Underwater Photography Guest Profile – Patricia Jordan
Last month we welcomed back Patricia Jordan, aka “PJ”, who is a well-known underwater photographer and a regular guest at our Murex Dive Resorts.
This was Patricia’s 12th visit to North Sulawesi since her first trip here in 1999 and it was her 5th stay with us. “PJ” joined us this time for a combination dive tour and spent time in Murex Manado and Lembeh Resort. Not only did she visit these two different resorts, she also made her dive 2,500th dive while in Lembeh!
Patricia was named “Photographer of the Week” by Dive Photo Guide. She has over 40 years of experience diving and has been a serious underwater photographer for 20 years. Patricia stated that after a recent leg injury, she chose to return to Murex knowing that not only she, but also her dive gear and camera equipment, would be very well looked after, both topside at the resorts and when she was out diving and photographing.
Patricia loves the diversity of the dive sites here in North Sulawesi and the fact that the dive sites present a great variety of photographic opportunities for shooting landscape reef scenes, macro critters galore and larger marine animals such as turtles, rays and sharks
On this recent trip, Patricia shot with her Nikon D3S together with two Inon strobes and a range of macro and wide-angle lenses. Patricia’s passion is wide-angle photography which she feels gives her a wide array of opportunities to use color, textures, patterns and shapes to create her images. She is also very much interested in studying and shooting animal behaviours. Patricia, who has captured award-winning photographs all over the world, stated, ‘The guides at Murex and Lembeh resorts are exceptional. They know the animals and their behaviours; they understand photography; and they work together with the photographer as a team to capture images”.
As well as being an accomplished freelance photographer, Patricia has accumulated other credits as well. She worked as a research diver for the Pacific Whale Foundation in Hawaii. She has been a Fellow Member of The Explorers Club for 20 years. She has given underwater photography presentations at The Explorers Club, Beneath the Sea, The Alliance for a Living Ocean, the New York Underwater Photographic Society and various educational institutions, including the University of Las Vegas, Nevada.
Patricia Jordan says that her love of the ocean was inspired by her grandfather who believed that the ocean cured all ills, and who dipped a young “PJ” into the ocean before her first birthday. She says that she “grew up with the ocean” and spent much of her free time down at the New Jersey shore where she was an avid, recreational slalom water-skier. At 33 years of age, she took her Open Water Course, and she became addicted to diving for life.
PJ has always kept a written journal of her travel experiences. As her passion for diving grew it seemed to her a logical step to start taking underwater photographs. At the time, this decision meant shooting with a film camera which only allowed 36 shots per roll. Patricia Jordan believes the restriction of the number of shots available per roll helped her enormously as it made her think carefully about every shot taken. This, of course, is much different than using today’s digital cameras that allow us to shoot, delete and adjust as many times as we want during a dive. PJ is also well known for her land-based photography, particularly people of varying cultures and land-based wildlife around the globe.
PJ’s unparalleled vitality and thirst for life don’t stop with her globetrotting, diving and photography. PJ is also a cross-country skier and dances tango in Buenos Aires and salsa in East Harlem. Some of her other achievements have been exploratory sea kayak trips in both Greenland and Antarctica; driving her own team of dogs from camp to camp across both Alaska and Scandinavia; white water rafting the entire length of the Zambezi River beginning at Victoria Falls; and climbing to the top of Mount Kinabalu in Malayasia. Two of the adventures she loved most were running the Bobsled course in Lake Placid with her two grandsons who also went cage-diving with her with Great White Sharks in Guadeloupe Island, Mexico, for one week.
One of PJ’s many exciting underwater photography trips took her to the Chinchorro Banks in Mexico. After a 5-hour drive from Cancun down the Atlantic coast of Mexico, she reached the remote, small fishing village of Xcalak. The purpose of this trip? To take a 2-hour boat ride from Xcalak directly east into the Atlantic Ocean to Chinchorro Banks to snorkel with crocodiles. Big crocodiles. Chinchorro Banks is home to a resident population of American Crocodiles (Crocodylus acutus) which live in the fringing mangrove areas. PJ’s “home” during her 2-night stay was a fisherman’s shack with a hammock to sleep in, no running water, and a long-drop style toilet down to the ocean. The fisherman used freshly caught fish to lure these huge crocodiles out of the mangrove areas to the stilted shack so that PJ could jump in and photograph them while snorkelling.
PJ recalls her instructions from the dive guide very well: Never take your eye off the crocodile as it will never take its eye off you; never look down into your camera to check what you have just shot; and never, ever turn your back on the crocodile. PJ was also “re-assured” by the dive guide that this species of crocodile is not aggressive, just “opportunistic”, and that they “don’t often” attack humans. Needless to say, Patricia Jordan is one fearless lady who managed to capture these amazing shots which she shared with guests at Lembeh Resort in her “The Chinchorro Banks Crocodiles” presentation one evening during her stay – an evening which was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
Patricia Jordan is truly an extraordinary and inspiring person, and we feel absolutely honored that even with her extensive travel experience and passion for adventure, she chooses to return to North Sulawesi and to Murex Dive Resorts again and again. We can’t wait for her next trip and to hear about her latest adventures!
To see some of PJ’s incredible images, including shots taken in Bunaken and Lembeh take a look at www.pjdives.com
To book your own Passport to Paradise around North Sulawesi or to visit Murex Manado or Bangka contact us on [email protected]
We are looking forward to welcoming you to one of our resorts soon!