Jody MacDonald@jodymacdonaldphoto

Photographer / Adventurer / Explorer. Represented by @natgeocreative. Member of the @sea_legacy Collective. @gitzoinspires ambassador

https://www.facebook.com/jodymacdonaldphotography

A young Vezo fisherman wrestles with an octopus stuck to his arm in the warm waters off the coast of Madagascar. The Vezo rely entirely on fishing and octopus is of critical economic importance to the small fishing communities on the southwest coast. Commercial fishing is pressing the Vezo people to catch more than a sustainable limit to maintain the area’s unique marine environment of coral reefs, mangroves and sea grass beds. They used to catch just enough to feed their families but since 2003 they have become part of an elaborate supply chain, selling their catch to traders who refrigerate and transport the goods, mostly octopus, for sale to Europe. While traditional fishing methods remain the same, the commercialization has shifted local economies from barter to a cash-based competitive market. Local leaders have been fighting back. In 2004 they outlined an area of about 800 square kms of shore and sea, forbidding the use of poison or mosquito nets to fish and placing temporary bans on fishing. Octopus lay thousands of eggs if given the chance and anecdotal evidence showed clearly that their populations were bouncing back after the Vezo’s self-imposed bans took effect. These innovative conservation measures have not only won them global conservations awards but also made them a test case for other fishing villages under pressure. #turningthetide @sea_legacy @gitzoinspires


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I have this photo on my wall in my office. A picture I took years ago while I lived at sea. A simple photo but to me a daily reminder that simplicity is important, that life is beautiful, to remember to always dream big, explore as much as I can, to always be curious, that life is short and so much bigger and than whatever daily grind I’m in and whatever problems I have and most importantly that we have to protect our planets wild places. I find it pretty cool that a simple photo can remind me of so much. #thepowerofphotography @gitzoinspires


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The north eastern islands of Papua New Guinea are filled with beaches and lagoons of surpassing beauty but what really amazes me are the people that live here. The coast is sprinkled with communities where locals retain subsistence traditions and they are some of the friendliest people you will ever meet. Here some young boys gather on the beach at the end of the day to watch the surf and show me the Cuscus they caught in the jungle. I’m always envious of the simplicity of these village lifestyles. They have mastered the art of community and slowing down. #papuanewguinea @gitzoinspires @leica_camera @leicacamerausa @natgeocreative


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I don’t know about you but chasing the absurd has never let me down. @leica_camera @leicacamerausa @leicaakademieusa @gitzoinspires


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One of the many things I love about travel and photography is the unexpected. With photography I have to open to the opportunities that present themselves and often when that happens I don’t particularly know where I’m going. I put great value in the unpredictability of getting lost and what I find in those unexpected places. It’s always those times where I have the most fun, produce the best work and it is essential to my creativity. @natgeocreative @gitzoinspires @leica_camera @leicacamerausa #embraceuncertainty


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This boat caused me years of despair due to sea sickness and unimaginable happiness through the ridiculious adventures that were had. I have come to realize (yes, it has taken me awhile;) that you can’t have bliss without the hardship..maybe that’s why Friday’s are so enjoyable?;) #happyfriday


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There are no words to describe how magical the wilderness is and I’m endlessly grateful to have the freedom to experience it. Be safe out there and Happy Fourth! #happyfourthofjuly #wilderness #paragliding


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Travel for me is very rarely about the destination and more about the people I meet along the way. I met these men while waiting for the iron ore train in Mauritania. We had been waiting for hours and out of curiosity and boredom started to engage in conversation the best that we could but the important things rarely need to be verbally communicated. We cooked, had a feast and laughed at the things that happened around us. It was one of the highlights of my time in the Sahara. What are your unexpected travel moments? @leica_camera @leicacamerausa #beopentotheunexpected #thisiswhyitravel


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A photo I took ( in search of Babas after reading the book Shantaram;)) of the infamous Sadhu Mahant Amar Bharti Ji, a New Delhi clerk who first raised his arm in 1973 in honor of the deity Shiva, and has never put it down since....yes, that is 45 yrs!! Sadhus or Babas as they are often called have renounced all material possessions and taken incredible vows of penance to get closer to God. In this case, Mahant’s is to never put his arm down. Sadhus are holy men who refrain from all human pleasure and live very simple, austere lives. An amazing example of what humans are capable of. #india #theworldisamazing


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Embarking on an adventure that most of us only fantasize about, in 2006 Liz Clark set sail from Santa Barbara, California, as captain of her 40-foot sailboat, Swell, headed south toward the wonder and learning that lies beyond the horizon. Liz recently came out with a new book aptly named “Swell”. A memoir of the stories with wild seas and constant challenges, at the whim of the weather, relationships sweet and sour, nature’s marvels and colorful cultures, Liz talks about her amazing journey, sharing tales of sailing in high seas, of solitude and surprises, of finding connection to the earth and commitment to living in harmony with it. More than ten years, 20,000 miles, countless adventures, and one cat later (Amelia, who is pictured in these photographs but unfortunately passed this year BUT she does have a new one), she’s still out there. I am fortunate to call Liz a good friend and have been lucky enough to have spent time with her at sea. These are some images to pay a small tribute to a massively inspiring human. Go get this book! It will not only make you dream but will act as a reaffirmation that anything is possible, we just have to have the courage to GO! You can grab a copy from Patagonia or from any bookseller. @patagonia @captainlizclark #swell #lizclark


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As a photographer who travels the world capturing different cultures, I am inspired by other strong women who challenge our perception. This Bajau sea gypsy woman is fishing for her family in the warm waters of the Togian islands in Indonesia, where the basic need to survive supersedes the creation of gender stereotypes. In places where time seems to have stood still, hierarchy becomes irrelevant and both women and men forge ahead equally to take on the necessary roles to feed their families. When reflecting back on history it’s impossible to ignore the important role women have always played in sustaining our communities. Thanks @natgeo for including me in celebrating #womenofimpact here at @cannes_lions this week in France!


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I have a vivid memory from when I was young. I was on vacation with my family in the Maldive Islands, snorkeling with my parents. I hadn't been in the ocean much, I remember putting on a mask and sticking my head under the water. It took my breath away. I saw a wall of technicolor wonder. I thought to myself, this is the most amazing aquarium I have ever seen. This experience was a harbinger of things to come in my life. When I began sailing around the world years later, that first memory became a reference point. Sadly, only a few places over 10 years ever met this high expectation but my fascination with the oceans has remained constant. I’m telling you this story not to depress you but to say that I believe we can restore our oceans to places of abundance and prosperity. I dream of the oceans teaming with life with healthy fish stocks and coral reef systems, of children being able to snorkel like I did, being able to experience all the magic the oceans have to offer. I do believe we can get there. The oceans are exceptionally resilient. Like all things, they do have a breaking point, but if each of us make small changes in our lives, we can have tremendous impact. Buying fewer plastic products, making safe, sustainable seafood choices, and supporting organizations like @sea_legacy, who are working to protect the oceans. Follow the link in my bio to see a full list of things you can all do to help save our oceans. #happyworldoceansday #turningthetide #everythingisconnected #climatechange @sea_legacy


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