Best known for his exploration photography, George Steinmetz (b. 1957) has a restless curiosity for the unknown: remote deserts, obscure cultures, the mysteries of science and technology. A regular contributor to National Geographic and GEO Magazines, he has explored subjects ranging from the remotest stretches of Arabia's Empty Quarter to the unknown tree people of Irian Jaya.
Steinmetz graduated from Stanford University with a degree in Geophysics. He began his career in photography after hitchhiking through Africa for 28 months. Since 1986, he has completed more than 40 major photo essays for National Geographic and 25 stories for GEO magazine in Germany. His expeditions to the Sahara and Gobi deserts have been featured in separate National Geographic Explorer programs. In 2006 he was awarded a grant by the National Science Foundation to document the work of scientists in the Dry Valleys and volcanos of Antarctica.
Steinmetz has won numerous awards for photography during his 25-year career, including two first prizes in science and technology from World Press Photo. He has also won awards and citations from Pictures of the Year, Overseas Press Club and Life Magazine's Alfred Eisenstaedt Awards, and was named National Geographic's Adventurer of the year in 2008.
His current passion is photographing the world's deserts while piloting a motorized paraglider. This experimental aircraft enables him to capture unique images of the world, inaccessible by traditional aircraft and most other modes of transportation. He lives in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, with his wife, Wall Street Journal editor Lisa Bannon, their daughter, Nell, and twin sons John and Nicholas.