Photojournalism – the Tri-X files

Enter the time capsule: The photos are from three periods of time. 1973-75:During this time my family moved from Stockholm, Sweden, to live in Munich in Germany, for a few years. My father was a correspondent for a major swedish newspaper, Aftonbladet. I followed him on many assignments, taking photos. I was quite young, 16-17 years.

In the news the big events was the Yom Kippur war in the Middle East (which my father covered on location which was a bit scary for the rest of the family), The RAF-terrorists in Germany, the Cyprus crisis which nearly lead to a war between Greece and Turkey. For sports these were great years – the World Cup in soccer 1974 in Germany, FC Bayern was the worlds best soccer club with Beckenbauer, Müller, Hoeness and Breitner in the team. Sweden had a number of soccer pros in Germany, which we often reported on. Ingemar Stenmark won his first victories in the Alpine WC. In Formula One racing Ronnie Pettersson, teammmate with Emerson Fittipaldi, was one the fastest drivers. We saw the GP-races at Nurnburg Ring, Austerreich Ring and Monza.
1979: I took a few trips back to Munich for some photo stories.
1980-82: I worked my way through university as a part-time freelance photographer, mainly for the newspapers Svenska Dagbladet and Aftonbladet. I was a staff photographer for Svenska Dagbladet during the summers. In the end of 82 I made a kind of career choice and bought an electric typewriter instead of a new lens.
As I took a new interest in my personal photography when I bought a Nikon D100 digital SLR some years ago, I thought I should take care of the old photos somehow.

Looking for mercenaries
(Zurich, Switzerland, around 1974)
Dr Hans Lenzlinger recruited swedish mercenaries to fight against black liberation movements i the south of Africa. This story got a lot of attention, many didnt want to believe it was true. I photographed autentic letters from people searching the job. I rememeber a shocking one, written in bad english: “I heard that you want people who can kill blacks in Africa. I am very interested in this…”.
A few years later Lenzlinger was killed in his office, apparently murdered.
Konica Autoreflex T3 with 50 1.8.

Rising Sports Heroes
(1975, Munich and Madonna DiCampiglio)
Two swedish 19-year olds was on their way to become world stars. The photo of Bjorn Borg was taken at the Munich WCT-tournament. Bjorn lost the final to Artur Ashe. In accordance with his intense winner-instict, he was so disappointed after the loss, that he cancelled the interview we had booked with him.
Camera: Minolta XE-1 with Rokkor 135 2.8
The photo of Ingemar Stenmark was shot at Madonna DiCampiglio. Minolta XE-1 with Rokkor 85 1.7.

Death of a steel mill
(Lesjofors, Sweden, for Svenska Dagladet,1982)The steel mill in Lesjofors was in trouble. The factory had existed for hundreds of years, its history started in 1642. The small town Lesjofors had grown around it, with over half the population employed at the mill. The De Geer-family had run the mill since the Baron Gerhard De Geer bought it 1922. Now the market was folding, Lars De Geer left the leadership to his son – lay-offs and downsizing followed.A couple of years later the company went bancrupt.First photo: In the first round of layoffs everyone under 30 years had to go.Last photo: Old and new leadership. Youngsters thinking about their future. Klick here for larger images.
(Nikon FM, FE, F3 cameras w 24, 35, 85 mm lenses)

Flying start
(For Aftonbladet 1975)There were two Swedish professional soccer players in the team of FC Bayern Munic, defender Bjorn Andersson and mid-fielder/forward Conny Torstensson. This photo shows Bjorns first goal, a flying header, for his new team at the home arena Olympia Stadion. Behind him is Uli Hoeness, cropped away from the photo was Gerd Muller, two super-players in this incredible team. During the two years we lived in Munic they didnt loose a single game when they were the hosting team. On the ground in this steep arena which took about 70,000 people, the noise from the crowd was very loud, an adreline-rising roar followed every move the players made.(About the photo: I had seen some very good shots taken behind the goal with a short tele and decided to try this. These days you tried to capture the decisive moment, now the emphasis is more on capturing the action out on the field with long teles. The camera was a Minolta XE with an 85 1.7 Rokkor lens. I couldnt afford a camera with motordrive, a fast shutter finger had to do. The usual rig for the sports photographers at the time was Nikon F2s with motor drives and 105 or 180 Nikkor lenses. Very popular were the Novoflex 400 mms with their pistol-grip focusing. Since this was in Germany many also used Leicaflex SL Mot cams and occasionally there were some who used Canon F1 (the first model).)
(This page is a work in progress. More content will be added.)

27 Responses to “Photojournalism – the Tri-X files”

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  2. […] The photographer my father had booked for a job got sick, so I got the chance (see the “Tri-X stories“). It was a small series of reportages about the life of “Gastarbeiters” in […]

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