George Steinmetz on Flying a Crazy Ultralight

“I get kind of fearless with a camera. I’ll go places that I would never be able to get to without it.” —George Steinmetz
Famous for his “intimate aerial” photographs, George Stenimetz has pioneered a new way of seeing the earth from his motorized paraglider and shown audiences images unlike any seen before. He enjoys the challenges of this type of photography because of the unique perspective it gives him. “Even with very minute differences in position, I can get a very different feeling in a picture,” he said. “What I love to do is show people the world in a way that they’ve never seen it before, to show people things that they didn’t even know existed.”

Steinmetz spent two-and-a-half years hitchhiking in Africa during his college years and taking pictures soon became the driving force behind his travels. Since his first story for National Geographic, Steinmetz has completed more than 20 stories for the magazine. —Caitlin Kleiboer, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

This video portrait was produced by National Geographic magazine in partnership with the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. It is part of an ongoing series of conversations with the photographers of the magazine, exploring the power of photography and why this life of imagemaking suits them so well. Learn more about the making of the series and watch the full trailer here.

View more of George Steinmetz’s work on his website.

Video Production Credits
Photographer: George Steinmetz
Producers: Pamela Chen, NGM
Chad A. Stevens, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Associate Producer: Elyse Lipman, NGM
Editor: Caitlin Kleiboer, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Camera and Sound: Spencer Millsap, NGM, Shannon Sanders, NGM