National Geographic Events


Desert Air: Photographs by George Steinmetz

  • Date
    August 30, 2012 – January 27, 2013
  • Time 10:00 a.m.
  • Location Washington, D.C.
  • Price Free

Past Event

Photo: Arctic Desert

Photograph courtesy George Steinmetz

Take a visual adventure through the last great class of wilderness left on Earth—extreme deserts. Shot over 15 years, images from George Steinmetz, one of National Geographic’s top expedition photographers, capture the otherworldly beauty of these remote and inhospitable places. To fly low and slow over these landscapes, Steinmetz learned how to fly the world’s lightest and slowest aircraft, a motorized paraglider. This experimental aircraft consists of a backpack motor and a parachute-style wing. Videos, including Steinmetz’s running takeoff, and narration of his adventures complement the story these photographs tell.

Best known for exploration photography, Steinmetz has spent the past 25 years photographing the remote corners of every continent for National Geographic. Trained as a geophysicist at Stanford University, he started his career by hitchhiking across Africa for two and a half years, teaching himself how to take photographs. While crossing the Sahara on a break from college, he dreamed of flying over its vast and surreal landscapes. Twenty years later he returned to pilot his own ultralight aircraft over the Central Sahara, making his dream a reality and taking the pictures that would eventually come to define a lifetime of exploration.

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