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Minus 2/3 – The Invisible Flash

Book Description


Gerd Ludwig, a National Geographic veteran known for his powerful photo essays, is one of the leading documentary photographers of our time. As a photographer focusing on diverse cultural and environmental stories, Ludwig is often confronted with a wide range of low-light situations—from classic street photography to portraiture, from scenes in bustling night clubs to intimate moments in churches—many of which require additional lighting that must be created quickly, effectively, and discreetly.
More than 20 years ago, Ludwig began incorporating small handheld flashes into his photography with the aim of creating an evenly balanced look in the final photograph. These small flashes also alleviated the burden of carrying heavy equipment, allowing him to be flexible and inconspicuous when moving around in the field. Over the years, he has refined his use of small flash to hone his technique even further. His use of flash appears so subtle in the final image that it is easily mistaken for natural light—an invisible flash. Additionally, in his fine-art and documentary work in interior or night settings, Ludwig recently began making long exposures by combining a camera on a tripod with a series of flashes fired from a single hand-held unit.
In the past, Ludwig has discussed his tricks of the trade only in lectures and workshops. Now, in Minus 2/3—The Invisible Flash: Crafting Light for Photographers in Field, Ludwig takes us behind the scenes of many of his most iconic images to share his approach to lighting with small flash. Equal parts inspiration and education, Minus 2/3 is straightforward and succinct, yet filled with numerous takeaways from one of today’s leading photographers. Packed with beautiful, effective, and moving images, Minus 2/3 offers ideas, insight, and inspiration for photographers looking to subtly incorporate flash into their work.
Please note: Some images featured in this book may be considered unsettling for some sensitive readers.

Table of Contents

  1. Acknowledgments
  2. Introduction
  3. The Icons
  4. Photographs and Descriptions
    1. St. Petersburg, Russia
    2. Röllshausen, Germany
    3. Starocherkassk, Russia
    4. Donetsk, Ukraine
    5. Sababurg, Germany
    6. Frankfurt, Germany
    7. North Shore, California, USA
    8. Chernobyl, Ukraine
    9. Yekaterinburg, Russia
    10. Moscow, Russia
    11. Pripyat, Ukraine
    12. Sudak, Crimea
    13. Moscow, Russia
    14. Bolzano, Italy
    15. Lubyanka, Ukraine
    16. Astana, Kazakhstan
    17. Tyumen, Russia
    18. Los Angeles, California, USA
    19. Pripyat, Ukraine
    20. Vesnova, Belarus
    21. Berlin, Germany
    22. Moscow, Russia
    23. Rechitsa, Belarus
    24. Surgut, Russia
    25. Berlin, Germany
    26. Perevalovo, Russia
    27. Berlin, Germany
    28. Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, Ukraine
    29. Vorkuta, Russia
    30. Los Angeles, California, USA
    31. Moscow, Russia
    32. Romanovo, Russia
    33. Moscow, Russia
    34. Tintagel, England
    35. Bogandinskoye, Russia
    36. Pripyat, Ukraine
    37. Los Angeles, California, USA
    38. Sevastopol, Crimea
    39. Teremtsy, Ukraine
    40. Moscow, Russia
    41. Berlin, Germany
    42. Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, Ukraine
    43. Berlin, Germany
    44. Los Angeles, California, USA
    45. Ilyintsy, Ukraine
    46. Moscow, Russia
    47. Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, Ukraine
    48. Los Angeles, California, USA
    49. Astana, Kazakhstan
    50. Berlin, Germany
    51. Sevastopol, Crimea
    52. Kopachi, Ukraine
    53. Simferopol, Crimea
    54. Berlin, Germany
    55. Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, Ukraine
    56. Astana, Kazakhstan
    57. Pripyat, Ukraine
    58. Moscow, Russia
    59. Moscow, Russia
    60. Vesnova, Belarus
    61. Ternovka, Crimea
    62. Moscow, Russia
    63. Moscow, Russia
    64. Berlin, Germany
    65. Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, Ukraine
    66. Glastonbury, England
    67. Moscow, Russia
    68. Ilyintsy, Ukraine
    69. Little Somerford, England
    70. Moscow, Russia
    71. Tintagel, England
    72. Moscow, Russia
    73. Moscow, Russia
    74. Sevastopol, Crimea
    75. Moscow, Russia
    76. Sun Valley, California, USA
    77. Moscow, Russia
    78. Moscow, Russia
    79. Alushta, Crimea
    80. Simferopol, Crimea
    81. Astana, Kazakhstan
    82. Crimea
    83. Los Angeles, California, USA
    84. Sevastopol, Crimea
    85. Pasadena, California, USA
    86. Gomel, Belarus
    87. Wartenberg, Germany
    88. Huntington Beach, California, USA
    89. Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, Ukraine
    90. Wiltshire, England
    91. Berlin, Germany
    92. Moscow, Russia
    93. Amsterdam, Netherlands
    94. Astana, Kazakhstan
    95. Berlin, Germany
    96. Moscow, Russia
    97. Astana, Kazakhstan
    98. Berlin, Germany
    99. Pilsen, Czech Republic
    100. Los Angeles, California, USA
    101. Moscow, Russia