This picture is really a joke, but maybe it will teach someone something about the world.
I was inspired by a photo I saw the other day at another photo site, where I am not active. A former TE member had taken a picture of the Norwegian Prime Minister from just a few meters distance and was amazed that it was possible to get so close.
That made me think of this head. It belongs to the King of Sweden, Carl XVI Gustaf. It was taken in 1978 when the King, at the age of 32, visited Gothenburg to formally open a new suburban centre. I was studying at the Gothenburg Faculty of journalism at that time, and since we were producing newspaper dummies that week, a classmate and I grabbed our cameras and went to the suburb to see if there was anything interesting going on.
We tried, of course, to get as close as possible. I was quite successful because suddenly I found myself walking just two meters behind the King, both of us surrounded by bodyguards. I had time to point my Canon shotgun at him and take this photo before I was grabbed by the arm and literally thrown away. But I was not arrested and not even questioned and could go on taking pictures, although from a slightly safer distance, maybe five meters.
Years later I was actually introduced to the King (in India of all places, during a state visit), but naturally he didn't recognize me, since he never knew what was going on behind his back.
A more regular photo of the King from that day can be seen in a ws.
Both pictures were scanned from Ilford FP4 negatives.
Critiques | Translate
fanni (14377) 2010-11-26 10:59
this little set of photos + the note sure teach us about the world - and also "how to be lucky and be at the right time at the right place" :)
A historical documentary shot with a very interesting (as always) note - a shot (the main one) where it's not the composition etc that matters but purely a decisive moment, of course!
I won't even dare to imagine such a situation with any of the Russian presidents! LOL
många varma halsningar,
papera (13952) 2010-11-26 13:20
before you even mentioned him, I knew the man in the picture was King Carl Gustav - I recognized his wavy hair. for some reason, there are two men I always could tell by the shape of their hair - Michael Caine and King Carl Gustav.
I always like your notes, especially when you tell from places or times when I was only a kid.
the story you tell here is surely interesting, one can picture these young men in search of a good shot when suddenly the King appears...
I like this shot, a man, from behind, but not like any other man. and the king is on the other side :)
jrj (34841) 2010-11-26 13:44
What to say - must be the difference in capturing a prime minister versus the "king" himself.. haha...
Being a bit proud of coming so close to "my" prime minister and have the portrait where the guy even seems interested in what's going on.. (joking) I must say your photo was a real hitter.. but for sure IT IS HIM "THE KING" haha...
The best to you
emka (77630) 2010-11-26 15:25
What a story! So you studied in Gothenburg but it is Gunnar who lives there. Did you studied something before journalism? Wow, and you were introduced to the King but why in India? You were lucky guy to be suddenly so close to the king and to be with your Canon. The photo in Ws is also very nice. Great document and what memories! Very interesting. Would be it possible to be so near our First Secretary???.
I like the story plus two photos very much.
tyro (20090) 2010-11-26 16:21
What a terrific capture! You must have been very thrilled to capture such a picture - and also the frontal view (which I prefer) that you have presented as your workshop picture! For a young, budding student of journalism, that must have been a great achievement.
Were you a photo-journalist or a journalist? I mean, was photography a large part of your working life or was your remit mainly to report in the written word? Whatever the case, these pictures must have been the envy of many of your student peers!
Buin (42308) 2010-11-27 1:51
That's what I call a fancy photo! I at once thought that this must be the Swedish king - this typical hair. Here I really like the combination of photo, link and note - a wonderful contribution which made me smile ...
By the way, you should get active on that "other site" ;-))
All the best from cold Germany - with a bit snow!
bukitgolfb301 (35520) 2010-11-27 2:17
Hi my dear Gert
Yes nice joke for note and shot.
Your note is interesting.
Thanks for sharing with a good job and have a nice Saturday evening,
saxo042 (37280) 2010-11-27 12:53
Of course I will spend a smiley on this perfect portrait of our reluctant monarch. I wonder what he thought about, seeing this dreadful suburban part of Gothenburg. Mistresses?
rodgerg (55767) 2010-11-28 1:38
An historical photo! .) And a good idea to post this shot (and the interetsing note) to TE. Good work of sacnning too. ( Ilford FP4.... an another memory!)
Have a nice Sunday,
Kielia (23405) 2010-11-29 6:28
so this is your reluctant King seen from a rare POV!
Looking at the photo in WS and the original one it is scarcely imaginable that this comfortable man, so correct in his role, could even contemplate a secret life.
Tell me, because it is you who is the expert, can things ever be the same again between the King and his people?
Thanks for sharing this fascinating photo!
UlfE (14641) 2010-11-29 11:36
Really funny post. It is undoubtedly the back of the king's head. I love the impression that he is walking around in the street as a ordinary man in the suburb. TFS and have a fine week!
mafegan (8624) 2010-12-03 6:07
Great story and funny shot! What more can I say?
dta (65838) 2010-12-07 5:41
hello Gert ,
What a portrait ! An amazing capture ! But what is the most impressive , is the fact that he is very recognizabled from this back view !
Do you know that the family of your king (Bernadotte) comes from a little valley of the french Pyrénées , Sireix en vallée d'Estaing ?
serp2000 (39682) 2010-12-08 1:33
Two weeks before I posted the photo with the same title. But there were another king and another place. But this is an interesting fact.
Good idea. the mdern monarches have go without crown and other atributes of kingdome.
An interesting document.
abmdsudi (42754) 2010-12-14 7:18
At thumbnail without the title carries less weight, but i envy your skill and rich experience in journalism on how you relate your notes to the picture into great effect, sort of happy ending episode to me. I also greatly appreciate that the title helps to draw viewers' attention into details, and this combination produces impact and successful image. I think your are lucky to have captured HRH in such a close distance and worth treasured Gert! Great shot, fine scanned image. Congrats. Hv a nice day
maloutim (9635) 2012-08-09 4:52
I recognised the person straight away. Quite a special head of curly hair, which he still has even if it's thinner and greyer !
Interesting story and good B&W photo.
ourania (30333) 2013-12-06 9:18
I thought the title was referring to Michael Kaine due to his film The Man Who Would Be King:) It was obvious that the subject was so important that his back was enough to make the photo interesting, I instantly thought of Michael Kaine:) Very nice '70s b&w atmosphere. The workshop picture is very interesting as a study of human character. Congratulations and thank you!
All the best, have a lovely weekend,
- Copyright: Gert Holmertz (holmertz) (40171)
- Genre: People
- Medium: Black & White
- Date Taken: 1978-10-00
- Categories: Daily Life, Event, Decisive Moment
- Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
- Theme(s): Celebrities [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2010-11-26 10:37