In Memoriam: Herbert Keppler, 1925–2008
By Jason Schneider, Popular Photography
It is with profound sadness that we note the passing of Herbert Keppler, whose extraordinary brilliance and uncommon devotion in his lifelong work as an editor, publisher, mentor, and true and generous friend made him one of the most revered, respected, and beloved members of the photographic community.
To state that Keppler was a positive force who helped advance the industry he loved so deeply, that he was a tireless advocate and thought-provoking guide for millions of amateur photographers all over the world, and that he was a practical camera design and marketing genius whose advice was eagerly sought and implemented by countless photographic manufacturers, distributors, and retailers, is merely to scratch the surface of his remarkable achievements. Knowing him was a privilege, and working with him an honor. He was a magnificent human being, not only in what he did, but also in who he was. We will sorely miss his puckish sense of humor, his joie de vivre, his unfailing loyalty, his kindness, and his staunch integrity. But most of all we will miss him—because we know we will not see his like again....
READ ON at popphoto.com
UPDATE: See also Mason Resnick's tribute at the Adorama News Desk.
Oscar Peterson, 1925–2007
We lost Oscar Peterson over the holidays, who one pundit not unreasonably called "the greatest pianist since Liszt." Friends of the Luminous-Landscape know that Oscar was also a dedicated longtime photographer. You may have seen this already, but if you haven't, here's an absolutely delightful little movie MR recorded with Oscar in Toronto. Not crucial viewing for photographic content, but as I say, a delight. What a great guy—and what an honor that he was one of us where photography is concerned (he had many friends but few peers in music).
(Thanks to Mark Myers)
ADDENDUM: If you don't know Oscar Peterson's music, I envy you, because you've got a treat ahead of you. There are well over a hundred to choose from, but here is one of my own favorite Oscar Peterson albums. The sense of occasion in this life-affirming 2-disk live recording is infectious.
You can't go too far wrong no matter what you choose (unless, like one of my friends, you're allergic to string bands, in which case you'll have to avoid those). But there are many standouts. Paul Butzi reminded me that perhaps Peterson's best work were the albums he did with Count Basie—both on piano, no big band—the two men's polar opposite styles playing off each other amidst the obvious warmth and camraderie they felt for each other as friends. Those albums include:
Highly pleasurable and warmly musical, these titles show Oscar Peterson's ebullient good cheer, love of life, and scintillating musical virtuosity. Truly "desert island discs" that can be enjoyed again and again and again.
All of these are also available on emusic.com. and the Peterson/Basie albums are available on iTunes. —MJ