that’s a feet in itself!  Whether it’s my friends, my cats, the neighborhood kids running in sprinklers or a butterfly perfectly perched on a window sill – I’ve had cameras in hand, ready to capture it all.  Though not as malleable as the other subjects, nature definitely can stun and surprise me better than the rest.  The silhouette of a tree and waves crashing on the beach are each so magical in their own right, but hands down – nothing will compare to my love of manipulating the light of the perfect sunset.  So, without further ado – these are my favorite sunset snaps from the last seven months and the second round in my ‘Stunning Sunsets‘ series; enjoy! =)

Downtown Los Angeles

Tech Tuesday: An App a Day keeps the Doctor Away

I’ve always been an Android lover; in fact, I can’t recall ever wanting an iPhone….granted, I’ve also had Verizon Wireless for my entire life so I didn’t exactly have the option of getting an iPhone when it came out…but, I digress.   I’ve watched the Android market evolve and expand over the past few years, and I’m almost in love with what I’ve seen.  The OS has gotten sleeker, potentially even sexier – if you could call an OS sexy, that is. Though the phones have gotten larger in height x length dimension, they’ve also become thinner, lighter and with better quality resolution on the display.  Not to toot the horn for the HTC Rezound, but beepbeep: it boasts the first HD screen for a carried branded phone in the United States.  How you like them apples, Apple?

Now,  originally – one of the great things about the Android phones is the fact that unlike the iPhone – it contains(-ed) Adobe Flash.  I have to phrase it that way because Adobe has decided to discontinue its use after this November, and has started with devices that have already upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich 4.1  One of the draws of having Flash was that you could view any web page in its full entirety.  But who needs fully supported web browsing when there are so many fantastic  applications for the Droid?!

Sometimes, it can feel overwhelming figuring out which ones you should download. Not to mention, how to handle re-downloading applications after upgrading to a new device. Well, first things first -in the Google Play Store you have the option to view every single application you’ve ever downloaded on your phone.  Simply go to the Play Store, toggle the Menu button (the middle left button on the bottom of your phone) to access the pop-up menu and you’ll have an option at the top called “My Apps“.  Click through and swipe your finger from right to left to see “All Applications.”

The pink oval represents an application that was downloaded in the past, paid for even, yet not reinstalled when I upgraded my phone.  The blue oval is an application that’s currently on my Droid.

Now – onto the fun part, the applications. Some of these are pretty straight forward, especially ones for social media and some deserve a little bit of an explanation. The great thing about the Google Play store, is once your Google account is linked to your phone you can actually pick your applications out online in a more hunt and peck friendly atmosphere, and then send them to download on your phone.  It’s pure genius.

Hit the jump for my should have applications, and anything that is in italic or bold is a “must-have” – enjoy!

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