COLUMBIA CITY — A local man was chosen among 80 million people to travel to Israel.
Dave Temple, a Columbia City man, received a phone call from the people at Once In A Lifetime saying he was one of 10 photographers chosen by the students of the University of Tel Aviv (UTA).
Temple is also children’s author “Kewiki” and has 161,000 followers on Instagram, a social media site for photographers. Kewiki is the creator and illustrator of Wilbur the Ant.
He and nine other top photographers will travel Sept. 2 to 11 throughout Israel.
“A highlight for me is meeting Israeli President Shimon Peres,” said Temple.
“President Peres has a passion for the youth of Israel. There is currently a strong push to bring other people into Israel to see the modernization and new technology of Israel. President Peres is a lively guy.”
Temple describes Instagram as a social media site developed two years ago for the Iphone and IPad.
“Earlier this year Instagram was opened to Android and currently has 80 million users. Basically Instagram was intended for photographers to share their photos. It’s for commercial photographers as well as the every day photographers. It’s just like Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter.”
Temple and his wife, Holly, really enjoy Instagram because they often make genuine and long-term friends and travel to Chicago to hang out with them.
“I filled out an application for this adventure and we scheduled a face to face meeting for the interview process. Then the phone call came and they told me I had won this trip. It’s all very exciting,” he said.
Once the phone call came Temple became excited and quickly applied for his first-ever passport.
Temple uses a Canon camera with several types of lenses.
“Quite frankly, most of my shots are taken with my Iphone 4S 8 Mega Pixel. I have an Olloclip for it. One side is a micro lens and the other is a fish eyes lens,” said Temple.
This is the third year for the trip, led by students of the UTA. The past two years were exclusively for travel bloggers.
“But the great thing is they opened it up to photographers like myself,” said Temple.
Other photographers are from France, Amsterdam, San Francisco, New York and Texas.
“I know one of other photographers already. I know Joey Mena of San Francisco. I met his mom, Noelle a while back,” said Temple.
The UTA students posted their goal.
“We believe that in today’s world, international public opinion is mostly shaped through social networking and visual media. Instagram is a unique platform for people from all over the world to share their impressions and experiences with each other as a global community. As students we wish to connect with young influential instagramers from around the world for a once in a life time experience! Israel is a fascinating summer destination – from historical sites, incredible landscapes and a wide array of culture events to breathtaking beaches and vibrant nightlife.”
“The whole point of this trip is to show the real Israel. My itinerary is incredible. We are going to White City and Jerusalem. I’m really interested in old city alleys. I’ll shoot a lot of those over there,” said Temple.
“We’ll travel to the market and then to the Dead Sea Hotel. That’s where the reception is with President Peres. Than after that I hope to float in the Dead Sea.
“Then it’s off to the Museum of Art, the Ancient City and then the desert. We’ll see the street art and galleries at Jaffa Port. We’ll have a traditional Sabbath Dinner at the Sea of Galilee,” he said.
Other adventures will be to typical Israeli gardens and the National Park. Sailing on a yacht is a high point for Temple.
“Each of the days have general photo opportunities such as architecture, politics, people and the over all culture.
“I’ll be able to try new foods. I’m just hoping to soak it all in and listen. We are the guests of Israeli students. It will be neat to see why they are so passionate about their country,” said Temple.
“I hope we see the overall culture in a different view of a very Biblical place,” he said.
“I hope to tell my story of Israel through my lens,” he said.
Temple will most likely share his photos in a journal or even a book and you can bet Wilbur the Ant will go to Israel too.
During the day he works for Columbia City’s own Sound Ideas, where he is the digital media director.
“There is a sense of pride on going on this trip on behalf of your hometown. All over the world there is this stigma about Hoosiers. And these students are saying ‘this guy’s got talent’. I’m so honored they chose me and I love to uplift Columbia City along with it,” said Temple.
The Temples have three children, Emily who is a freshman at Eagle Tech and twins Colin and Chloe, students at Indian Springs Middle School. And while Dave is traveling the family will not be watching the news regarding the unrest in Israel.
“I don’t like to fly and I’m concerned about Dave flying overseas. The kids are excited for him and I am too. A little part of me is jealous but I’m glad that he’s getting this opportunity,” said Holly Temple, also an Instragram photographer.
Even though this is the first over-seas trip for Temple, it doesn’t stop at Israel. He’s already been asked to serve on the council of the Normandy Electronic Art Summit and will serve on the council with Johan duToit (one of France’s most noted photographers) at Normandy’s 2013 summit.