By Vijay Shah
On March 17, the Half-Eaten Mind played host to a selection of family portraits and fun images made by my youngest sister Anjali (with one produced by younger brother Arjun on his phone using an app he has unfortunately forgotten the name of). She built up these works of art using the photo effects/editing suite piZap (pronounced ‘PIE-zap’) which can be found at this link – piZap.
piZap is an online photo editor and collage maker with more than 7.1 million likes on the social network Facebook. With piZap you simply upload a photo and using a range of templates, filters and decorative graphics, you can make your own fun collages and jazzed-up photos to display or share with family and friends. It attracts thousands of users a day and is headquartered in Los Gatos, not far from the ‘Silicon Valley’ region of California, home to many cutting-edge technology start-ups.
Anjali has very kindly emailled me another three images, two which would look smashing in a special piZap family album, and one very limited edition collage made as a special commission of sisterly love for me and the blog, as we head towards the Easter weekend here in England. All will be revealed below:
PHOTO ONE: Entitled “Family Collage 7” this picture is one of Anjali’s trademark family photo collages showing our coming together as a family unit and the love and kinship that binds us and not just through blood. It is also a colourful and meaningful method of Anjali using her creativity to show her love for all of us. I am really touched by this. I think Mum would have loved getting a framed glossy printout of this picture for Mother’s Day that just went past. The photo content is so wildly varied in terms of backgrounds of the component portraits and the different kinds of stick-on hearts Anjali has included. The sheer diversity of it all is so overawing and involving to me. I love the proverb in the top right hand corner….”No Gift to your Mother can ever equal her gift to You – Life!!”. A very humbling and truthful quote.
PHOTO TWO: This jazzy picture full of neon and tinsel has been entitled “Shaniya, Soraya & Anjali“. It pays homage to three of the craziest girls in my family (I kid!!). Shaniya is my niece (my other sister’s daughter). She is famous for having a cute little face that has launched a thousand expressions and an adorable, intelligent personality to match…and she’s only three years old. Trying to squeeze her way in in the middle is my cousin Soraya who is also a piZap fan. On the right is the legendary photo master herself. I am really feeling the party vibe with this picture. Anjali has used a filter with the image which makes them look either like a) ghosts b) they were doused in flour, or c) the photo was developed on rice paper. But I am not making fun. Oh no!. For me also it has to be said that this filter makes them look like little angels bathed in the glow of some heavenly light. That is until you look a little closer and see the cheeky faces they are pulling. It is never a dull moment in the Shah/Bachell/Maghoo household and family.
PHOTO THREE: A complete change of subject here. Hell, not even a change, but a complete shift into an alternate dimension. One where the sun always shines, spring is definitely sprung, the grass is perennially green and the eggs are not made of cheap chocolate fortified with maize starch and dioxins. This special edition emission of Le Studio Photographique du Mlle. Anjali (cue haughty Gallic laugh) is titled “Vijay Easter Pzap” (sic). My sister made this completely as a surprise for me to commemorate Easter and I assume as a thank you gift for the previous photo article I penned for her. She was really chuffed and pleased with it and I was just as happy to put a smile on her face. She even read that article three times. That’s love. That’s family.
This commissioned piece just screams cute. Looking back into Easters long gone past from my childhood, this picture reminds me of the beautifully designed and child friendly packaging you get with certain Cadbury’s Easter eggs that are marketed in the run up to the holidays for a good month now (the shops start flogging off festival stuff really early here!). Just like the Easter bunny with her basket full of different patterned treats, my mind, as half-eaten as it is, is always full of ideas of what to write in this blog. Well, 70% of the time anyway. It is a crazy place sometimes up there in that brain of mine and the emoticons sound that little fact out nicely. I was so impressed with this image, it is now the cover photo for the Half-Eaten Mind Facebook page.
Returning to the piZap site, I have mulled over creating some of my own interpretations of family and other general pictures – redefining them with the help of piZap’s many filters, stock images etc etc. Anjali even gave me a quick crash course in the software’s features. Hopefully during my time off this weekend, I might just give it a spin and publish the results here. You have been warned!!
To see Anjali’s earlier work, why not acquaint yourself with the article below:
The Half-Eaten Mind wishes all of its readers and supporters a very Happy Easter.
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