Stunning Images From a Photographer Who Takes Photos From Up in the Air

Melissa Knowles

Aerial photography is a beautiful way to look at our world because it offers a bird's-eye view of the landscape. Photographer George Steinmetz just released a new book, "Desert Air," that documents the Earth's hottest spots. But Steinmetz is not like most photographers. He has a very special way of capturing his amazing images: He uses a motorized paraglider, the lightest and slowest aircraft in the world. He says he appreciates how quiet and agile it is as it floats through the air. "With the paraglider," he says, "generally people look at it and say, 'Who is that crazy guy -- that looks like a lot of fun and kind of dangerous.' It's a different vibe; friendlier, more personal." And in case you're thinking it couldn't possibly be safe, you're right. Work on his current book involved smuggling the paraglider into Libya, being arrested on suspicion of spying in Iran and Yemen, and making multiple emergency landings on both land and sea. It may have all been worth it, because results are breathtaking, showing the beauty of the world's most arid landscapes. If you would like to see more, check out Steinmetz's book, which is now available.

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