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‘The Idaho I know’: New coffee table book focuses on the waters of Idaho

Editor’s note: The author of this book is my dad. I initially considered handing this story off to another member of our team, but felt that might be strange for them. We’ve done stories on other local books (and I’m proud of my dad), so I hope you’ll allow the indulgence here.

Photographer David R. Day has been shooting images of Idaho for as long as he can remember. Now, many are available in book form in the new Idaho Waters.

“I always took pictures. I never know a time when I didn’t have a camera,” Day said. “I was the kid that took pictures in high school for the yearbook. Then of garage bands. Then in the business world, I’d take photos of the staff softball team or a picture of the boss for the newsletter. I was just that guy.”

Over the last 20 years, Day has made his living as a photographer, producing fine art, doing commercial work, and cranking out thousands of coasters sold at the Capital City Public Market. The turn to full-time photography came while he was working for a now-defunct local magazine.

[‘This really happened:’ Children’s book showcases Boise and peregrine falcons]

“We were at deadline and we had a story on the distinguished women of Idaho, and the photographer made Idaho Supreme Court Justice Linda Copple Trout unhappy, and quit,” he said. “So I went out and bought the brand new Canon digital camera and the next day I got to shoot Alyson Oüten at Channel 7 – and I was hooked.”

Book features Idaho’s waters

Idaho Waters
This sunset image near Bear Lake is one of 160 photos in Idaho Waters. Photo: Courtesy David R. Day

Over the past twenty years or so, Day has traveled nearly every corner of the state. Many of the photographs are featured in Idaho Waters

“I wanted to create something that would represent the Idaho that I know,” he said. “All the beauty, all the water. The backroads, the off-roads, the highways, the BLM two-tracks… those places that not everyone gets to see if they are driving down the Interstate.”

The 168-page book features more than 160 photos, centered on the Gem State’s water – everything from well-known lakes and rivers to puddles and streams. It’s organized by the state’s river basins, with ten different sections from the Panhandle in the north to Bear Lake in the south. The photos are tied together with history, stories, and interesting details.

“I didn’t want it to just be a calendar or a series of photographs. I wanted it to be about the Idaho I know,” he said. “There were several stories that kind of had deep meaning to me and deep stories. And I decided that maybe those stories could and should be included.”

Much like most people say they don’t have a favorite child (maybe he does), he couldn’t pick a favorite photo.

“I really like the wild horses on the Snake River plain. I’m very fond of the photograph of the Rainbow Bridge on Highway 55 in the snow. Any of the waterfalls. Obviously, the core shot of the double rainbow over Shoshone Falls is beautiful.”

Day says the book has been well received. It is available for purchase at IdahoWatersBook.com, on Amazon, or in Boise at Art Source Gallery, Rediscovered Books, and the Boise Co-Op locations in Boise and Meridian.

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Don Day - BoiseDev Editor & Founder
Don is the founder and publisher of BoiseDev. He is a National Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Stanford University John S. Knight Fellow. Contact him at don@boisedev.com.

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