Author Archives: Gerd Ludwig

Gerd Ludwig Receives Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism


Gerd Ludwig received the Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism, which has been awarded annually since 1930 by the prestigious Missouri School of Journalism. The Honor Medal is given to individuals and organizations for outstanding lifetime service to journalism, and the faculty of the School of Journalism selects the medalists. Gerd accepted the award at a ceremony on October 26, 2015.

Past recipients include Sir Winston Churchill, Tom Brokaw, Christiane Amanpour, Walter Cronkite, James Nachtwey, and Gloria Steinem. Gerd Ludwig is the first German individual honored by the jury. He received the Medal of Honor “in recognition of his innovative use of photojournalism to document the world’s socio-economic and environmental challenges.”

Other recipients of the Honor Medal this year included CBS correspondent Bill Plante, the editor of the New York Review of Books, Rea Hederman, the Cuban journalist and blogger Yoani Sanchez and CNN Digital. The school is located in the city of Columbus and was founded in 1908 at the insistence of the publisher Joseph Pulitzer. The Missouri School of Journalism is considered one of the most important training grounds for US journalists.

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Photo Credit: Lizz Cardwell

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Svetlana Alexievich Named 2015 Nobel Laureate in Literature


Belarusian author Svetlana Alexievich was announced as the 2015 Nobel Laureate in Literature today. Alexievich is known for her writings on Chernobyl specifically, and excerpts from her book Voices from Chernobyl were published in Gerd Ludwig’s The Long Shadow of Chernobyl. Her writings stem from hundreds of interviews, and the collection of oral history and recorded conversations are integral to her work.

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“Nuclear Tourism” Exhibition at Visa Pour l’Image


“Nuclear Tourism,” a selection of Gerd Ludwig’s photographs of tourism in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, will be exhibited at Visa Pour l’Image in Perpignan, August 29 – September 18, 2015.

In 2011, as people around the world watched TV reports on the nuclear meltdown in Fukushima, the Ukrainian government gave approval for travel inside the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, which has now become a disaster-tourism destination.

Tourists take pictures of the sarcophagus encasing the reactor, but the top attraction is the ghost town of Pripyat, once home to nearly 50,000, now decaying and overgrown by nature, a less than truthful witness to its sudden abandonment. Visitors and tour guides have set up tableaux to evoke scenes, with, for example, a doll arranged next to a gas mask.

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To see more images from the story:

“The Long Shadow of Chernobyl” iPad app:

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The Long Shadow of Chernobyl App Updated


“The Long Shadow of Chernobyl” iPad app was just re-released for iOS 7 and later, with a new design and updated material. For those who already had the earlier version, a free update is available via the App Store.

Spanning Gerd Ludwig’s two decades of documentation of the aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear catastrophe, the groundbreaking work explores the human and environmental impact since the disaster, including photos from Ludwig’s most recent trips to Chernobyl, taken in early 2011 as the crisis at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear power plant was unfolding and in 2013, as the tourist industry expanded in the Exclusion Zone.

Purchase from the App Store here:

“The Long Shadow of Chernobyl” is a joint production of Gerd Ludwig Photography and Lightbox Press, now built on the ScrollMotion software platform.

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Food Truck Panel; Workshops at the Annenberg Space for Photography


Coinciding with his story on LA Food Trucks in the July issue of National Geographic Magazine, Gerd Ludwig is leading a weekend of events at the Annenberg Space for Photography in Los Angeles, June 27-28. He is teaching a beginner’s photography workshop, an advanced photography workshop, and moderating a panel discussion with participants from local food trucks (panel admission includes a lunch voucher).

Using images from his National Geographic assignments worldwide, and focusing on the food trucks as a practical example, Gerd will instruct workshop participants how to make engaging and memorable photographs of everyday life that can be applied anywhere around the world. His approaches when photographing for National Geographic can be utilized in a variety of circumstances. Gerd will openly share his own photographic techniques, specifically the methods he used photographing food truck food, people enjoying the trucks, and the trucks themselves. In general, he will reveal his tricks and tips to create candid, unexpected and unique images in uncontrolled environments.

For more information and to register:

Beginner’s Workshop (June 27, 10am – 1pm):

Advanced Workshop (June 28, 2pm – 6pm):

Panel Discussion (June 28, 10am – 12pm):

To read the National Geographic story:

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Gerd Ludwig’s Photographs of Los Angeles Food Trucks in National Geographic Magazine

Food Trucks

Gerd Ludwig’s latest assignment for National Geographic Magazine, “On a Roll,” published in the July 2015 issue with text by David Brindley, is a departure from his usual, more serious documentary photography. Gerd followed food trucks in Los Angeles to capture the emerging gourmet food truck culture, the wide range of foods, the creatively decorated trucks, and their enthusiastic customers.

View the article and photo gallery online:

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