Idaho’s state parks are truly a gem of the Gem State. A shining example of our beautiful outdoor landscapes and endless recreational opportunities. But a breathtaking view is truly in the eyes of the beholder and can take on different meanings to different people. Experience your Idaho state parks through the eyes of two well-known photographers—one an Idaho native, the other comes to us from Arizona. Each is able to capture Idaho’s exceptional beauty through their own unique lens. Literally.
Meet Charles Knowles
Charles Knowles is an Idaho Native who has been photographing landscapes across the great state of Idaho for over 40 years. He gained his passion for photography at an early age spending time with his father who was a geologist for Idaho. Those years were spent in some of the most remote and beautiful areas of our state.
“Even after all of these years of doing photography,” Charles shares, “I still love standing beside a lake, mountain peak, or a giant sand dune, and waiting to see what the first light of day brings.”
Charles continues, “When the moment is right and everything peeks, pressing the shutter button preserves that moment in time forever.”
Today he carries on with his adventures across Idaho and visits many of our state parks. He says that he has had the Idaho States Park Pass for several years and feels a guilty pleasure of including a visit to at least one of them as he crosses the state.
Charles loves sharing his passion with others, so if you ever run across him in the field, stop by and say hello. If you would like to see some of Charles’s work, you can visit his website at KnowlesGallery.com.
Meet Ashley Loeb
Encapsulating life through a photographic lens has been a longstanding passion for Ashley, and since moving from Phoenix in 2020, Idaho has proven to be the perfect backdrop.
“I love capturing local events, people, and pets to share the essence of life through my eyes. You're likely to find me outdoors with my camera as I have always been drawn to nature and landscapes,” Ashley said. “I habitually envision the world through the lens—searching for details, patterns, scenes, or views that are pleasing.”
When Ashley heads out with her camera, she rarely has a specific spot in mind. But rather, she enjoys going on an adventure, exploring the land, and keeping her eyes peeled for ideal lighting, angles, contrast, and a scene that evokes an emotional response.
“Of course, some days are more successful than others,” Ashley muses. “One of the biggest challenges as a photographer is dealing with unpredictable elements like weather and people. Nature does not wait for you and the perfect image can arise when you least expect it!”
One of her favorite parts of photography is being able to inspire people to experience nature’s beauty for themselves, and also offering a glimpse of the world to others who are unable to explore. “Sharing my photos is rewarding because it creates connections with people and gives me a chance to learn their stories and experiences. Images also evoke memories and emotions of those moments, and the desire to capture a new scene motivates me to keep getting out there and finding new places to capture!”
She continues, “In the moment that a beautiful image is captured, I feel a child-like giddiness like I’ve won a prize from nature! Some of my biggest successes in photography are being in the right place at the right time.”
To learn more about Ashley and to explore some of her photography yourself, visit her online at LoebLifePhotography.com.
Dance along the sun-soaked ridges of Bruneau’s sand dunes. Explore the miles of shorelines along Lake Cascade State Park. Peer into Box Canyon and gaze at the towering waterfalls of Ritter Island at Thousand Springs. Discover the Coeur d'Alene Parkway, nestled along the north shore of Lake Coeur d'Alene. Find your adventure in the granite cliffs of the City of Rocks National Reserve and Castle Rocks State Park. There is so much more to explore! Let Charles’ and Ashley’s photography take you on a visual adventure through Idaho’s unique state parks!
“In the moment that a beautiful image is captured, I feel a child-like giddiness like I’ve won a prize from nature! Some of my biggest successes in photography are being in the right place at the right time.” - Ashley Loeb