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Meet the Photographer Who Flew a Motorized Paraglider Across Africa


George Steinmetz, a photographer who we featured previously, recently gave an inspiring 10-minute TED talk about his work. To capture unique images of Africa, Steinmetz took a motorized paraglider to the skies.

The aircraft is both the lightest and slowest available, flying at just 30 mph (50 km/h). Just 2.64 gallons (10 liters) of fuel allowed him a whopping 2 hours in the air.

“This crazy little aircraft would open up a unique view on the landscape that had never been possible before,” says Steinmetz. “You couldn’t take [these] pictures with a conventional aircraft. A helicopter or plane is too fast.”

The slower pace of his flights meant that Steinmetz had more time to spot a moment, compose a shot, and capture the image properly. Whizzing past in a plane would have caused him to miss most of these chances.

The photos in his talk are very inspiring and the story behind each one adds that little bit more to the shot.