Transform your photos with free Prisma app
Martyn Casserly reveals how to change your pictures into works of art with Prisma
At its heart Prisma is a simple app. Loading it up on your smartphone will present you with two main areas. The upper section is where your image can be seen or captured, while the lower half holds a few settings options.
On the left you’ll see the lightning icon, which represents the flash. The default option is to have it turned off, but if you tap the icon you’ll see the lightning area turn yellow and a little green ‘A’ appear. This indicates that the flash is now in automatic mode and will fire if the camera feels the shot is too dark. Tapping it again removes the ‘A’, but leaves the lightning section yellow. This means that the flash will go off every time you use the camera. Tapping once more returns the flash to its default Off status.
In the centre is the Camera icon, which allows you to switch from rear- to front facing, thus unleashing the full fury of selfies. On the righthand side you’ll also see the gear icon, which gives you access to more settings. Tapping on this opens up another menu where you can decide on a couple of save options, plus the watermark setting that either applies or removes the word Prisma from the bottom-right corner of your images.
The final two controls on the main page are the large circle, which acts as the shutter button, and the pictures icon in the bottom-right corner that gives you access to any photos you’ve already taken on your phone. This lets Prisma apply its filters to all your images, not just the ones you capture in the app.
Turn photos into art
Once you’ve either chosen an image from your phone, or captured one in the app, you’ll see that the lower half of the screen now has a number of filter styles available, just as you might find on Instagram. This is where the real magic of Prisma comes into play.
The filters have accompanying images that give an idea of the style they represent. These range from the pop art inspirations of Roy to the anime splendour offered by Tokyo and Curly Hair. The filters are non-destructive, which means you can try as many as you like without altering the stored image, so be sure to experiment with several as they really can be quite strikingly different.
Unlike the simpler options found on Instagram and Snapchat, Prisma’s filters require a bit more work to render, so be patient as you move through the various options. Remember though, that once a filter has been applied the app stores that render, so you can quickly access it again before you finally save the image. This means you can compare the styles without having to wait a second time for a previous filter to be applied again.
Refining the image
Once you’ve settled on the filter you like there’s one more tweak available. Sliding your finger from right to left on the image controls the amount of blend between the filter and the original image, so you refine the strength of the effect. Sliding your finger right increases the power of the filter, while sliding left diminishes it.
With all of this completed you can share the image by using one of the buttons that now appears below your creation. If you have Instagram or Facebook accounts, you can post to them directly from Prisma, but there are also options for downloading the image to your phone or opening up a list of other compatible services.
Be warned, Prisma is very addictive. You can lose hours just pouring over the filter options and looking for interesting new scenes to capture. Still, that’s not a bad way to waste your time, and your Twitter or Facebook stream will look a lot more colourful.