Using Prisma App to ‘Spice Up’ your Blog’s Images

A few days ago I caught a tweet by @tombeardshaw showing a painting-style image of his usual avatar head-shot:

I was really impressed, so I asked him who painted it for him, because I was convinced that he’d commissioned someone to do it for him especially.

But I was wrong – it was made via an iPhone app.

Introducing Prisma

Simply put, Prisma is a modern art filter app, overlaying your photos with different artistic styles. In addition to making photos look like paintings (like the example above), you can make them look like sketches, mosaics and even cubist. There’s about two dozen different filters that you can apply.

Here’s what the interface looks like:

Prisma interface - before & after screenshots
Before on the left / After on the right

I’ve slowly become obsessed with it since discovering it, as have many of the people I’ve seen using it. @cardiffisyours is now using Prisma’ed images for its Twitter profile pic and cover pic:

Prisma on @cardiffisyours screenshot
The Guardian recently published an article showing loads of great examples of recent famous photos that have had the Prisma treatment.

The other day, I realised that it had another really good application: photos for blog posts.

Alternative images for your blog posts

I spend a lot of time finding good accompanying images for blog posts, usually hitting up Flickr’s Creative Commons search. I hate stock photos (as I feel that they’re often very generic and ‘forced’-looking), but finding a good, natural, free-to-use image can really take some time. Ironically I often feel that it takes me longer to find a good image for a post than it does to write the damn thing in the first place…!

For a recent post on SEOno – 5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Operate a ‘Minimum DA’ Rule When Building Links – I really struggled to find a good image. I tried Flickr’s CC search for keywords around “authority”, “minimum”, etc. but couldn’t find anything appropriate at all. I realised that all I really wanted was a screenshot of Moz’s Open Site Explorer, the tool that displays the metric that was the primary focus of the post. I tried a screenshot at first, but it looked… boring.

Then I had an idea…

I was at my desk at Welsh ICE (my base for my business) and decided to take a photo of my computer screen with my Roger Mozbot bobblehead figurine in front of it:

Roger Mozbot (before Prisma) photo
My photo-taking skills are questionable at best… You’ll notice that it’s a little blurry (not only in this example, but also in the example higher up in this post), and I don’t use Instagram, so I tend to post/tweet photos with no improvements or filters applied to them. The great thing about Prisma is that takes the ‘edge’ off rubbish-looking photos, hiding their flaws while also making them super awesome.

And voilà:

Rogerbot Dali image

Pretty cool, no?

Taking Prisma further

If you think you’ll follow suit and use Prisma to spice up your blog posts’ images, there’s a few options at your disposal. In addition to applying it to photos you’ve just taken, you could also use it on:

  • Screenshots
  • Famous photos (like the Guardian’s examples – see link above)
  • Your avatar/cover photos (like Tom and @cardiffisyours have done – see above)

All you’d have to do in each instance is download the image to your phone and then select it in the image library. Prisma automatically turns them into a square shape, so bear that in mind for rectangular images that you try to Prisma-fy.

There’s a lot of possibilities though – it’s exciting.

Pro tip: remove the Prisma watermark

In its default setting, Prisma applies a little watermark in the bottom right-hand corner of images, so that people can see that Prisma has been applied to it – which is fair enough. But Prisma itself also gives you the option to remove the watermark in its settings. It’s really, really easy to do. Full credit to my friend @willdotbarker for pointing this out, which I’ve since applied:

And that’s pretty much it. Happy Prisma-ing!


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