Vic Singh wrote stage-photography.com on 25 January 2011
I was born in Lucknow, India my father a son of Raja of Kalakankar, situated on the banks of The Ganges in Uttar Pradesh northern India and my mother a daughter of a well known Austrian society photographer in Vienna. I was sent to boarding school St. Christophers College in Letchworth, Hertfordshire as a young child. My mother decided to move and live in London. In my teens I attended St. Martins College of Art in London and then got employment in Mayflower Studios as a junior assistant delivering prints, sweeping the floor, making tea etc. Moving on to my first job as a photographer in Studio Five in London’s Mayfair, a couple of years later opened my own photo studio called Vic Singh Limited also in Mayfair.
I worked for the fashion, advertising, music and movie industries. Being a member of the Swinging 60’s In-Crowd from it’s formation I had many acquaintances in the music industry. Besides photographing various independent artists Pink Floyd, Marc Bolan and others I also worked for Chris Blackwell of Island Records with artists like Jimmy Cliff, The Spencer Davis Group (Stevie Winwood) and others shooting PR, record covers and music video (16-mm b/w film). Also Apple Records The Beatles. In the last few years I’ve got into the digital side of photography and video and am working in a new environment of the avant-garde music, fashion and my art photos. Some of the Comissions I’ve worked for.: Tatler Magazine, Brides Magazine, Vogue Magazine (England), Harpers Bazaar Magazine USA, IPC Magazines, National Magazine Company, Sunday Times Color Magazine, Playboy Magazine Germany, Zoom Magazine, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, Daily and Sunday Mirror, Courtaulds and British Celanese, P&O Lines, J. Walter Thomson Advertising, Lintas Advertising, In Advertising Italy, Vidal Sasson, Taya Japan, John Paul Mitchell Systems, Paramount Pictures, Apple Records, Island Records, Etc.
Making of Pink Floyd – The Piper at the Gates of Dawn LP-Cover
I was spending the afternoon with George Harrison at his house in Easher near London as I was leaving he gave me a prism lens, saying he did not know what to do with it, perhaps I could use it for something. The prism lens was lying around unused in my studio for some time until one day the manager of the Pink Floyd (who were a new group at that time) rang me and asked me if I could shoot the record cover for The Piper. I had met the band at a party previously so I agreed and asked their manager what they had in mind for the cover? he said it was up to me to work something out. After listening to The Piper music, which was very different and far out at that time, the prism lens seemed to be the answer. As the lens splits the image it goes a bit soft, so I asked the band to bring bright trendy clothes (fashionable at the time) which would stand out with color and contrast in the photos.
The photos were taken in my studio on a white background evenly lit with David Cecil studio strobe, Camera was Hasselblad with the prism filter stuck over a 50mm Planar lens. I first shot quite a few Polaroid images using a polaroid back, it was a bit tricky positioning the band as the 4 figures split up and melted into each other. Finally I was happy and shot the cover on Kodak Ektachrome 100ASA Daylight color film.
Text & images: © Vic Singh