From hitchhiking across Africa with a borrowed camera, to photographing some of the world’s hardest to reach places from the air for National Geographic, expedition photographer George Steinmetz has quite a story to tell. And in this video, he’s kind enough to share the details.
The most interesting thing about Steinmetz’s particular brand of aerial photography is that it’s not taken from a plane, but rather a motorized paraglider. A “terrific tool for exploring” that he happen to “hit upon” during his travels, motorized paragliding has allowed Steinmetz to photograph places that are sometimes impossible to reach, from a much closer vantage point than an airplane would allow.
Initially, this allowed Steinmetz to photograph the Sahara, but what began with one desert has turned into many more as part of his “grand tour” and a dream assignment from his editor to “photograph all of Africa from the air.” In addition to the Sahara, he’s taken pictures in the Gobi, the Taklamakan, and even the Empty Quarter of Saudi Arabia — the largest sand sea in the world and one of the harshest places on Earth.
Those names only scratch the surface of what Steinmetz has seen, and we won’t give away anything else. But if you have some time this Saturday morning, it’ll be well worth spending it listening to George Steinmetz’s stories and marveling at his photography.