INTO OCEANS by Joshua Kirshner

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You call me out upon the waters,
The great unknown, where feet may fail.
And there I find You in the mystery,
In oceans deep,
My faith will stand.
— Hillsong United // Oceans

Last week, a friend reached out to me to get some shots. I don't usually take people or model shots, but she had an interesting idea - joining me in the ocean with my camera. The morning we picked featured a gorgeous, Florida sunrise. The water was a bit rougher than we would have liked, so could not go too far out. The water has also cooled down the last few weeks, so while I'm shooting in my wetsuit, she braved the water in a bikini!

I'm really happy with how these shots I came out. I pushed them to the max while editing which may show, but I love them and most importantly, she loves them. Give her a follow on Instagram (@jenn.dreaming) and check out the shots below!

HURRICANE DONATIONS by Joshua Kirshner

Hurricane Irma has left a complete mess across our great state of Florida and many islands in the Caribbean. For most of us, power outages were the only affect. For others, everything was lost. I want to find a way to give back and help those in need. Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of money to give, or the time and ability to fly into devastated areas and volunteer with recovery efforts like I want to. However, I would like to give back with my photography.

"Incoming Storm" was taken the morning before Hurricane Matthew struck and shows the Jacksonville Beach Pier fully intact before the storm claimed over 300-feet from it.

"Bring It On" was taken a couple of days before Hurricane Irma, as the swell from both it and a Nor'Easter began to move in. I wasn't sure if Irma would finish the work that Matthew started and claim the rest of our Pier, so I wanted this shot in case it did - thankfully it didn't!

For me, both of these shots represent an iconic place in our community and the beautiful, but dangerous element of the ocean.

I'm offering prints of both shots with all proceeds (minus costs + shipping) to go to the Florida Disaster Fund (https://www.volunteerflorida.org/donatefdf/), which will help families all across our state recover from this hurricane. If there are any other specific charities, families, etc. that you would rather the donation go to, please let me know and we can work together to personalize this to their needs.

The matte prints for either photograph will be offered in:
8x12 - $30
12x18 - $60
16x24 - $80

Message me if you're interested in a print and donation and we will work together the details for payment. I can ship to anyone directly and also send the receipt of my donation to the charity.

If you'd like to donate directly through my website (https://squareup.com/store/thewayfarersdream), you can purchase the first 2 prints that have "CHARITY" in the beginning of the title.

Thanks!

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THE WAYFARER'S DREAM - TOP 10 by Joshua Kirshner

It's July, and we are now over halfway through 2017. They say time flies, and that has never felt more true than this year. I just returned from a 2 week long trip in London working Wimbledon, and I began to look back on my travels and photography so far this year. So, in no particular order, here's my personal "Top 10" favorite pictures I have captured so far this year!

RØÅDS LESS TRÅVELED 

In February, I embarked on my first ever ski trip to Breckenridge, Colorado. The beauty of God's Creation there during winter made this shot easy, unless there was a car coming at you...

RØGER 

Yearly trips to Australia in January to work the Australian Open is always a pleasure. But this year, witnessing a final between the two all-time greats Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, was incredible. This was taken from the catwalk above the court in Rod Laver Arena during the final.

SPÎN CYCLE

When it comes to wave photography, timing and position is everything. This is by far, my best timed shot ever, sitting perfectly inside a wave crashing overhead. Had this been something bigger than 3 ft, I probably would have been thrown into a spin cycle!

ÎRØN CRØSS

I've always loved learning about the history of the Roman Empire. Thanks to my job, I was able to travel to Rome and saw many of the historic sites. As a Christian, seeing this cross inside the Colosseum as a memorial to the martyrs who were probably sacrificed for Christ's sake was very moving.

HÅWÅIIÅN ÎCE

HÅWÅIIÅN ÎCE is my best wave photography shot to date. I took this in "peaceful" Hanalei Bay. This wave looks like a monstrous Hawaiian wave, but I will let all of you in on a secret...it was probably about a 2.5 ft peeler! This shot goes to show that positioning and point of view is everything when it comes to portraying something in a shot. 

TÛNNELS

Tunnels Beach on Kauai, Hawaii, is a gem of a surf spot on the island. This beach is actually where pro surfer Bethany Hamilton ("Soul Surfer") lost her arm in a shark attack. I probably would've lost my arm had I attempted to surf the wave I captured in this shot!

ÅERÎÅL PREDÅTØR

I love history and I love aviation. Combine those with a museum dedicated to aircraft flown in World War 2, and I'm almost to heaven. This shot is of a German Messerschmitt Me-262, the world's first ever operational jet fighter. We should be very grateful that these did not go into service for the German Luftwaffe any earlier than 1944.

"THE WOUND IS WHERE THE LIGHT SHINES THROUGH"

That quote is lyrics from a Switchfoot song that is inspired by John 1:5 - "The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." Formed over time by the powerful winter waves along Kauai's Na Pali Coast, this dark sea cave is illuminated by an opening, which both a waterfall flows and the light shines through.

DÅRK WÅVE

Another shot taken at Tunnels Beach in Kauai, Hawaii. My goal while editing this was to show the ominous power of the waves that Hawaii produces. The wave is at its peak, ready to crash on anything and anyone in its way.

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HELØ VÎEWS

While on Kauai, I flew in a helicopter for the first time doing a doors off tour over the whole island. It was one of my favorite life experiences, especially considering views like this over the Na Pali Coast. 

DO IT FOR THE BAY by Joshua Kirshner

2017 NBA Finals - Game 4

Cleveland defeats Golden State 137-116.
The series now returns to the Bay for at least one more game.
I book a one-way ticket to San Francisco at 1AM that night for a flight departing in just a few hours.

Cleveland forcing the series to go back to Golden State for at least one more game ensured me a trip again this year to the NBA Finals. Last year, I was fortunate enough to work Games 3 and 4 in Cleveland. This year, I was slated for Games 5 and 7 *if necessary* in the Bay. By now you know the result of the Finals. Golden State went on to win Game 5 and the championship. I worked the game and watched it from one of the media sections in the lower bowl of seats. It was an electric atmosphere, full of passionate Warriors fans. I was jealous, because as a Knicks fan, I haven't felt that way about my team in years!

Truth be told, I almost didn't want to travel for the Finals this year. The thought of a weekend home after traveling so much this month was very appealing. But who am I kidding? This flight was taking me to two things I have a lot of love for: the Bay and basketball. I spoke plenty of my passion for the game of basketball in my blog last year on the Finals HERE. This year, I was able to combine that with being in the Bay Area, which is some of the most beautiful scenery in any major U.S. city.

During the Warriors run for the Finals, Nike released a shirt that said, "DO IT FOR THE BAY". The Warriors did just that, and so did I getting on that airplane. Below are some shots from this quick and last-minute trip there. Enjoy!


*All photos shot on iPhone 7 Plus

ALOHA STATE OF MIND by Joshua Kirshner

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Those who have been around me long enough know about my obsession with Hawaii. Since early 2008, not a single day goes by that I don't think about it. My first time there was my senior class trip in high school on the island of Oahu, then again in December 2014. I returned from my third trip there just a couple of weeks ago. It was my third time to the island of Oahu, but my first to a different island, Kauai. Kauai was almost indescribable. The best I can say is that it's just raw, natural beauty. Hawaii has a way of putting a spell over its visitors and inhabitants. I like to call it the "Aloha State of Mind". You are surrounded by the beauty of God's Creation in a real life, heaven on Earth location. It truly is paradise.

Per usual, I brought my camera everywhere I went. It didn't take long before I grew frustrated shooting there. Not because the shots weren't good, but because no picture can perfectly show off Hawaii. I always aim to shoot with the intention of making myself or the eventual viewer feel like they are in that moment that the picture was taken. By the end of my trip, I had over 6,000 shots to sort through. Again, I grew frustrated during the editing process because no matter what you do to a picture, nothing replaces the actual feeling and memories of being there yourself. 

Below is a gallery of images I have narrowed down from those 6,000 photos. I'm sure plenty more will come out over time, but for now these are both my personal favorites and in my opinion, the best I have to show off the best that Hawaii, in Oahu and Kauai have to offer - raw, natural beauty. 


HAWAIIAN ICE

My favorite shot from Hawaii. I've really been trying and experimenting with getting in the water and doing wave photography and this is by far, what I feel like is my best shot yet.



Places seen in photos

Blow Hole - Oahu
Lanikai Beach - Oahu
Banzai Pipeline - Oahu
Poipu Beach - Kauai
Spouting Horn - Kauai
Waimea Canyon - Kauai
Na Pali Coast - Kauai
Kalalau Trail - Kauai
Hanakapiai Falls - Kauai
Tunnels Beach - Kauai
Hanalei Bay - Kauai
Polihale Beach - Kauai
Mahaulepu Coast - Kauai
Special thanks to Jack Harter Helicopter Tours and Blue Ocean Adventure Tours for their excellent service and enabling visitors like myself to see these places from a different perspective - in both air and sea. 

HI LIFE by Joshua Kirshner

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In just a couple of weeks, I will be heading back to Hawaii again and I could not be more excited. It will be my third time traveling to the island of Oahu, and first time going to Kauai. Thinking and planning for the upcoming trip has had me recalling memories of my previous two trips. I dug back into the archives of pictures from those trips to reminisce.

I found many pictures that I had forgotten about and never even thought about editing before. Truth is, I didn't even have a DSLR camera my last trip to Hawaii in December 2014. I was limited to an old Nikon Coolpix point and shoot camera and an iPhone 5. Somehow, with that camera shooting JPEG's, I captured the shot "PIPELINE" of Julian Wilson dropping into a Pipe bomb on the North Shore. That picture is actually my favorite picture I've ever taken, if you couldn't already tell by how much I use it on this site and my Facebook page. 

Looking through those photos, there were about a dozen surf shots from the North Shore of Oahu that stood out to me. There's something about the waves in Hawaii that makes it so unique and hard to capture. The size, the power, the beauty - all come together to make for incredible images that sometimes aren't even close to capturing the incredible feeling of witnessing them in person.  I took those dozen photos and imported them into Adobe Lightroom, pushing those JPEG files to the limits while editing, trying to give a look of size, power and beauty. Below are those dozen photos, just some old images from Hawaii revisited. Enjoy!

THE SNOW TROOPERS by Joshua Kirshner

BRECKENRIDGE, COLORADO - A town synonymous with winter sports in the US. Skiing, snowboarding, tubing, and any other winter activity you can think of can be done here. 

Last week, myself and two friends (Tyler and Avery), embarked on a guys only trip to ski these infamous slopes in the Rocky Mountains located two hours outside of Denver. It was a trip of many firsts for myself. First time skiing, first snow angel, and hell, first time seeing more than just flurries for snowfall!

Despite the abuse that I put my body through the first day learning of about 25 wipeouts, including one going a measured 27mph(!), it was an incredibly rough, but fun experience. After a rough first day, the second day on the slopes saw much more improvement. My first run down, I did not fall once! From there, it just got better and better until I was shredding the slopes consistently. Okay, maybe I wasn't completely shredding, but it took a steep blue slope before I would have my first quality wipeout of the day. Thankfully, it wasn't even "The Snow Troopers" best wipeout of the day, as Avery took a blindsided, perfect-form tackle by the ski lift chair and also a power slide on the stomach for halfway down a slope!

Overall, it was an incredible trip and one of the best vacations I have ever been on. Skiing was so much fun and I'm glad I can say I have that experience and learned how to do it. Check out some pictures and video from the trip below!

A MONTH DOWN UNDER by Joshua Kirshner

When people talk about the desire to travel or locations that are on the top of their bucket lists, Australia is mentioned pretty often. It was always in the top 3 on my list, but I always had doubts that I would ever actually go there. Well, I’m writing this now after returning from my fourth trip there thanks to my job. I’ve now spent a total of 16 weeks Down Under in my life, and probably have many more to go.

Often times, people hear about my job and all my traveling and being around sports and just think of the glitz and glamour of it all. I can’t blame anyone for that. Taking a look at social media, you usually just see the highlight reel of anyone’s life. However, working for 5 weeks straight, 12-15 hours on average, without a day off can really, really wear on you. This year was my second year as Project Manager of the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam in the tennis season. It’s a great event - beautiful site and courts, great people to work with, and in the great city of Melbourne.

It’s always been hard to explain what my job actually entails and the services my company provides at sporting events. Put simply, we provide the official stats and scoring system at the Australian Open, so to try to put into perspective just how important and large of an operation it really is, here’s a stat of the totals our scoring system captured at the tournament:

Total Sets:  2151
Total Games:  20031
Total Points:  176334

Obviously, that is a large amount of information. Essentially, we are responsible for recording and delivering that information through every type of media outlet you can think of all around the world. So if you woke up at 4am to watch the AO Final on ESPN, if you went online to check match stats, if you happened across a Tweet with some scoring info at AO, that information originated from us. Pretty cool I’d say!

Managing such a large event with so many different services, people and issues to deal with on a daily basis is a challenge. I love challenges and so I look at it as an opportunity to improve myself as a person and in my career. I count this as a blessing every single day because despite the hard and frustrating moments, how often can someone combine two of their loves, travel and sports, with their livelihood? When the matches are on and you see a Venus vs. Serena match-up and Serena winning a record 23rd Grand Slam. When you witness a classic Roger Federer vs. Rafael Nadal in a Grand Slam Final once again with Federer, the greatest of all time, winning – it just does not get much better than that.

Being able to play an important part in giving the world the ability to witness those types of historical moments really puts into perspective what I do for a living and the opportunities God has chosen to bless me with in life. I try not to ever take it for granted. And while the long work days and stressful moments are inevitable, I always try to take a second to relax and reflect on those facts to remind myself just how great an opportunity I have in my life.