George Steinmetz Desert Air

Desert Air

These Instagram snaps don’t do George Steinmetz‘s work justice, but at least give a flavor of his stunning aerial photos, now on display at National Geographic’s headquarters. They’re well worth a visit.

The collection is particularly strong on Africa and the Middle East, and Steinmetz’s vantage point from a motorized paraglider can be both sweeping and intimate. These were my favorites: A small camel caravan making its way across the Mauritanian desert, following a centuries-old trade route (above) and a flock of flamingos shot against a deep blue lake in Iran. I really had to look closely at the latter–it’s so perfectly composed it looks unreal, almost like a wallpaper pattern.

Desert Air runs through January 27, 2013, and Steinmetz speaks about his photos at National Geographic on Nov. 27. I’m looking forward to hearing his stories.

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