A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.


Hot Shot
Sunday, January 10, 2010

In 1986 Vancouver Magazine’s editor, Malcolm Parry came up with the project of having a spread of photographs taken in Vancouver that would be done in the style of a big budget magazine like the National Geographic. The issue which was to come out in the summer was to reflect the sophistication of our city to all the visitors that would come to Expo 86. I was given the job of directing the project and finding photographers to do the jobs. I did a couple of them. These shots were called Hot Shots by Malcolm Parry.

How I came to shoot the picture here is in my memory. I remember the camera and lens (Pentax MX and a 15mm rectilinear wide angle lens). I don’t remember how I came about the concept. Once I had the idea of a beautiful, lightly dressed young woman sunning herself on a West End roof I asked Vancouver Magazine fashion editor, Linda Guthrie if she knew of a possible woman who would fit the bill. She told me of a woman that had a “tight” body and would be perfect for the shot. She ended up being Katheryn (when I met her she was still at her Cathy stage) Petersen of whom I wrote here and here and John Lekich wrote about her here.

I am not all that happy with the picture nor was I happy then. Since I had to use a powerful hard flash to light the scene from the edge of the higher roof I ended up with the unsightly hot and bright spot at Katheryn’s feet. I could have avoided this by centering my flash better and then checking the picture with a Polaroid on my bigger camera. But I am still happy with the little private joke of including William Gibson’s first novel Neuromancer as part of her reading material. That British first edition is now worth around $1500.

As Katheryn Petersen left the scene in her bright red pickup it occurred to me that I wanted to photograph her again. As you all know this is something that I did do again, many times.


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