Prisma is an app that converts your regular photos into paintings

By Souvik Das | Updated 11 Jul 2016
Prisma is an app that converts your regular photos into paintings
  • Replace the regular pixels with masterful brush strokes.

Every now and then, we come across apps that redefine how we post photographs on social media. The advent of Instagram brought to us a world of filters that add a sense of finesse to our selfies. Since then, multiple apps like VSCO have brought filters that add vibrancy, or sometimes a touch of monochrome to our photographs. Prisma, here, is a refreshing take on the photographs we take and post on social media. The twist is to present filters that convert photographs into oil painting canvas, with brush strokes that resemble famous artistes.


Released recently, Prisma is slowly gathering popularity owing to its rather different take on photo filters. Brush stroke styles include a cue of impressionist art, with bold colour tones, deep shadows and a mix of oil paint and pastel. There are filters that resemble van Gogh’s post-impressionist paintings, some based on Picasso’s Cubist art, and some more based on Rembrandt’s Dutch Golden Age realist paintings. All of these combine to present to viewers a particularly enchanting set of filters, adding a completely different perspective to photographs.



There are over 30 filters for you to choose from, each bringing a new aura to the photographs in question. It also allows you to set the intensity of each filter, thereby letting you choose exactly how much you wish yourself to resemble a Renaissance masterpiece. While most filters till now have focussed on tweaking the colour and settings to bring out effects that resemble Wong Kar Wai’s mystique or the melancholy of Andrei Tarkovsky’s filming, Prisma adds a touch of brush strokes on canvas, converting moments captured in motion into still frames that are worthy of being appreciated on their own.



The concept is not entirely new, but what appeals here is the richness of the effects applied. The use of warm tones, deeper blues, dark shades and pastel lights blend well with the background canvas effect that Prisma imparts to photographs. Some of the effects also give a throwback to the rise of psychedelic music in late 1950s and early 1960s, accompanied by bright, neon colours and asymmetric brush strokes.

Should you download Prisma? Of course, and the effects themselves are worthy of being tried out. It is not just another collection of post-photography filters, and adds a zing of difference to your photographs. Along with Instagram, Prisma can be the perfect companion for when you wish to see how your frames would have looked in the hands of legendary painters.


Even if not that, Prisma’s effects are bold enough to raise a poetic discourse within a frame of mundane, late night rainfall. The app is available only for iOS now, although more filters and an Android version should be en route.

Souvik Das
The one that switches between BMWs and Harbour Line Second Class.

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