George Steinmetz

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George Steinmetz@geosteinmetz

Specializing in aerial photography, George's latest book New York Air explores America's largest city. Autographed copies available at

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Photograph by George Steinmetz @geosteinmetz Walking through the desolate streets of the Coffey Park neighborhood of Santa Rosa CA yesterday was both eerie and humbling. The fire came without warning in the middle of the night and the residents I met had only a few minutes to grab valuables and pound on the doors of neighbors before running for their lives. One of the strangest sights was cars left in driveways, with the aluminum hubs of their tires now reduced to silver puddles, like candle wax. The heat was tremendous, and for a square km or so there is nothing left of the houses beyond their chimneys. Equally impressive is the cohesiveness of the community, self-patrolling for looters, but also taking in both friends and strangers. There are no hotel rooms within an hour drive, so the helicopter pilot’ s parents gave me their spare bedroom, and got up at 5am to make me a coffee. #CaliforniaStrong #onassignment @nytimes

Coffey Park

Photograph by George Steinmetz @geosteinmetz Fishing nets being repaired last week on the beach at Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. In the upper right are fish carts waiting for the boats to be off-loaded, and then hauled to the drying racks on the island. It’s a simpler life in this part of the world, but a few days of unseasonal rain can ruin a week's worth of fishing.

Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh

Photograph by George Steinmetz @geosteinmetz Boats for paddling passengers are tied up around anchor poles on the bank of the Buriganga River in Dhaka, Bangladesh. People often ask me what’s my favorite place to take pictures, and the answer is almost always the next place. Beauty is where you find it, and that’s often in the most unexpected of locations. #yesterday

Dhaka, Bangladesh

Photograph by George Steinmetz @geosteinmetz As Hurricane Irma bears down on Southern Florida, I’m reminded of the vulnerability of areas like Miami, which I photographed for @natgeo a few years ago to anticipate what seems about to happen. Those multi-million dollar homes on Miami’s Venetian Islands are only about 1 meter above sea level, and a ripe target for tropical storm surges. In this part of the world, disaster seems more a matter of when, not if. #prayforflorida


Photograph by George Steinmetz @geosteinmetz It’s kind of surreal to be back in Africa, 39 years after I got my start in photography here 39 years ago, by hitch-hiking across the continent as a college drop out. I took this “selfie” with pygmy hunter as I backpacked my way through the Ituri Forest in Ziaïre in 1979. I feel both honored and intimidated by being asked to give a talk at #TEDGlobal today in Arusha, Tanzania. I will be sharing four decades of photographing a continent that I know so intimately, from both ground and air. It’s great to be back here, still impetuous and drinking in the scene, hakuna matata.

Arusha, Tanzania

Photograph by George Steinmetz @geosteinmetz Elephants grazing in the shallow waters of Lake Amboseli, Kenya. This is part of a TEDGlobal presentation that I’ll be giving tomorrow in Arusha, Tanzania, just across the border from where this picture was taken. I got started in photography by I hitch-hiking across this continent 39 years ago, and I’m looking forward to showing a room full of Africans the result of their parent's hospitality.

Arusha, Tanzania

Photograph by George Steinmetz @geosteinmetz Fishing boats stained with algae line a tributary of Lake Taihu near Wuxi, China. I was coming in for a landing after a long flight, with a low battery beeping for landing, but I had to take just one more…. Serendipity and bad weather are a photographer’s best friend.


@geosteinmetz and 15 year-old @nhsteinmetz taking photographs and video of camels crossing the dunes of the Kubuqi Desert last week in Inner Mongolia. Drones certainly make taking low altitude aerial pictures a lot easier! With thanks to @liqiaor for the BTS photo

Inner Mongolia

Photograph by George Steinmetz @geosteinmetz A herd of bactrian camels crossing the dunes last week between the fresh water lakes of the Kubuqi Desert of Inner Mongolia. An extensive revegetation program here has virtually stopped the sandstorms that once plagued Beijing.

Inner Mongolia

Photograph by George Steinmetz @geosteinmetz A tidy grid of crosses and white fences blanket the cemetery in Ilulissat, Greenland. Leif Eriksson introduced Christianity to Greenland around 1000AD, but there wasn’t even a trading post here until the 1700s. Today the atmosphere here is still very native, with about as many sled dogs as people. #onassignment for @ntymag


Self-portrait by George Steinmetz @geosteinmetz This is the last copy of a post card I sent out 34 years ago, when I was trying to get my first job as a photo assistant in San Francisco. #itworked!!! The phones have changed, but the energy is still the same!

Steinmetz World Headquarters

Photograph by George Steinmetz @geosteinmetz Facebook’s old headquarters on the edge of San Francisco Bay, with HACK written in tiles on the courtyard of "hacker square". From the upcoming book #SeeingSiliconValley