gerdludwig gerdludwig

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Gerd Ludwig  National Geographic photographer, speaker, teacher, author of several photo books, most recently "minus 2/3" and "Sleeping Cars"

http://www.gerdludwig.com/

In the living room of their small apartment in Zelenograd in the outskirts of Moscow, a dedicated young cosplay couple – Alexandr, a banker and Victoriya, an interior designer - act out a cosplay performance. Cosplay, a shortening of the words costume and play, is a performance art during which participants wear costumes, masks, and accessories to depict specific characters. Cosplayers are a subculture who convene at festivals or perform on or off stages. The characters stem from comic books and anime, live-action films, or video games. Cosplaying initially became a pop-culture phenomenon in Japan but has since spread worldwide. The photograph is an outtake from a story on the Putin Generation that appeared last year in @natgeo and examines the attitudes and outlooks of young people in Russia.

You can see a gallery of photographs depicting cosplayers in Russia in an earlier post.

@natgeocreative @thephotosociety #Russia #Moscow #cosplay #youth #costume #apartment #portrait #PutinGeneration

Ever since I shot a story on food truck culture in Los Angeles for @natgeo magazine, titled “On a Roll” and published in July 2015, I pay close attention to the design and beauty of food trucks. Like this one in the San Fernando Valley.
@thephotosociety @natgeocreative @natlfoodtruckassoc #losangeles #sanfernandovalley #foodtruck #streetfood #lafoodie

Inside Baiterek in Astana, Kazakstan, visitors place their hand in a golden imprint cast of President Nazarbayev’s right hand, the national anthem sounds and a nearby plaque suggests to make a wish.

Baiterek is the quintessential symbol of Astana, itself alluding to a Kazakh folktale of the mythic bird Samruk and its golden egg, laid high in a poplar tree. The Baiterek monument and observation tower has become the symbol of Astana and was supposedly sketched out by President Nazarbayev himself.
Astana, in northern Kazakhstan, is a futuristic city that has risen from a forsaken landscape and post-Soviet rubble. In 1997, the small town of Akmola replaced Almaty as capital of Kazakhstan, and subsequently was renamed Astana (meaning "The Capital" in Kazakh). The planned city has exploded in population and is now home to ultramodern buildings and skyscrapers. This year, from June 10 to September 10, Astana hosts the World Expo. World Expos have been around for 160 years and each of them is organized by a host country that invites other countries to participate. @natgeo @natgeocreative @thephotosociety #Baiterek #Astana #Kazakhstan # Nazarbayev #gold

For @documenta14 the Argentinian artist Marta Minujín has reconstructed the Parthenon temple in Athens in its original size as a monument to censorship. The Parthenon in Kassel is made of steel and plastic sheeting and dressed up with donated books that were once forbidden somewhere in the world, the list has grown to more than 120,000 titles. Even Harry Potter is amongst them. People are given the chance to still donate forbidden books that will continuously be added to the Minujin’s Parthenon.

The original Parthenon was built in Athens between 447 and 442 BC. It is 10 meters high, 70 meters long and 30 meters wide. The temple was conceived to house a colossal gold statue of Athena, the goddess of wisdom.

Taking place every five years in Kassel, Germany, documenta is the world’s leading showcase of contemporary art. It was founded in 1955 ‘in an attempt to bring Germany up to speed with modern art after the cultural darkness of Nazi rule’. documentas allow the invited artists several years to conceive and produce projects specifically for the exhibit in Kassel. These art pieces are on display in several indoor and outdoor locations centered around the Fridericianum, one of the oldest public museums in Europe.
Every documenta is limited to 100 days of exhibition. Therefore it is often referred to as the "museum of 100 days". The number of artists has fluctuated between 100+ and 600+ artists, showing between 450 and 2700 individual pieces of art. documenta14 in 2017 is directed by Polish curator Adam Szymczyk. His selection of artists ‘is reclaiming the articulate and persuasive political voice for and of art in an unstable world’. documenta14 is expected to draw a record one million visitors. @thephotosociety @natgeocreative @natgeo #documenta14 #Kassel #Germany #Parthenon #art #martaminujin #contemporaryart #monument #forbiddenbooks

Flanked by traditional Kazakh dancers, a bride awaits her formal unveiling at an opulent wedding palace in Astana, where she has just been married in a ceremony that looks like a movie scene. The revelry begins when the veil is lifted.
Astana (meaning "The Capital" in Kazakh) is a futuristic planned city in Northern Kazakhstan. By the order of President Nursultan Nazarbayev it replaced Almaty as the capital city of Kazakhstan in 1997.

This year, from June 10 to September 10, Astana hosts the World Expo. World Expos have been around for 160 years, and each of them is organized by a host country that invites other countries to participate.

@natgeocreative @thephotosociety @natgeo #Astana #Kazakhstan #wedding #tradition #veil #ceremony

Last week, Ukraine’s minister of ecology, Ostap Semerak, announced that his country is talking to a multinational energy company about constructing a giant solar park inside the contaminated uninhabited Exclusion Zone around the ill-fated Chernobyl nuclear reactor. Of all manmade environmental catastrophes in human history, Chernobyl is considered to have caused the most lasting impact.

Since my first visit in 1993, I have been documenting the aftermath of accident in dramatic photographs – the failed reactor, the contamination to the land, and the countless victims in the fallout regions, leading to my book and iPad app ‘The Long Shadow of Chernobyl’. Ignoring radiation levels, a few hundred elderly people have returned to their homes. At first Ukrainian officials discouraged them, but they soon turned a blind eye and are even providing them with regular medical check-ups.

@natgeo @natgeocreative #Chernobyl #Ukraine #nuclear #CNPP #radiation #exclusionzone #health #doctors

In northern Kazakhstan, a futuristic city has risen from a forsaken landscape and post-Soviet rubble. In 1997, a small town replaced Almaty as capital of Kazakhstan, and subsequently was renamed Astana (meaning "The Capital" in Kazakh). The planned city has exploded in population and is now home to ultramodern buildings and skyscrapers. The Baiterek monument and observation tower has become the symbol of Astana and was supposedly  sketched out by President Nazarbayev himself.  It is a modernistic representation of an old Kazakh myth, depicting the tree of life and a golden ball that symbolizes the a golden egg laid by the legendary bird, Samruk. However, some of Astana citizens jokingly refer to the Baiterek as 'Chupa Chups' because of its similarity to the popular lollipop. The tower and adjacent area is a tourist attraction popular with foreign visitors and native Kazakhs alike. With an elevation of 97m, the Baiterek’s observation deck symbolizes Astana’s rise to the Nation’s Capital in 1997.

This year, from June 10 to September 10, Astana hosts the World Expo. World Expos have been around for 160 years and each of them is organized by a host country that invites other countries to participate.

@natgeo @natgeocreative @thephotosociety #Astana #Kazakhstan #architecture #futuristic #capital #Baiterek

Happy Independence Day!
Flashback to 1986. “Liberty Weekend” from July 3 to 6, 1986 marked the centennial of the Statue of Liberty and its reopening to the public after two years of extensive repairs. Designed by the French sculptor F.A. Bartholdi and built by the French architect Gustave Eiffel the statue was a gift from France to the United States. It became an icon of freedom, and a welcoming sight to millions of immigrants who arrived by ship from abroad.
@natgeo @natgeocreative #4thofJuly #IndependenceDay #StatueofLiberty #NewYork #LibertyWeekend #fireworks

A massive cyber attack has brought several businesses to a close in Ukraine, Russia and other countries throughout Europe, has also affected operations at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant the @newyorktimes, @Reuters and @Verge reported. The state agency that oversees the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone announced in a statement "Due to the temporary disconnection of Windows systems, radiation monitoring of the industrial site is being carried out manually.” The photograph shows the monitoring of Chernobyl’s reactor #3 which was only shut down in December 2000, even though the adjacent reactor #4 blew up in an explosion in 1986 causing a fire that burned for 10 days. The radioactive fallout spread over tens of thousands of square kilometers and drove more than a quarter of a million people permanently from their homes. Reputable environmental organizations estimate that more than 100,000 people have already died as a result of the accident.
@natgeo @natgeocreative #Chernobyl #nuclear #CNPP #radiation #controlroom

Bridges over and along the Amstel are illuminated at night. Known as the 'Venice of the North,' Amsterdam has over 100 kilometers of canals, 90 islands, and 1,500 bridges.
@natgeo @thephotosociety @natgeocreative #Amsterdam #Netherlands #canals #bridges #nightview #Amstel

Countless bicycles rest in bike racks outside a bus terminal in front of Amsterdam’s Central Station.  With transportation by motorized vehicles discouraged by government policies, Amsterdam has become famous as one of the most bicycle friendly cities in the world.  Over 60% of all transportation throughout the inner city is done via bicycle, and an estimated one million bicycles populate the bicycle paths and roads throughout Amsterdam.
@natgeo @natgeocreative #Amsterdam #Netherlands #bicycles #sustainable #transportation #bikefriendly

Mist surrounds the trees of the Reinhardswald Mountains, one of the oldest forests in Germany.

@thephotosociety @natgeocreative #Reinhardswald #forest #Germany #trees #mist #landscape

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