Letter of the Week Special: A Tribute to Herbert Keppler

From: I can only endorse the tributes already made about his generosity in providing advice and encouragement to photographers spanning both a wide range of issues and across the globe.

In the days following Herbert Keppler's passing, many photographers have written us to express how Bert's advice helped them through the years. Below are just a few of the letters we've received. Add your thoughts and memories on our forums.

From: Graham Wootton
To: POP Editor
Subject: Tribute for Herbert Kepler

As a contributor to Popular Photography and a follower of his columns and advice since the 1960’s I would like to add my tribute on Herbert Kepler’s passing. I can only endorse the tributes already made about his generosity in providing advice and encouragement to photographers spanning both a wide range of issues and across the globe.

When I bought my first single lens reflex camera in 1967, the first accessory I obtained was Herbert’s “Asahi Pentax Way” which became my photography bible for many years. I religiously followed his monthly columns in Modern Photography and subsequently Popular Photography over some 40 years. One of his pet projects, to design and have manufactured the ideal travel tripod, particularly caught my attention. When it finally came to fruition in 2000 in the form of the Velbon Maxi 343e I obtained one and ended up writing a review on it for my local camera club. I also sent a copy of the review to Herbert at Popular Photography, thinking he may be interested in the feedback but never expecting a reply. I was therefore surprised and delighted to receive quite a long and chatty personal letter from Herbert thanking me for my comments and talking about Australia and his photographic experiences here. A local photographic identity commented to me that it was the signature of a great man that he had responded in such a way.

Our correspondence continued over the next six years and with his support I subsequently had two articles published in Popular Photography in 2003. Thinking back to 1967 it would have been inconceivable to me then that some forty years later I would be corresponding with someone who was such an icon of the photography world and that in 2007 he would still be at the forefront of the industry. Right to the end his role encompassed providing down-to-earth advice and insight into the latest advances in the photographic process while reminding us of what was good from the past. I doubt the photographic world will see his equal again.

Yours sincerely,
Graham Wootton
Hobart, Tasmania
Australia

More letters after the jump

ADVERTISEMENT