An Evening with George Steinmetz

By June 9, 2011Events

There’s aerial photography, then there are the images by George Steinmetz. He navigates the lightest powered aircraft in the world, a motorized paraglider, to capture pictures for National Geographic and for his personal projects. George describes how he launches the paraglider.

George Steinmetz speaking at the LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph in Charlottesville, Virginia.

“The aircraft consists of three components: the “wing” of a paraglider (similar to an aerobatic parachute), a back-pack mounted motor, and a single-seat harness that ties the three pieces together. It is launched by laying the paraglider out on the ground behind me like a kite, and with the motor idling I run forward, inflating the cells of the glider as it rises overhead. When I give it full throttle, my Fresh Breeze motor has about 175 lbs of forward thrust, which lifts me off the ground after some twenty to 100 steps, depending on altitude and wind conditions.”

On the eve of the LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph, George thrilled a packed theater at the Paramount in downtown Charlottesville, Virginia with his stunning aerial pictures that he’s captured from all over the world. If you’ve never seen his work before, I urge you to visit his web site.

Derrick Story is the Photography Evangelist for Lowepro and is covering the LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph.


About Derrick

Derrick Story is a professional photographer, writer, teacher and photography evangelist for Lowepro. He has authored several digital media books, including his latest, The Photoshop CS4 Companion for Photographers and The Digital Photography Companion (O'Reilly Media, publisher). Derrick is a Senior Contributor for Macworld magazine where he writes a digital photography column, and he's a regular presenter on the popular training site, Online, Derrick has formed a virtual camera club called The Digital Story ( that's open to all photography enthusiasts. The site features weekly podcasts, daily posts, training videos, and reader-submitted photos. You can reach Derrick at

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