Our first workshop, The Fabric of Photography, is only two and half months off and we are so looking forward to introducing for the first time Jasprit Singh, a curator from the VandA museum, London, our charming and enthusiastic workshop leader. We had an opportunity to catch up with him during a recent visit to The Big Smoke and question him about his views on photography:
What is your first memory of taking a photograph? At the young age of six. The image was of my grandfather in his garden picking plums.
What was your first camera and how old were you? My father owned a PentaxME Super which is the first camera I learnt to use.
Who are your all-time favorite photographers? Bill Brandt, Felice Beato, Ragu Rai and Bourne and Shepherd.
Which photographer has had the most influence on your work? During my academic life I spent most of my days looking at Beato's work on Amritsar. Since then I have had a number of influences, including colleagues, Justina Burnett and Simran Kaur.
Where do you think the future of photography lies? Sadly, the digital SLR camera seems to be becoming more of a fashion statement than as an apparatus for creating images. My greatest fear is that quantity will win over quality, so my golden rule in teaching is to, "capture an image with your mind not your eye".
What is it that you enjoy most about teaching photography? Every student has a subtly different agenda. I take great pleasure helping each individual master their cameras in order to produce the results they are looking for, and at the same time demonstrate the infinitely flexible and creative possibilities of DSLR photography.
Why are you particularly interested in Macro photography? There are many reason for my interest, but the main one would have to be the obvious one of its ability to reproduce subject matter in minute detail. Apart from images generally being incredibly beautiful, the Macro invariably allows us to further understand the subject's construction and mechanics.
What single piece of photographic equipment would you recommend as a useful addition to the DSLR? A 50mm 1:8 Legend lens reproduces precisely what the human eye sees. I have taken some of my favorite images with my 50mm, and the best part of it is that it is the cheapest lens I own.
What are you looking forward to most about your workshop at Les Soeurs Anglaises? From a purely selfish point of view, I am anticipating meeting interesting and creative people who are serious about learning how to make the best use of their DSLRs. I expect to be exposed to new and challenging attitudes to the various arts and crafts whilst in the supportive ambiance of Les Soeurs Anglaises, cradled in the inspirational landscape of S W France.