Inside this issue
Little known Idaho gems
Lesser known locations for photographers
Fine-art professional photographer Linda Lantzy is inspired by the spectacular beauty and majestic landscapes of Idaho and the Pacific Northwest. A North Idaho native and Coeur d’Alene resident, Linda explores the roads less traveled, often in solitude, to capture the wild beauty and diversity of the state. Her images reflect the region's most breathtaking scenes, captured with striking and dramatic composition. Her passion for this beautiful place defines her and drives her in the photographic arts. She was the 2017 Artist in Residence for the Idaho Conservation League.
Ken Levy is a freelance news and feature writer and photographer based in Boise, Idaho. He retired in 1995 from a 30-year career as a community journalist and photographer.
Location guidebooks are something I have a mixed reaction to. Being directed to the exact location of an image and sometimes being given the tripod holes to work with is something I feel is anathema to the creative aspects of our trade.
However, I can understand that many of these are already common knowledge and so the books merely compile what is already available. This Idaho guide intrigued me, however. The idea is to provide information on off road drives in the area that can be accessed without 4x4 vehicles. There is no real UK equivalent as far as I can tell (these aren't the green lanes of our bucolic countryside for instance) and this sort of off road travel seems a given if you want to explore in the US. I asked the authors, professional photographers and artists Linda Lantzy and Shari Hart for some more information.
Idaho is packed with gems of breathtaking photogenic scenery that can't always be found on a freeway drive, or even scouting the back roads. Unless you know where you're going, you might never get there. The solution, we concluded, was a thoroughly researched, comprehensive guide with detailed directions to little-known areas, complete with colour photographs of what you'll likely find when you go.
With that in mind, and after photographing the wonders of Idaho for more than 10 years, we decided to share our experience in finding these hidden locations in a new guidebook.
"As seasoned back-roads artistic photographers, our experiences have led us to hundreds of photographic gems. Among these are old barns, abandoned antique vehicles, and pioneer cabins, along with many other unforgettable locations," Linda said.
The book is designed for travellers who want more from their treks than museums or tourist traps. Most of the selected routes can be followed without the need for high-clearance vehicles, and none require four-wheel drive vehicles. But they do take you to locations most folks don't know, she said. Expect to find waterfalls, canyons and mountains, farms and ranches and iconic landscapes among the destinations.
Most route directions include the ideal times to start your journey for the best morning light and end with the best sunset locations available. Inevitably, some will be passed during less than ideal light, so Linda recommends marking those locations on your GPS for a return visit.
The authors have driven every route to ensure each trek's accuracy and attractions, from breathtaking scenery and landscapes to barns, antiques, railroad trestles and artefacts that still occupy these unique spaces and speak to Idaho's fascinating history. Journeys can run from 2-6 hours, and some recommend overnight stays to get the full value of the experience.
The routes guide you from the nearest highway exit or town while providing valuable advice on the best vantage points. They also include cautions and warnings for trickier routes and other suggestions for making your journeys as safe, rewarding and comfortable as possible.
The guide is conveniently separated into regions. To the north, you'll find alpine lakes and hidden waterfalls, and winding rivers draining the snowpack from forested peaks, among other attractions. Central Idaho is a land of contrasts, with towns such as McCall and Stanley anchoring a region featuring some of Idaho's highest mountain peaks. To the south and west, the Owyhee Mountains and desert, towering sand dunes and deep canyon views, and a historic ghost town dominate the journeys, with showy spring wildflower displays to add delightful colour. To the east, the majestic Teton Range and Caribou Mountains reveal their secrets, along with a wildlife refuge and historic Chesterfield. It's a geological smorgasbord.
Shari has served as the Artist in Residence for the Idaho office of the Federal Bureau of Land Management in the Owyhee backcountry. She covers 10 routes in the guide, primarily in the south central region. Her wonderfully evocative images take viewers on "visual hikes" that reflect her deep love of the outdoors.
"I love the high desert, wide-open spaces and our deep canyon ravines with rivers and creeks to explore," she said.
Linda cites her deep love and appreciation for her home state and its geographic diversity for driving her passion.
"With every spare moment I can muster, I head out with my camera gear and my 4-wheel drive into Idaho's least-spoiled places," she said. "It is here, in solitude, where I gather my inspiration to find and photograph new routes and beauty along the way."
A North Idaho native and Coeur d’Alene resident, Linda began her photography career as a young teen and has been immersed in the medium ever since. She attended the Commercial Photography program at Spokane Falls Community College in 1987-1988, but gets her best training in the real world, in the field. Linda explores the roads less travelled, often in solitude, to capture the wild beauty and diversity of her home state. Her images reflect the region’s most breathtaking scenes, captured with striking and dramatic composition.
"I've wanted to be a landscape photographer for about as long as I can remember. As a 12-year-old I would take my little Kodak 110 pocket camera and climb the hills on our eastern Washington farm. From the top, I had a fantastic view of the valley where the mountains converged near the bottom and the mighty Columbia River was barely visible on a good day. My parents weren't too keen on paying for developing countless pictures from a 12 year old, so I learned to be selective about when was a good time to take another photo."
Light, of course, is the most important element in a photograph, and "nothing is as exciting as being in a great location and having amazing lighting conditions. I hope that this is translated to the viewer through my landscape photographs."
Family time pushed photography to the back burner for the next 15 years while she raised two boys.
"Looking back at this time in my life I realise how I continued to learn, by always studying light and practising compositions in my mind even without a camera in hand," she said. "When the time finally came to that I could re-devote my time to photography, I was more than ready. The next step was adapting my knowledge to the digital world. I spent three years making that transition and building a portfolio before testing responses to my work in different venues. Today I have many art clients that include medical facilities and corporate offices. I conduct a limited number of destination photo workshops in Idaho and continue to produce my yearly Idaho Scenic Calendar."
Like most photographers, she said, "I've always wanted to produce a book of my work, one that appeals to a large audience. The idea just evolved from there to become a photographers guide to help others see what I have seen and share the locations of photographic interest in our great state. As I drive its back roads in solitude, the new routes and photographic finds I make inspire me."
Linda said this book is the culmination of many years of work in Idaho.
"I plan to travel farther and let creativity dictate what and how I photograph," she said. "I do have a new project in mind, but plan on taking a breather before embarking on that journey."
Written and photographed by Linda and fellow Idaho photographer Shari Hart, "Discovering Idaho's Scenic Drives and Backroad Treasures" will take travellers along 48 lesser-known routes into Idaho's most scenic and iconic locations. The book is packed with detailed, turn-by-turn directions, key features along the way, and what to expect when you arrive at each location.
"It's written and designed with photographers in mind, but anyone wanting to see Idaho beyond the highway will find this guide invaluable," Linda said.
The book is 11x8.5 inch, softcover, 48 driving routes, 288 full colour pages, includes non-expiring coupons, QR codes to online maps, detailed driving directions, photo tips, and more!