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Prisma App Makes Art Out of Photos

Prisma offers 35 filters for free to turn your photos into artwork.
Prisma App Makes Art Out of Photos
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Pokémon GO is the most popular app in the world right now. But another new app is also getting a lot of attention. And it’s free. Prisma lets users add filters to photos to interesting, beautiful and strange effect. The app is going viral this summer with over 1 million daily users in its first month.

Prisma is a free app that adds filters to your photos to turn them into beautiful works of art.The app has 35 filters to use with your photos. All of the filters are included free with the app.

Each filter gives a different look to photos. Many of the filters are in the style of famous artists.

Prisma Filters
Prisma Filters

They range from pencil drawings to modern art to classic art with many styles in between. Filters have names such as Coloured Sky, Tokyo, Papered Art, Heisenberg, Mosaic, Illegal Beauty, Dreams, and Running in the Rain.

How Prisma Works

Using Prisma is about as easy as an app can get. Download the Prisma app to your phone or tablet and give it permission to use your photos and camera.

The Prisma app is available free for:


iPhone and iPad

No need to set up an account. Users do not have to log in or link any social media accounts to use the app.

The phone must be connected to the Internet for Prisma to work. The app works in the Cloud, not on your phone. Users who have a limited data plan may want to use Prisma when connected to a Wi-Fi network.

Filtering a Photo

Tap the small square in the lower right corner of the screen to see the photos on your phone.

Prisma Open Photos
Prisma Open Photos

Choose a photo, then tap Use in the upper right corner of the screen. The next screen has options to crop and rotate photos. Prisma only works with square photos.

Prisma Crop and Rotate
Prisma Crop and Rotate

After the photo has been cropped or rotated, tap Next to add filters to the photo.

The filters are shown below the photo. Tap a filter and a triangle will appear that becomes solid as Prisma completes the effect.

Prisma Is Working
Prisma Is Working

When Prisma has finished, the photo will appear and look like a work of art.

Prisma Art
Prisma Art

If you are not satisfied with the photo, you can change the intensity of the filter.

Prisma Adjust Filter
Prisma Adjust Filter


Prisma automatically adds a watermark to the photos. But you do not have to keep it. Touch the gear icon to open Settings within the app. Slide the watermark off to remove the Prisma watermark.

Prisma Watermark
Prisma Watermark

The app will remove the watermark on all future photos.

Another Settings possibility is to save every photo automatically, although this is a bad idea. You will likely try many filters and if you save every photo you create, you will be filling up your phone fast. Better to manually save the photos you like. If you forget, you can always create the artwork easily again.

Saving and Sharing Your Prisma Photos

When you have created a piece of art you want to share, tap the sharing icon, then tap Save Image. Your Prisma art will be saved and can be found in your Photos app.

Save a Prisma Image
Save a Prisma Image

The app also allows users to share their Prisma art on social media.

Examples of Prisma Art

Here are some examples of Prisma art.

Prisma Sample 1
Prisma Sample 1

Prisma Sample 2
Prisma Sample 2

More Prisma art can be found on Twitter:

What Else You Need to Know about Prisma

Prisma does not work every time. The app gets very busy because it has become popular so quickly. Sometimes you have to wait and try again.

Prisma is busy
Prisma is busy

Prisma is free. The app’s only advertising is for an American soap company called Palmolive. The company added its name to the Impression filter. But the name does not appear on photos. Prisma’s privacy policy and terms of use suggest that the app may add advertising in the future.

Prisma does not gain ownership of the images users create through the app. But Prisma does get an unlimited license to use those images. Be sure to read the privacy policy and terms of service if these issues concern you.

I'm Patrick Merentie.

Carolyn Nicander Mohr wrote this report for VOA Learning English. Caty Weaver was the editor.

Have you used Prisma? Do you like using apps to filter your photos?

Share your thoughts in the Comments Section below or on our Facebook page.


Words in This Story

filter – n. a program that changes lighting levels in specific ways to create special effects (photography)

range - v. to include everything between specified limits

Cloud n. storage on a computer that is accessed using the Internet

data plan n. a service offered to access the Internet using a cell phone network

crop - v. to cut off part of (a picture or photograph)

rotate - v. to move or turn in a circle

watermark n. an image added to photos to show a brand

automatic - adj. allow something to work or happen without being directly controlled by a person

manually - adj. operated or controlled by a person

advertise v. to make the public aware of something (such as a product) that is being sold

license n. the ability to use a work of art