A couple of weeks back, I shared some Poketography from the streets of NYC. These were all shots taken through Pokemon Go then cleaned up with some simple editing. This week I thought it’d be fun to take that same concept and see how it looks when run through Prisma, a new neural network image app that uses AI to recreate your images in the styles of famous paintings. Here are some of my favorite results.
I’m in New York for WordCamp NYC this weekend and getting some walking in before the event. I’ve been getting a bunch of Pokemon Go time on this visit and started to get a little board with the game itself, so I wanted to see if I could get some street photography through the Pokemon GO app itself.
It certainly added an extra level of challenge to taking photos, first you have to wait for a Pokemon creature to appear, then you have to find a way to line your creature up with a scene you find interesting. Most of the time you are shooting Rattatas or Zubats, but when something special pops up, like a Tauros or Pinsir, suddenly I get a little thrill about taking the photo because I know those creatures appear less frequently and are likely to run away soon if I don’t catch them. So I only have a minute to find a shot and make it work with them.
Mostly, this was just a fun little challenge, but the plus side at least I have an extra excuse for when I’m pointing my iPhone around on the street. “I’m hunting Pokemon.”
Whenever I’m giving a workshop on fun mobile photography apps, Seene is always at the top of my list, but today I learned that Seene has quietly been acquired by Snapchat. The deal actually makes a lot of since for both parties… Snapchat’s bizarre filters could get even weirder with Seene’s 3D mapping technology and Seene never really managed to get a critical mass of users to keep itself sustainable.
These news articles keep referring to Seene as a “selfie app”, but it’s face scanning mode is a relatively new addition to the app. It’s cool, but not all that useful. Plus it never really worked with my glasses on… The real great use for Seene was for having a unusual way to capture landscapes, architecture, or even food. Adding a slight element of depth to an otherwise static photo really made the image pop.
Aside from the 3D tech, the app was also built around a community aspect. Sort of like an Instagram for 3D images. Within the app, images could be viewed by moving your phone around to get a feel for the depth of the image. Though the community never really took off, it was a very close knit and supportive group of users at it’s core. Though my images went up in my Seene timeline, most of the time I would just export them as a 15 second looping video that I’d share on IG, Twitter or wherever.
For me, Seene was a great tool for creating unique images and I have a feeling that Snapchat is not going to maintain it for long. My hunch is they’ll shutter the app within the next three months and just use their face scanning tech within the existing Snapchat app. So my suggestion is to download Seene right now (for iOS or Android) and give it a try. Hopefully if the app does get shuttered, the 3D image capturing tech will continue to work.
Here are some iPhone shots from my recent ride on Amtrak to Eugene aboard the fantastic Coast Starlight line. It was a 14 hour ride, followed by a day in Eugene, then another 14 hour ride back. I loved it!