COEUR d'ALENE - When Linda Lantzy drives Idaho's back roads, she is there for two reasons.
One is scouting places and subjects for pictures.
The other is taking those pictures.
"I often go looking for something specific, but if I keep my eyes and mind open I usually find something entirely different," she wrote.
From dusk to dawn, sunrise to sunset, Lantzy travels the Gem State seeking the right shot. More often than not, she finds it.
The result has been thousands of spectacular images of Idaho - especially North Idaho.
"I love North Idaho. I was born and have lived most of my life in Coeur d'Alene," Lantzy said. "The forests and lakes of North Idaho are some of my very favorite places to photograph."
The professional landscape photographer will be the featured artist at the Coeur d'Alene library throughout October in her exhibit, "Gems of Light: Idaho's Enchanted Landscapes."
It will showcase 27 unique and intricate images presented on canvas, aluminum, acrylic and framed under glass that capture the beauty of Idaho.
The show opens Monday, with an artist's reception set for 6-8 p.m. Wednesday in the Gozzer Room. Light refreshments will be served. "Gems of Light" can also be viewed during normal library hours.
Lantzy, a Coeur d'Alene native, said her images reflect the region's most breathtaking scenes, "expressed from her unique perspective and keen eye for striking and dramatic composition."
She loves capturing the flowing beauty and reflections of water.
"But my favorite subject would have to be atmospheric scenes, and the moods they create," Lantzy said. "Conditions change so rapidly when trying to shoot a foggy landscape as the sun burns through it. There is a huge adrenaline rush to have a beautiful scene before you and the challenge of capturing it just right ... before it is gone. It is usually completely silent and peaceful and is totally therapeutic for the soul. I think you can feel this in many of my images."
Numerous Idaho health care facilities and other medical clientele prominently feature her work because they "find a calming, therapeutic quality to her images."
The Kootenai Cancer Center in Post Falls has 15 pieces on canvas and under glass. The most recent and ongoing installation is St. Luke's Medical Plaza in Nampa.
Her work is also displayed in many businesses, published in magazines and found in private collections worldwide.
Lantzy has done well commercially. She has sold thousands of images, is the founder and owner of Idaho Scenic Images, www.idahoscenics.com and has also produced the 16-month, 2013 Idaho Scenics Calendar, featuring many of her full-color Idaho images. She is represented by Angel Gallery of Fine Art and Antiques in Coeur d'Alene.
"To me, the most important element of a great image is its quality of light," she said.
Her favorites never seem to be what others like.
"I think this is because I tend to have an emotional connection to certain times and places that I've been," she said.
One she is fond of and that has sold well depicts a tugboat on Lake Coeur d'Alene in the fall of 2006, called "November Mists."
A similar, but panoramic version, is included in the "Gems of Light" show.
Lantzy started in photography when she was about 12 years old. Her first camera, which she used through high school and still owns, was a Minolta SRT 101 35mm film camera. In college she used a 4x5 view camera and has been shooting digitally for the last eight years.
"My journey into professional photography was really one of self-discovery," she said.
While it's been a rewarding, thrilling career, challenges continue, especially in these digital-image days.
"The market continues to shrink as the competition gets more intense. I think to make it in this industry, you must have a burning passion for what you're doing and then add a ton of hard work and determination," she said.