Herbert Keppler: 1925-2008
I was very sad to hear of the passing of Herb Kessler last week (Friday, January 4th, I believe). Keppler was a publisher, editor and columnist at two of the leading photographic magazines for more than fifty years. Relating teh technical aspects of the craft and equipment of photography in Popular Photography (now Popular Photography and Imaging) and Modern Photography, Herb's wry and folksy manner both illuminated the reader and often steered them away from expensive equipment they might not have needed.
At a time when most hobbyist and enthusiast publications, particular photography magazines, were little more than a vehicle for advertising and advertisor driving copy, it was Herb Keppler who established an independent mechanism for evalutating and comparing equipment, regardless of how it effected advertisors or advertising income. It became the model for what we've come to expect and enjoy the last forty years. He almost single handedly turned the world on to the virtures of Japanese camera manufacturer when the prevailing opinion was wildly biased toward German made equipment. And his folksy, personal style has been the model that today is emulated by the likes of columnists from Norm Abrams to David Pogue. I had the chance to meet Herb a couple of times at MacWorld and the Seybold Conferences and he was a warm, approachable and authentic man generous with his knowledge and kindness. Thank you, Herb, for your contribution to a grateful three generations of photographers.