Born in Stockholm in 1944, Petersen studied photography under Christer Strömholm from 1966 to 1968. He is perhaps best known for his book Café Lehmitz, which was first published in 1978 and is now recognized as one of the classics of post-war European photography. In it, he captured a time and place now long gone – a bar on Hamburg’s Reeperbahn teeming with prostitutes, dropouts and the fringe elements that went to make up a warm-hearted family of non-conformists with whom he identified and felt totally at home. In 1970, he co-founded SAFTRA, the Stockholm group of photographers, and has since gone on taking photographs in his own unique fashion, following the rhythms of his own life.
The Photofile series brings together the best work of the world’s greatest photographers, in an affordable pocket format. Handsome and collectable, the books are produced to the highest standards. Each volume contains some sixty full-page reproductions printed in superb duotone, together with a critical introduction and a full bibliography. The series has been awarded the first annual prize for distinguished photographic books by the International Center of Photography, New York.