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Award-winning National Geographic photographer to visit Newhouse Feb. 2

January 23, 2012

Wendy S. Loughlin
(315) 443-2785

The S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications will host documentary photographer Gerd Ludwig on Thursday, Feb. 2, at 7 p.m. in the Joyce Hergenhan Auditorium in Newhouse 3. The event is free and open to the public. Parking is available in SU pay lots.

ludwigIn the early 1990s, Ludwig became a contract photographer for National Geographic Magazine, focusing on the social changes in Germany and Eastern Europe. His work resulted in the publication of his book “Broken Empire: After the Fall of the USSR,” a 10-year retrospective, and established his reputation as the world’s foremost color photographer covering the region.

Ludwig will present “Russia: A Phoenix Rising from the Ashes of a Broken Empire,” which will focus on the central body of his work: Russia’s transformation from communism to capitalism. Images depict the legendary Trans-Siberian Railroad; Russian churches and monasteries; Siberia; Moscow at night; and Ludwig’s coverage of the aftermath of the nuclear catastrophe at Chernobyl. In 2005 and again in 2011, he went deeper into the nuclear reactor than any other Western still photographer.

He has won numerous photographic awards, including the IPA’s 2006 Lucie Award for International Photographer of the Year.

Born in Germany, he studied photography for five years with Professor Otto Steinert at the Folkwangschule in Essen, graduating in 1972 with a degree in photo design from the University of Essen. He co-founded VISUM, Germany’s first photographer-owned photo agency, the following year. In 1975, he moved to Hamburg and began working for Geo, Stern, Spiegel, Zeit-Magazin, Time and Life, and photographed advertising campaigns.

Now based in Los Angeles, Ludwig is represented by the Institute for Artist Management and continues to work for National Geographic. He exhibits his work in galleries and festivals and occasionally shoots advertising.

His presentation is a part of the Canon USA Explorer of Light Lecture Series, which showcases photographers’ work to the general public. For more information, contact Tom Kennedy at 315-443-7388 or

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