Biography of Harold Merklinger

My interest in photography goes back to about the age of 8 when my sister received a camera as a gift! I had to read all I could about photography (from the local library) and about a year later I received (as a gift) my first camera – and Ansco Craftsman (kit-form box camera).

The next major step in my photographic education occurred when my dad (who was in the Canadian Army) was posted to Germany. I graduated to 35mm, colour slides and B&W darkroom work while there – thanks to many of my father’s friends. At age 18 I bought my first Leica using the proceeds of one or two photographic "assignments". Also worked summers for a commercial photographer in Kingston ON for a bit. Even asked Yousuf Karsh for a job when my dad got posted to Ottawa at one stage. Alas I decided that photography was probably not a paying career and decided to go into science.

Obtained a BSc in Maths and Physics from RMC (in Kingston), then went to Graduate School at the University of Birmingham (in Birmingham England) obtaining an MSc in Communications and a PhD in Nonlinear Acoustics. Most of my working life was spent at the Defence Research Establishment Atlantic in Dartmouth Nova Scotia doing sonar research for the Canadian Navy and Air Force. I retired as Director-General of that Lab in June 2001.

I have maintained an interest in photography throughout, have written two short technical books on the subject and numerous articles for Shutterbug, View Camera, and Photo Techniques. The vast majority of my photography has been with 35 mm equipment, though I also use a Mamiya M645 (less than I should) as well as 4 by 5 and 5 by 7 view cameras. I did, many years ago, own an 8 by 10 camera, but I could not at that time afford to run it!

Harold Merklinger