Desert Air: Photographs by George Steinmetz

Photo: Aerial desert photograph

Photograph by George Steinmetz

Photo: George Steimetz
Photograph courtesy of George Steinmetz

Fly through the skies with National Geographic photographer George Steinmetz in Desert Air.

Desert Air is a visual adventure through the world’s extreme deserts, the most remote and inhospitable places on earth that together add up to the last great class of wilderness left on our planet. This compelling story is told through the eyes of one of National Geographic’s top expedition photographers, George Steinmetz, who has spent the last 15 years on this epic body of work.

To get these stunning images, Steinmetz learned how to fly the world’s lightest and slowest aircraft, a motorized paraglider. This experimental foot-launched aircraft consists of a backpack motor and a parachute-style wing that lets him fly low-and-slow to take pictures of places that have never been seen before. The photographs are enriched with video and stories from his adventures in the world’s most difficult places.

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 while teaching himself how to take pictures. While crossing the Sahara on a break from college, he dreamt of flying over its vast and surreal landscapes. Twenty years later he returned to pilot his own ultralight aircraft over the Central Sahara, making that dream a reality and taking the pictures that would eventually come to define a lifetime of exploration.

Content: 38 photographs, maps, video, first hand accounts by the photographer
Accompanied by an interactive app

Size: 400 running square feet

Duration: minimum of 3 months

Rental Fee: For more information or to book a traveling exhibit contact ngmuseumtravexh@ngs.org; please include name, company, and contact information.

Speaker opportunities available

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