It’s old news now but, sadly, Herbert Keppler died in January.
With my subscription to Popular Photography, I usually turned to his a article called “Inside Straight” first and in this months issue, I see an article from the editor Entitled “In Memoriam: Herbert Keppler, 1925-2008“.
I’ve been reading his articles in Popular Photography for many years. Every article I read was informative, interesting and often had a touch of humor in them. His insight into the photography industry was interesting as well as his ability to inspire peoples interest photography with his writing. I remember reading his article “Inside Straight: Like a Leica” where he nailed the reason why, in 1925, the Leica I(A)’s became the first commercially successful 35mm camera with a single sentence:
“It’s oh-so-light, compact, and comfortable, and its few controls fall right where your fingers want them“.
He went on to write an interesting article contrasting the Leica 1(A) to a modern DSLR. The writing was interesting and brought up good points.You can find many of his articles here at “Speaking Frankly“. He was an interesting and influential man and You can read more about him here.
As I said, he was a good writer. I remember this gem from the “The Wit and Wisdom of Herbert Keppler“:
On poorly translated instruction manuals:
“The writer had forgotten that in English, objects are not referred to by gender. I was instructed to ‘grab her crank’ to advance the film and wind the shutter. Further genderized instructions became too personal for me to relate in a family magazine.“
(Popular Photography, September 1988)
By many people like me, he will be missed.