George Steinmetz – African Air

I fell in love with Africa as a twenty-one year old college drop-out, when I hitch-hiked across the continent for two and a half years. It was a life changing experience for me, and a place where I decided to take up photography to document the amazing areas I was exploring. On that trip I dreamt of how amazing it would be to fly over Africa’s vast landscapes, and some twenty years later my dream came true when I talked National Geographic into financing a portfolio of aerial photos for the coming Millennium. As I buzzed around the Sahara in small planes I was frustrated by how fast they flew, and wanted a lower and slower perspective, with an aircraft that I could pilot to put myself into exactly the right position in the sky. I eventually settled on motorized paragliding, with the lightest and slowest powered aircraft in the world. And since learning how to fly I have returned to Africa repeatedly over the past ten years to create a large body of work that I put into my first book, African Air.