The Chakra Coloursplash Camera is yet another edition in the ever-kitsch collection of Lomography cameras, its packaging and included book bursting with colourful energies. Oh-so-tempted, I snatched it before anyone else could, unsure of whether it could create chaos or indeed, cleanse charkas.
As most of us have fallen slave to Photoshop, the Lomography community brands itself with a more blasé attitude. They don't give two cents about what digital enhancement can improve after the negs are exposed. Rather, the focus here is more on the actual shooting experience (no pun intended).
I landed in Belfast with Customs quizzing me about the pistol shaped object in my handbag. "Excuse me?? (*rather confused*) I’m just here visiting some friends at a three-day music fest. You must be mistaken!" Perhaps I should have thought twice before bringing this quaint contraption into a territory no stranger to terrorism. Let off, on a close call, I took my 'pistol' and daringly embraced the philosophy written in the manual; "…Erase all traces of your photographic education… and be prepared to forget everything you never wanted to know." Then, randomly snapping away at bit of Belfast history and some good ol’ Irish craic, I managed to splurt out the following few images.
The camera comes with extra colour filters, which seem too much of a hassle to swap with the primary colours already fitted. However, as I discovered during my guessing game exposures, the longer you hold the shutter open (and be sure to include the flash at the end), the more colours the camera will actually pick up. The colours come out so strong in development there is no need to whizz through them with any saturation touch-up. This camera embraces a true snap-craft of curious colours. But what would a review be without some negativity? I found myself grappling with all the exposure options it so proudly presents – which colour filter to use? Should I place it over the lens or leave it over the flash? Should I even use the flash? How long should I expose for? And so on. Eventually you just let loose, try a random combo and pray to the Lomo-Lords that it works for you.
This camera elopes a unique experience just from its engagement with the crowd. The sudden jump of colour exposure that comes without compositional thinking allows you to craft these images in mere milliseconds… thinking is prohibited; and this is precisely the Law of Lomo. Perhaps more a fashion accessory for the next James Bond chick than a contraption about to enlighten your inner thoughts, but still, most definitely a spontaneous winner.
So, having read this review, what’s in it for you? Indeed something special. We’re urging all Lomo-troops to submit their most colourful photograph – but wait, there’s a catch, we can most certainly spot a PhotoShop cop-out, and if we can’t, low and behold, the Coloursplash Karma Police will come and get you!
Upload your images to our Foto8 Flickr Group before 17 March and shortly after we’ll announce a winner.
Thanks again to the ever-so-kind Lomo-donators… we’re hoping they’ll send us their latest Lubitel (hint hint).
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