Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Is it art or is it Prisma?

I took a lot of photos when I was in Italy recently. It's easy to take a good pic there because there is so much beauty. Even the handles on these garage doors in Lake Como looked like works of art:

When I got back, I wanted to linger over my photographs, perhaps to hang on to the experience a little longer. So I began to play around with Prisma.

Here's one of my original photos of a street in Lake Como:

And here it is after the Prisma treatment (the process only takes a minute or so, unless thousands of people are using it at once, and then it takes a few tries to get it to load):

I'm not sure what purpose Prisma actually serves, or if any of its results will be kept in the future. (Prisma bills itself as an art photo editor "for Instagram pics and selfies," which sounds pretty temporary.) Even if this is a short-lived fling, I've enjoyed seeing my photographs in new ways.

You can see all the Prisma-ized versions of my photos on my Google Photos page, Italian Buildings Given the Prisma Treatment (they also appear as a combined group in the top graphic on this page). To see the original photos I took, pre-Prisma, see: Italian Buildings, pre-Prisma.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Short story in a vending machine

I saw this vending machine in an Italian train station last week. It contains items useful to nearly every stage of life.

Surely there is a story or at least a short poem there?

Dental floss.
Razor blades.
Condoms. Lubricant.
Pregnancy test.
Baby butt paste.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Should I stay or should I go?

There comes a time in every blog's life where the blogger has to decide whether to keep it going or to abandon it.

Or, in my case, to not make any decision but to simply neglect it, thinking I'll get to it tomorrow.

I was surprised when I realized that my last post here was made in April. I had written a few posts in my head since then, but they somehow didn't get magically transferred to the screen.

The truth is, these days, I'd rather spend my free time taking photographs or working on stories for publication. Or, I have to admit, writing quippy posts on Facebook--a lot of the pull away from blogging, for me, has been the instant gratification offered there. I like being liked (and liked almost instantly), whereas, I rarely get feedback or reaction to a blog post--all I can see are the number of pageviews going up. (Facebook is its own kind of crack for people who, like most writers, crave attention. But that's another topic...)

So, should I stay or should I go?

My biggest worry in abandoning this blog is that Google will delete it, as they have with other artsy blogs (for an example, see Why Did Google Erase Dennis Cooper's Beloved.... ) Of course, I could revive anything worth saving into new essays, but I'd mourn the loss of the Interviews with Creative People feature, especially since some of the writers/artists have linked to those interviews.

It's so easy to write a few funny or even philosophical sentences on Facebook and not sweat over it. Or to share photographs there or on Google Photos.

Maybe that's the answer. To loosen this site up a little, making it not always a posit for "essays and meditations on writing, creativity, reading, books and art" (as originally stated) but also a place to share other modes of creativity, including visuals. Perhaps I also might actually talk about my personal life/experience without the sepia-toned filter of being a "writer/creative person."

I'll try this approach in the next few posts and see if this makes it more fun...

An example of one thing I like doing these days: using apps to transform photographs. Above is a screenshot of the official Clash video for "Should I Stay or Should I Go," transformed by the Prisma App.