National Geographic photographer explains how digital photography changed his perspective on his return to Chernobyl 13 years later
Press Release—This month, Kingston Technology Company, Inc. features images created by photographer Gerd Ludwig while on assignment in Chernobyl for National Geographic Magazine on its Icons of Photography Web site. On his first trek in 1993, seven years after the nuclear reactor meltdown in Russia, Ludwig carried close to 800 rolls of film to document the tragedy. On his most recent visit, he used Kingston CompactFlash Ultimate cards paired with a Canon EOS-1Ds Mark II digital SLR camera.
Kingston recognizes the importance of educating and informing photographers of all levels and is proud to offer its Icons of Photography, an online forum showcasing the talents and advice from several of the world’s most respected photographers. Each month the program spotlights an icon and his/her suggestions for managing a shoot, capturing better images and improving workflow.
In this month’s tip, Ludwig discusses how the flexibility and responsiveness of digital technology, particularly with the Kingston CompactFlash Ultimate card, allowed him to recapture Chernobyl in a way that had been previously impossible using film. Hired by National Geographic to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, Ludwig returned to the region to document progress. His images have been seen in the magazine as well as exhibits internationally.
“Shooting inside the Chernobyl reactor was probably the most difficult photographic situation I’ve ever encountered. Your mind is racing because you know you are in a highly radioactive area and you don’t have a lot of time,” said Ludwig. “You rush in, workers are drilling and highly contaminated particles are flying around. It’s dark to start with, but the particles further contribute to the darkness. With film, I never would have been able to shoot in this situation. And can you imagine opening the back of the camera to change film with all that dust in the air?”
Each month Kingston profiles a photographer and illustrates a bit of their work, whether it’s sports, nature, editorial or fashion and beauty. “Photographers are always looking to learn more and stay on top of the ever-changing technologies that drive this industry. The Icons of Photography program interviews professionals such as Gerd Ludwig who have helped us strengthen our reputation and provide photo enthusiasts and pros with personal insight about tips, tricks and techniques they can apply to their own photography. Their continued endorsement is a testament to the dependability, durability and reliability of Kingston products,” said Jaja Lin, Flash memory marketing manager, Kingston.
For more detailed information, please visit the Web site at www.kingston.com/iop. Previous Kingston Icons of Photography have included: Harry Benson, Barbara Bordnick, Colin Finlay, Douglas Kirkland and Peter Read Miller.