Interviews with worldwide photographers www.moments-collective.com
Vipin Singh is a Delhi based award winning photographer & commercial DP. He is a cinematographer & colorist and he has worked on various music videos, tvc, corporate & documentaries.
'' During photographing we are in observation state and should be one with things around us at that time. It can be like meditation''.
Vipin Singh is a Delhi based award-winning photographer & commercial DP. Besides his growing love for street photography, he got interested in technical aspects of film-making which led him to know about lighting and color grading a scene. Being more interested in composing the shots he transitioned from color grading to cinematography & lighting. He is a cinematographer & colorist and he has worked on various music videos, tvc, corporate & documentaries.
Vipin Singh has made his first experimental film ''Kiteline''based on capturing life in street on slow motion medium. He is a winner in India Photo Festival, Hyderabad in portrait prize 2020, first prize in Hp ‘Challenge your view‘ and finalist in National Geographic ‘A planet in balance‘ and finalist in street photography competition Photosofia, Bulgaria.
He was mentored by Magnum photo member, Sohrab Sura and was nominated in Leica oscar award 2021 in the newcomer category. He was also a finalist in color category in HIPA, Dubai in 2019.We had the chance to make an interview with him and learn more about his work.
Tell us a few things about you. How did your journey in photography and in cinematography begin?
During early days and childhood, I was not much aware of art fields and was guided to be an engineer as mostly in my family were. When I was in a hostel preparing for entrance exams to enter an engineering college, I had a mobile phone which had a quick response. So I was excited to freeze candid moments of life around me in that hostel and the town. So here it was where the seed of interest was planted. Cinematography came in afterwards, when I started to get interested in video lighting and color grading which led me to do cinematography also.
What inspires you creatively?
I’m inspired by works which has personnel connect and could be surreal.
Which other important artists/photographers would you list as influencers or inspiring?
My favorites will be Charalampos Kydonakis, Nayeem Jabaz, Shin Noguchi, Sarker Protick and many more.
How important is the equipment that the photographer uses in order to create a good photograph? What is typically in your camera bag?
To start any camera with fast response and a basic zoom or fixed wide focal length is good enough. Then as your work develops you will know what specific type of equipment you can upgrade to produce print level quality pictures. In my camera bag, you can find a camera with 35mm digital and film, apsc crop, 1 inch sensor, iphone and few flashes.
Do you always have your camera on you?
Yes always have a camera with me.
If you had to keep only one camera and lens combination, what would it be and why?
My favorite is 1inch SONY rx100 as it’s compact enough, gives me all focal lengths I need, and good depth of field at lower f numbers.
In your opinion, what makes a good photograph? How do you decide when something is worth shooting and share it?
Very difficult for me to certify a photograph as good or bad. For me it depends on the current mood and personnel connect to it which changes over the time. Also perception of a photograph changes when it’s shown alone or with a group of pictures. While shooting I don’t judge much whether it will be worth or not, I like to go into flow state and click instinctively.
Henri Cartier Bresson said: “Thinking should be done before and after, not during photographing.” What is your opinion?
I absolutely agree with that statement as during photographing we are in observation state and should be one with things around us at that time. It can be like meditation.
Capturing street scenes is quite demanding. Could you tell us a few things about the process you follow?
Street photography requires good patience and regularity at practice. Also one needs to visit a place again and again to notice the subtle things that place offer. Also that street photography eye can be used to photograph everywhere, including your home.
What are your top tips that you would share with someone who wants to start capturing street scenes?
Someone who is looking to start out, I would suggest to not get impatient. As with lot of good work coming daily on social media, it becomes demotivating for beginners and they get impatient for attention. First start to enjoy the process and spend lot of time photographing to know yourself what you like and what you don’t. Don’t go by the trends or concepts as you will be trying to repeat them. You can try them to learn how someone did that.
One of the things that characterizes your work is emotion. Do you think that people are emotionally or socially affected by your work?
For me, it’s more about emotions or moments which have some personnel connect, although sometimes it can also about shapes, textures, silhouettes, colors or light, but I would like them to play as supporting to the emotions which are central. I don’t know someone will be emotionally affected by them or not but it will be great if someone connects to them in that way than just its appearance.
Dorothea Lange said, “It is a photographer’s task to portray what exists and prevails.” What is your opinion?
Yes, I agree. Photograph can be a powerful tool when it’s used in that way. It’s more relevant in form of documentary photography or photojournalism. For me, it’s that street photographer’s eye that follows into just photographing my life around, which should be done candidly. There could be moments captured which can be showcasing something associated to that time, as over the years, a photograph’s perception changes.
What is your opinion about morality in street photography? Are there unwritten moral rules? Is the photographer allowed to capture people in a “bad state” or without their permission?
It’s a very personnel choice for a photographer that where he draws line in respect to morality. I don’t like to shoot people in bad state like street beggars or bodies lying around. Regarding permission, it’s difficult to know someone will get offended until I point my camera directly on them. If a person objects to it I don’t photograph them. But as long we are photographing in public places, we are allowed to shoot people in it but morally it is better not to shoot who gets offended.
Photography or Cinematography? What if you had to make one choice?
How do you see yourself in the near future?
In future, I wish to shoot more, print more, exhibit more, do projects, develop books, and keep exploring.
All photos belongs to @Vipin Singh