Best known for his exploration and science photography, George Steinmetz sets out to reveal the few remaining secrets in our world today: remote deserts, obscure cultures, and new developments in science and technology. Born in Beverly Hills, California, in 1957, Steinmetz graduated from Stanford University with a degree in geophysics. He began his career in photography by hitchhiking through Africa for 18 months. Today he lives in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, with his wife and their three children. For National Geographic magazine, Steinmetz has examined subjects ranging from global oil exploration and the latest advances in robotics to the innermost stretches of the Sahara and the little-known tree house people of Irian Jaya, Indonesia. For the German and French editions of GEO magazine, he has documented the Salt Desert of Iran and crossed the Empty Quarter of Saudi Arabia. He also received a grant from the National Science Foundation to photograph the polar desert of Antarctica. Since his first assignment for National Geographic in 1987, Steinmetz has completed more than 20 major essays for the magazine, including three covers.
Steinmetz has won numerous awards for photography during his career, including two first prizes in science and technology in 1995 and 1998 from World Press Photo. He has also won awards and citations from Pictures of the Year, Overseas Press Club, and the Alfred Eisenstaedt Awards. His first book, African Air, is a compilation of ten years of flying in Africa, much of it done with a motorised paraglider. This experimental aircraft is the lightest and slowest motorised flying machine in the world and offers a unique perspective over remote landscapes. His second book, The Empty Quarter, documents three expeditions into the heart of Arabia, where he traversed the world's largest sand sea.