George Steinmetz is a photographer with more than 30 years of fieldwork for The New York Times Magazine and National Geographic.
Born in Beverly Hills in 1957, Steinmetz graduated from Stanford University with a degree in geophysics. A self-taught photographer, he began his career while hitchhiking through Africa for 28 months with a French dictionary.
Steinmetz has a restless curiosity for the unknown and has explored subjects ranging from the remotest stretches of Arabia’s Empty Quarter to the unknown tree people of Irian Jaya. Steinmetz is best known for his aerial photography, and much of his early work was done with a foot-launched motorized paraglider, which he pilots while taking pictures. He has worked with all kinds of aircraft, and currently uses drones that document climate change and the global food supply.
Since 1986, Steinmetz has completed more than 40 major photo essays for National Geographic and 25 stories for GEO magazine in Germany. He has won numerous awards for photography, including three prizes from World Press Photo and the Environmental Vision award from Pictures of the Year for his work on large-scale agriculture for The New York Times Magazine.
He has published four books of his photography: ‘‘African Air,’’ ‘‘Empty Quarter,’’ ‘‘Desert Air’’ and ‘‘New York Air.’’
Steinmetz lives in Glen Ridge, N.J., with his wife, Lisa Bannon, who is a Wall Street Journal editor; their daughter, Nell; and twin sons, John and Nicholas.