Derek represents the third generation of a family that's been deep into imaging in India for close on a century now, from the time when granpa Dalip Singh first began producing the beautiful hand-made Field Cameras (also called Platform View Cameras) of rosewood and teak and brass,.. that still find a marketplace around the world today for the little old factory in the backlanes of Darya Ganj in Old Delhi.
To many folks, of course, this would be more collector's material than anything else, like with the gramaphones still produced in a factory not far away, but there are actually still many end-users ordering up such cameras for deployment across villages and travelling carnivals all over the boonies of India, Pakistan and Afganistan.
However, the company stays enough in tune with the times to also double up as a premier camera-repair outfit handling state-of-the-art hardware in the bustling photography section of Chandni Chowk.
Derek's dad Latoo Singh and uncle Aftar Singh together run the two family operations, and have also continuosly collaborated on imaging innovations through the years, including various gadgets and gee-gaws to fit the Mamiya 120 series of professional cameras, and a panorama camera prototype that was put to work by the famous photographer Mr. Rahu Rai.
Against this backdrop, it was only natural for Derek to carry the family banner into the new world of digital imaging, partly because "my family also wanted me to do something relating with photography as this is our family business," and also because of his own "creative bent of mind and love for playing with graphics."
That led directly to a personal computer and a course of multimedia at the "American Institute of Technology" in town about a year and a half ago ~ a course he counts to have been well worth his time and money, while remaining under no delusion about "the huge competition amoung multimedia students in Delhi." Like he says: "As more and more people are doing this course, and the value is therefore decreasing, only those people are earning who have good contacts with photographers and other related professionals. Others have to take on fulltime jobs (if they can get one to begin with) for just 5 or 6 thousand rupees a month."
The course must certainly have come in handy when Derek was almost laid out of making it into this gazette due to a computer crash that cost him his image-archives, for he cooly re-configured and rattled out more than twice the number of images we've patched together into the video above,.. and tossed in the two variations of the "Imadjinn" banner at right for good measure, so we could have some idea of the present focus of his learning and work (backgrounds).
Meanwhile ~ "I regularly do some digital photo-editing professionally, as I love to edit photographs; any kind of photographs, wether its of a human or of an animal. But photo-editing is now becoming a hobby, because while it is interesting and enjoyable, it is a viable career option only if you have good bussiness contacts.
" Since I don't believe in working under someone, I will definitely do my own business, and will of course always associate imaging with my career. Presently, I'm also moving into web design, but at the back of my mind always, I'm looking forward to enrolling into any virtual reality course that can be found in India.
c/o Dalip Singh & Sons (Camera Manufacture & Repair)
4, Esplanade Road
Delhi - 110 006, India
tel: (91-11) 325 9892