Gerd Ludwig was born in Alsfeld, Germany, and studied photography at Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen, Germany. He has been photographing for National Geographic magazine since the early 1990s. His ongoing coverage of post-Soviet Russia has garnered him the distinction of being the world’s foremost color photographer documenting the region. Ludwig is the author of Broken Empire: After the Fall of the USSR (National Geographic Society) and The Long Shadow of Chernobyl (Edition Lammerhuber).
Based in Los Angeles, Ludwig continues to photograph primarily for National Geographic while exhibiting, lecturing, and teaching workshops internationally. He is the recipient of the 2006 Lucie Award for International Photographer of the Year, the prestigious Dr. Erich Salomon Award from German Society for Photography (DGPh) in 2014, and the Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism in 2015. His works are exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide.