Vivid Images: National Geographic Exhibit Captures Global Stories

By Amy Abdelsayed for What’s On on August 30, 2013

Eight children stand side-by-side one another in nothing but their underwear. Their individual personalities subtly take shape in their body posture and facial expressions. They seem to be friends. One little girl reaches out and gently touches the girl next to her. Suddenly, an observation hits you. You realize that all of the children are missing their left arms.

Gerd Ludwig’s iconic photograph of eight children in Moscow missing their forearms due to a birth defect caused by industrial pollution is just one of the amazing photographs on display at 50 Greatest Photographs of National Geographic inside The Venetian. A stroll around the 6,800-square-foot gallery puts you face-to-face with iconic images from around the world such as Steve McCurry’s extraordinary “Afghan Girl,” shown at right; Nick Nichols’ image of Jane Goodall and chimpanzee; and Thomas Abercrombie’s never-before-seen view of Mecca.

The traveling exhibition is an enriching experience that allows visitors to learn the stories behind the photos and more about the photographers themselves for each picture. “I wanted the photo to portray these children as human beings first,” says Ludwig in a description on display at the exhibit, “to show that they are primarily innocent kids. And that their misfortune is something society as a whole can be blamed for.”

Every photograph on display has a compelling story behind it, a reminder that National Geographic photographers do not have an easy job. There’s the photo by Paul Nicklen with a description of the four days he spent in Antarctic waters getting to know one female leopard seal before capturing that perfect shot. For some images, visitors can see the “near frames” taken by the photographer, and documentary videos throughout the exhibition give visitors additional information behind the incredible photographs.

The exhibit was set to close at the end of summer; however, due to popular demand, Imagine Exhibitions recently announced the limited engagement has been extended through Jan. 13, 2014.

Photo courtesy of National Geographic

50 Greatest Photographs of National Geographic | Sun.-Thur., 9:30 a.m.-7 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 9:30 a.m.-9 p.m. | General admission, $18; students with a valid ID, Nevada residents, military and seniors, $15; children 12 and under, free with a paying adult; additional children, $14 | The Venetian | 702-414-9000

Author: Amy Abdelsayed

Amy Abdelsayed is a journalist in Las Vegas, NV. She currently works as a digital content producer for KTNV 13 Action News (ABC affiliate). Previous work experience includes What's On Magazine, Boulder City Review, KSNV News 3 (NBC affiliate), Tesla and Apple.

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