Gerd Ludwig will present his lecture “Winds of Change” during the Exposure Festival in Calgary on February 26. Gerd will share images from his life in photography, concentrating on his experiences capturing the colossal changes following the dissolution of the Soviet Union to this very day. Resonating with a full scale of emotion, his images have garnered his distinction as the world’s foremost color photographer documenting the region. From the broken empire’s legacy of environmental exploitation, to the warp-speed economic transformation of Russia, Gerd Ludwig reveals a many-faceted people, by turns suspicious and sympathetic, greedy and generous, stoic and exuberant.

The presentation will span from early work in his native Germany, his stories published in National Geographic since the 1990s, up to recent stories in Kazakhstan, the Ukraine, and Germany. After first photographing the aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster for National Geographic in 1993, he returned several times since. Recently he ventured deeper into the failed reactor than ever before and returned with haunting images, which will be part of his presentation and a recently published monograph The Long Shadow of Chernobyl.

To register for the lecture, visit http://www.thecamerastore.com/7646-Gerd-Ludwig-Winds-of-Change.aspx


The Long Shadow of Chernobyl was selected as one of four books published by ASMP Members for inclusion in their 2014 Year-End edition of the ASMP Bulletin.

To see the article in the ASMP Bulletin, see: http://bulletin.asmp.org/asmp/end_of_year_2014#pg12

Gerd Ludwig on German Greenpeace Podcast

The German-language Greenpeace podcast recently posted a 20-minute radio interview with Gerd Ludwig about Chernobyl, his book, and iPad app, which was aired on several radio stations in and around Berlin.

To listen to the interview:

Website: https://greenpeace-berlin.de/2014/12/greencast-189-shadows-of-tschernobyl/
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/de/podcast/greenpeace-greencast/id901098699?mt=2
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GreenpeaceGreencast
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/115749942832747402514/about
Twitter: https://twitter.com/greenpeacebln

Gerd Ludwig in MANUAL Magazine

The German men’s magazine MANUAL, in its recent issue #3, published an in-depth interview with Gerd Ludwig, covering his work in Chernobyl, his trilingual book The Long Shadow of Chernobyl, and the accompanying iPad App. The interview explores Gerd’s motivation behind the decision to put himself in danger in order to photograph Chernobyl.

To read the full article, see MANUAL Ausgabe 3 (published by Gruner + Jahr), on German newsstands now.


Gerd Ludwig’s lecture at this year’s PDN PhotoPlus Expo, “Digital Vision in Low Light” (sponsored by Canon), was selected as one of four lectures to be recapped in PDN. To read the entire article, check out the January 2015 print edition of PDN.


The Photo Society’s Image Review, an online portfolio review platform with National Geographic photographers, was recently launched with much acclaim. The Image Review is a unique opportunity for advanced amateur and professional photographers to get constructive feedback from top National Geographic pros via state-of-the-art video conferencing technology, eliminating issues of travel cost & time to get your work reviewed. Review sessions are now available, including some upcoming spots with Gerd Ludwig.

For information and schedule: http://thephotosociety.org/ir-photographers/gerd-ludwig/

Berlin in National Geographic Germany
November 9, 2014 marked the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. In these 25 years, Berlin has experienced a substantial metamorphosis. No Western metropolis has undergone the same extensive and fundamental changes as Berlin. Even as the recent growth into a booming capital of the reunited Germany nears completion, the marks and scars of history are omnipresent. Gerd’s story in the November issue of National Geographic Germany (text by Adam Nicolson) investigates why the thriving capital is so attractive to young people around the globe.

To see the full story: http://www.nationalgeographic.de/reportagen/berlin-die-stadt-die-immer-wird

The Art of Storytelling - Documentary Photography Workshop in Los Angeles

The Art of Storytelling

A 4 1/2 day Documentary Photography Workshop with Gerd Ludwig
In Los Angeles, October 23-27, 2014

This 4 1/2 day workshop by National Geographic Photographer Gerd Ludwig is for photographers and serious amateurs who want to take their photography to the next level. It concentrates on the aesthetic, technical, and logistical aspects of photographing with personal vision and balanced objectivity. It is designed to help photographers develop a personal eye, and to leave feeling inspired.


Each participant should photograph a subject idea with the goal of producing a set of images by the end of the workshop. After individual portfolio reviews, Gerd will provide guidance to help streamline each idea, provide research tips, and create a coverage plan.

Throughout the workshop critiques will take place, both in groups and individually. In meetings with the students, Gerd will be available for advice on personal photographic aspirations. The course will culminate with each photographer presenting his or her photographs to the class for feedback.

The workshop will be held in Gerd Ludwig’s spacious and unique home in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles (The workshop fee includes a light lunch salad). Also, expect one of Gerd’s fellow photographers to stop by for a brief guest presentation.

Students must provide their own photographic equipment, laptops, and transportation.
Be prepared for long hours of shooting, editing, critiquing and interacting with one another and with the instructor (don’t worry, you will have fun too).

To make it more affordable for participants based outside of LA, there will be two rooms available in Gerd’s home for the first two students to request it, for an additional $200 for 5 nights.

Participants will also receive a 25% discount on one item purchased from Tenba.com following the workshop.


Gerd will stress finding and researching subjects, photographing people in an intimate fashion, making photographs that communicate emotionally as well as editorially, and using aesthetics in a sophisticated manner. Workshop participants will be encouraged to take professional risks to produce top quality work worthy of publications, books or galleries. Gerd will outline the structural elements and differences between a reportage, series, and essay and openly share the personal approaches he uses to create his own stories
for National Geographic Magazine.

Technical discussions will focus on how to use photographic tools in real-world scenarios to capture atmosphere and mood, while maintaining a sense of place; approach subjects and establish trust in order to photograph people in an intimate fashion; use form, lighting, and color in a sophisticated manner to communicate emotionally as well as editorially; balance a personal point of view while respecting a subject’s situation; and use focused editing to reveal a story’s essential truth. Gerd will share his own photographic techniques, such as his choice of cameras, lenses, lighting, strobes, and filters. He will explain how capturing quality images at extremely high ISOs has enabled him to tackle stories for National Geographic Magazine that previously were impossible to explore (Moscow Never Sleeps, Chernobyl, Russian Orthodox Church, Sleeping Cars etc).

Gerd will address the changing market for photographers, and how to expand short assignments into long-term personal projects using the latest fund-raising, distribution, and marketing methods. As a pioneer in crowdfunding, Gerd successfully financed his latest trip to the Chernobyl zone via Kickstarter and ran a second successful Kickstarter campaign to publish his 20-year retrospective book “The Long Shadow of Chernobyl,” which accompanies his interactive multimedia iPad app.


To sign up, please send your deposit of $175 through Paypal to [email protected] . Please contact us if you have any questions about using PayPal. A second payment of $400 is due by October 1st and the final balance of $400 is due by October 15th. Workshop is limited to 9 students.

Pay through PayPal

All payments are non-refundable. If a participant cancels, the first two payments will become a credit towards future workshops.


Born in Alsfeld, Germany, Gerd Ludwig studied Photography with Professor Otto Steinert at the Folkwang University of the Arts (Folkwangschule) in Essen, Germany, and graduated in 1972. The following year he co-founded VISUM, Germany’s first photographer-owned agency, and began working for publications such as Geo, Stern, Spiegel, Fortune, Time, and Life. In 1984 he re-located to New York, and after continuing to photograph for major international publications, signed on as a contract photographer for National Geographic Magazine in the early 1990’s. His focus on environmental issues, and on the socio-economic changes following the dissolution of the Soviet Bloc resulted in his book and exhibit, Broken Empire: After the Fall of the USSR, a ten-year retrospective published by National Geographic,. His ongoing coverage of post Soviet Russia has garnered his distinction as being the world’s foremost color photographer documenting the region. His ongoing work after the Chernobyl nuclear disaster resulted in the publication of an acclaimed iPad App and the trilingual Long Shadow of Chernobyl photo book.

Now based in Los Angeles, Gerd Ludwig continues his work for National Geographic Magazine, photographs personal projects, lectures at universities, teaches photographic workshops and exhibits his photographs in galleries and museums around the world. He is the recipient of many photographic awards, including the 2006 Lucie Award for International Photographer of the Year and the 2014 Dr. Erich-Salomon Award, the highest lifetime achievement award in photojournalism in Germany.


“It was an incredible opportunity for me to learn from National Geographic photographer Gerd Ludwig. With his personal instruction he taught me to see the emotional side of a photo, taking my passion for photography to a new level. His vision opened my eyes to a different perspective of the world.”
– Steffi Graff, tennis champion

“Of all the workshops I’ve taken, the one that made the biggest impact on me was a two day workshop with Gerd at the Salton Sea. I’ll never forget being dropped off by myself in Niland with only 45 minutes to take an environmental portrait of a total stranger in their home. I had never done anything like that before; but, Gerd had taken the time to share his own stories and offer advice about approaching sensitive situations as a photographer. I ended up meeting and photographing a wonderful family. He pushed each student beyond their comfort zones as photographers. It was an invaluable lesson.”
– Robert Larson, photographer

“During Gerd’s workshop at the Salton Sea, he pushed us to try new techniques, such as using remote flashes and gels, in order to help us get a feel for what the equipment was capable of, and how to use it to get interesting shots that would have been impossible any other way. He helped us see things we had missed, or better ways to approach the scene – encouraging us to get closer and see in different ways. At one point, I found myself standing ankle-deep in dead fish and algae, fighting to keep up with him as we tried to find the best shot – flash in one hand, camera in the other, and toes crossed that I’d be able to avoid tumbling headlong into a pile of rotting muck – while he helped me figure out how to set up shots in ways I had never considered, and how to wield the equipment in ways that proffered uncharted results. I have never learned as much, or had quite so much fun, as I did those days out in the desert with Gerd and his team.”
– Kristen Spillane, photographer

“Organizing ten years’ worth of materials for a long-term project, Gerd helped me make better choices in the edit and achieve more clarity in the book design. I appreciate his rigor and candor, while helping ensure that my photos found their best presentation. It’s rare to find a teacher who balances trenchant criticism with unwavering support for your work and your vision. Gerd is a great critic and advocate.”
– Preston Merchant, Adjunct Professor, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

Digital Vision in Low Light, Lecture at PDN PhotoPlus Expo

Capturing quality images at extremely high ISO’s is one of digital technology’s most important advances—particularly in the areas of photojournalism and documentary photography. In this seminar, Gerd Ludwig will discuss how these developments provide huge advantages in low light situations and offer greater physical mobility during difficult assignments. Ludwig will show how extremely high ISO digital capture has made handheld strobes a more powerful tool and will share his use of natural light combined with hand-held flash to emphasize his message, offer a sense of place, maintain atmosphere and create a personal vision.

Ludwig’s stories for National Geographic exemplify his use of “digital vision” to cover subjects that are impossible to explore otherwise. He will also cover how a story idea moves from proposal to published article and how to expand an editorial assignment into a long-term personal project. Finally, Ludwig will share his secrets to surviving in today’s marketplace, using crowd-funding, social networking and new media to get personal projects financed and seen by a wider audience.

Sponsored by Canon USA, the 2-hour seminar takes place at the Jacob Javits Convention Center on Friday, October 31st from 10:15am-12:15pm.

For more information about the PhotoPlus Expo: http://www.photoplusexpo.com/conference/conference-schedule.shtml

PDN PhotoPlus International Conference + Expo is the most important event in the photo industry. Designed for professionals and advanced amateurs in the photographic and imaging industries, PDN PhotoPlus Expo showcases the latest advances in photography. Attendees are able to explore exhibits and attend a wide variety of photography and imaging seminars.

Gerd Ludwig will present his photographs and speak about his work documenting the aftermath of the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl on September 25, 2014 at Bücherbogen in Berlin, beginning at 7:30 pm. The event will include a book signing for his recently released book “The Long Shadow of Chernobyl.”

Full information & description below.

Seit 20 Jahren dokumentiert der renommierte National Geographic-Fotograf Gerd Ludwig die Folgen der Nuklearkatastrophe in Tschernobyl. Im Bücherbogen spricht er über sein Projekt und zeigt die ergreifenden Fotos, die er während seiner neun Besuche in Tschernobyl aufgenommen hat.

Sie erzählen die tragischen Geschichten der Leben der Opfer, der Sperrzone und der verlassenen Stadt Prypjat. Ausserdem hat Ludwig sich weiter ins Innere des zerstörten Reaktors #4 gewagt als jeder andere Fotograf aus dem Westen. „Als engagierte Fotografen“, sagt Ludwig, „berichten wir oft über menschliche Tragödien im Angesicht von Katastrophen und nehmen unsere Kameras mit in unerforschte Gebiete mit dem Bewusstsein, dass wir diese Erkundungen nicht ohne ein persönliches Risiko unternehmen. Wir tun dies aus einer tiefen Verpflichtung den Opfern gegenüber, um ihnen mit unseren Geschichten eine Stimme zu geben.”

Donnerstag, 25. September, 2014
Beginn 19:30 Uhr
Buchsignierung gegen 20:30 Uhr

Bücherbogen am Savignyplatz
Stadtbahnbogen 593
10623 Berlin
Telefon 030 31 86 95 11


After the publication of his 20-year retrospective “The Long Shadow of Chernobyl” Gerd Ludwig continues to explore the aftermath of the world’s worst nuclear disaster to date. In a story titled “THE NUCLEAR TOURIST,” the October issue of National Geographic Magazine USA and several of the foreign language editions of NG published Gerd’s images of tourism in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (text by George Johnson).
For more information and to see the images: Click here

In addition, the German language edition of National Geographic ran a 2-page interview with Gerd about the power of photography and what makes working for National Geographic special.
To read the interview: Click here

To order a signed copy of the book: Click here

Erich Salomon Award Ceremony, Lectures, and Chernobyl Exhibition at Photokina

At this year’s Photokina in Cologne, Germany, Gerd Ludwig will be honored with the Dr. Erich-Salomon Award, the highest lifetime achievement award in photojournalism given in Germany by the DPGh (the Germany Photographic Society, see more info here). At the award ceremony, Peter-Matthias Gaede, the former editor of German GEO Magazine will give the laudatory speech about Gerd’s work. The award ceremony will take place in the Leica Hall, which will also be home to an exhibition of Gerd Ludwig’s The Long Shadow of Chernobyl 20-year retrospective.

Additionally, Gerd will participate in a panel discussion with the new editor of National Geographic Germany, Florian Gless, plus multiple lectures are planned. Please check back shortly for exact dates and times.


Gerd Ludwig will be on the 2014 Jury for the Alfred Fried Photography Award. The Fried Award is given annually by The Photographische Gesellschaft (PHG) in Austria and Edition Lammerhuber in partnership with UNESCO, the Austrian Parliament, the Austrian Parliamentary Reporting Association and the the International Press Institute (IPI). The award recognizes the world’s best photograph on the theme of peace.

Submission for the award is free of charge and the winner will receive a prize of 5,000 euros. The submission deadline is September 5, and the award will be presented on September 21, the UN International Peace Day.

For more information on the award and submission process, visit http://www.friedaward.com.

Above: Photographer Henning Bode was the 2013 Alfred Fried Award winner for his project “Gottfried.”

Presentation at the Lumix Festival in Hanover

The Lumix Festival for Young Photojournalism in Hanover, Germany is the largest festival for emerging photojournalists in Germany. This year, Gerd Ludwig shared his experiences as a photographer for National Geographic Magazine for over 25 years during a lecture presentation on Saturday, June 21st.

For more information please visit the Lumix Festival online.

The Long Shadow of Chernobyl Photo Book Opening and Exhibition in Vienna

Gerd Ludwig’s 20-year retrospective photo book, The Long Shadow of Chernobyl, published by Edition Lammerhuber will be officially launched on May 13th at a press conference and book release event during the opening night for The Long Shadow of Chernobyl exhibition at the Natural History Museum Vienna. On May 14th, a panel discussion will also take place at the Natural History Museum Vienna. A preview of the book at Frick, a renowned and historical book shop in Vienna will occur on May 12th.

Keep up to date with The Long Shadow of Chernobyl book release dates here and at http://longshadowofchernobyl.com

Der Spiegel Publishes

Europe’s most prominent weekly news magazine, the German Der Spiegel, publishes an in-depth biographical profile on Gerd Ludwig. The publication coincides with the recent announcement of his receipt of the 2014 Dr. Erich Salomon Award by the DGPh and the publication of his 20-year retrospective photo book, The Long Shadow of Chernobyl, published by Edition Lammerhuber.

The article is available on news stands now and the Spiegel iPad App, which includes an exclusive photo gallery with behind the scenes quotes from Gerd Ludwig.

On April 25th, Beijing’s Temple of Heaven became the site of one of the most memorable exhibitions of its kind – The Power of the Image. The exhibition featured more than 200 works by 20 internationally-renowned professional photographers, including Pep Bonet, Michael Crouser, Lauren Greenfield, Peter Guttman, Jocelyn Bain Hogg, Nadav Kander, Frederic LaGrange, Yann Layma, Roman Loranc, Gerd Ludwig, Steve McCurry, Eric Meola, Sylvia Plachy, John Sexton, Matthew Jordan Smith, Eddie Soloway, Art Streiber, Joyce Tenneson, Art Wolfe and Qin Yuhai.

Organized and developed by the Beijing Fuhai Culture Company, Kodak Alaris and supported by the Tencent Website, the “Power of the Image” was hosted by the China Public Relation Association, George Eastman House, and the Beijing Municipal Administration Center of Parks, Beijing Association of Parks. The multi-faceted program included the exhibition at the Temple of Heaven from April 25th to May 31st and a host of events, seminars and panel discussions on April 26th to 28th, including the April 25th opening and awards ceremony; exhibition of the Life Story of George Eastman; the exhibition “Photography Changed the World”, featuring photographs from the world renowned photography collection at George Eastman House; dialogues with “Power of The Image Award” photographers; and the Workshop of Photographic Preservation and Digital Processing.

Images have been used to record and inspire human development; they will continue to have a far-reaching effect on the past, present and future. The award-winning images in the “Power of the Image” reinforce world peace, the advancement of human civilization, the protection of our environment, and uniquely highlight photography as a way of expression.

Please visit: http://www.poweroftheimage.com for information about the “Power of the Image” agendas, exhibitions, photographers and their photographic works in both Chinese and English.

Gerd Ludwig Receives 2014 Dr. Erich Salomon Award from German Photographic Association

German-born photographer Gerd Ludwig is the recipient of the 2014 Dr. Erich-Salomon Award, the lifetime achievement award of the German Photographic Association. In previous years, publications and respected photographers like Paolo Pellegrin, Silvia Plachy, Sebastião Salgado, Martin Parr, Mary Ellen Mark and Robert Frank have received the honor for outstanding contributions to the field of photojournalism.

The awards ceremony will take place on September 20th at the photokina trade fair in Cologne, Germany, and will be accompanied by an exhibition of Gerd Ludwig’s work in the Leica exhibition hall. Peter-Matthias Gaede, editor in chief of German Geo Magazine, will deliver the laudatory speech.

For more information please see the full press releases here:

English Press Release
German Press Release


The Dr. Erich Salomon Award (Dr.-Erich-Salomon-Preis) is a lifetime achievement award for photojournalists given by the German Society of Photography (Deutschen Gesellschaft für Photographie). It is dedicated to Erich Salomon, a pioneering German photojournalist of the Weimar era who is best known for his candid photographs of statesmen and celebrities. While hiding in the Netherlands, Salomon was betrayed by a Dutch Nazi and sent to the concentration camp in Auschwitz in 1944, where he died.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: http://www.dgph.de/preise/salomon


Set up in 1951, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Photographie (DGPh) brings together leading and outstanding personalities in the photographic world for the promotion of photography and its artistic and scientific applications. Its activities predominantly concern the cultural interests of photography and related imaging media. These include both the conventional process of photography and its many different fields of application in art, science, education, journalism, industry and politics, as well as the non-conventional methods and new forms of imaging media. Members are elected in recognition of their services to photography in the widest sense.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: http://www.dgph.de

Gerd Ludwig will share his experiences capturing the colossal changes since the dissolution of the Soviet Union to today. Resonating with a full scale of emotion, his images have garnered him distinction as the world’s foremost color photographer documenting the region. From the broken empire’s legacy of environmental exploitation, to the warp-speed economic transformation of Russia, Ludwig reveals a many-faceted people, by turns suspicious and sympathetic, greedy and generous, stoic and exuberant.

The presentation will span his coverage from early work published in National Geographic to more recent stories in Kazakhstan and the Ukraine. After first photographing the aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster for National Geographic in 1993, he returned several times. Recently he ventured deeper into the failed reactor than ever before and returned with haunting images, which will be part of his presentation and an upcoming monograph, The Long Shadow of Chernobyl.

Click Here to reserve your free tickets.

American Photo Publishes Chernobyl Article,

In the May/June 2014 issue of American Photo Magazine, Gerd Ludwig discusses the challenges of covering the aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster over the last 20 years. The article, by Meg Ryan Heery, is part of American Photo’s “On The Job” segment, and breaks down the unique situation of shooting in the radioactive Exclusion Zone.

Check out the article on the stands now and read the full article online at American Photo Magazine.