My oh my what a year…

This year was outta sight!  Never before have I devoted an entire year focused on a particular vision through photography.  I am beyond grateful.  If by chance I ever decide to put this camera down and pursue something else, I would like my work to be remembered as telling a story that emphasized the importance of returning to our roots.  Of choosing awareness and insight over fear.  Choosing to see divine beauty in small, subtle movements all around us.

You and I live in interesting times.  Our attentions and desires are bought and sold at an incredible rate wielding an overbearing mountain of information at our fingertips. This has proven to be both helpful as well as problematic, while mostly just drawing more lines in the sand.  I truly believe that (now more than ever,) it is crucial to step away from this cacophony of calamity; to wipe our eyes and hearts clean in the presence of wilderness, if only for a little while.  Trust me, there is magic to be found out there, and it’s REAL.

I started this residency in the heart of winter last year, and I found solace during the cold hikes up and around Bogus Basin.  I searched to photograph the inversion as it blanketed Boise for what felt like ages.  My brother recieved his first car around the same time so we took a proper drive out past Idaho City in search of Sunset Mountain. We nearly made it to the top that day with skateboard shoes on (I can’t remember why we didn’t have boots, or any real winter gear for that matter).  I took a picture of him on our way back to the car;  I liked the way it highlighted his curiosity and our engagement to the experience despite the conditions.  My buddy Ryan and I made a few trips out to the McCall and Counsil area to venture further into the season.  These treks were bone chattering (specifically the long exposure shots in the middle of the highway at 3AM in Zero degrees that didn’t turn out) , yet highly rewarding.  Winter has a method and a gorgeous, stunning presence all to its own.





Spring brought with it the familiar promise of regeneration, and watching the landscape come back to life was simply stunning.  Jenny and I had just found our next house in Boise, and we took advantage of our access to the greenbelt near Quinn’s pond regularly.  Balancing my “regular” job and the desire to get outside and create was really hard for me this year, and spring proved to be especially testing.  Recieving the time off to attend the Wild Idaho event at Redfish Lake was a total blessing, allowing me to fully reset in the Sawtooth National Recreational area after becoming very disillusioned with tending bar back home.  I was up before the sun every morning in hopes of catching some of the Sawtooth mountain peaks at first light.  I finally got lucky on the last day when the storm clouds decided to break and move on.  After Redfish we traveled and explored through Ketchum, Hailey and Sun Valley eventually making our way to Craters of the Moon where we spent the night.  “Craters” is a uniquely gorgeous landscape and I highly reccomend a trip to this unlikely world.  Check out my Wild Idaho blog post for the complete story and photos:


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Summer announced its presence in searing fashion, with my first Modern Art show at The Modern Hotel in May, packing out room 238 with DJ Verstal who utilized the bed frame as a DJ booth. I struggled to hang as many prints in that tiny room and had a blast meeting everyone who strolled in.  I love how people see so many different things in my photographs, everyone with their own unique perspective.  Shortly after the show Idaho Mountain Touring donated a sweet Giant 29’er mountain bike rental to me for a couple weeks to explore the foothills and marvel at our own Boise backyard trails. See the full story and images about my time in the foothills here:

Something else magical happened this summer as a result of my residency.  ARTA river trips offered me a six day journey down the legendary Middle Fork of the Salmon river in exchange for shots of the trip (no need to ask me twice!).  We departed July 10th from Indian Creek.  This was my first experience on a legitimate river rafting trip, sure to test out my extensive history of Indian Creek and Boise River floats of years past.  It’s a miracle that I didn’t lose my camera during a rapid or get thrown off especially during the last two days through the Impassable Canyon area in the Frank Church Wilderness. This particular stretch of the trip was completely mind blowing from all angles.  I think I’m still processing images and memories from my time there.  Keeping the camera dry was a daily battle.  Stay tuned for a Middle fork specific post for the full story and pictures.

August presented an opportunity to volunteer with the Idaho Trails Association on a seven day hike into America’s newest Wilderness;  The Boulder White Clouds Wilderness.  We hiked over sixty miles (in addition to trail work) in six days around an amazing base camp at Chamberlain Lake.  I remember hearing about this area when I first returned to Idaho a few years back and had been aching to see what all the buzz was about.  Well,  I can clearly see now why the area prompted so many individuals to become embassadors for the Boulder White Clouds.  We used traditional hand tools and learned how to maintain trails properly without chainsaws for foot and horse traffic…EPIC…  Full set of pictures and story here:  

SO MANY amazing memories from this summer!  Again, I am grateful. Humbled.  Overwhelmed.  Overjoyed.









The transition into fall was splendid, this was a time for bike rides and brisk sunsets.  The Boise Co-Op contacted me about my residency with ICL and commissioned a black and white Idaho landscape series to hang up at the new Meridian Co-Op location. You can see the photo wall up above the green menus. Boise Weekly recently published this story about the new Co-Op here:

(I am extremely grateful to Maureen Valko at the Boise Co-Op for reaching out to me and seeking to display my work in their stunning new store.)










Here we are once again at the gateway to winter and I find myself turning inward, reflecting on the life that I lived this year.  Through photography and seeking the outdoors I have uncovered and refined a lifelong desire to feel more connected to my surroundings.  Walking in these places, aligning myself to their natural rhythm is tremendously  healing.  I mentioned earlier about the modern day calamities we face as human beings, and indeed I do believe these issues are extremely complex, but there is something to be said about the power of the individual to shape the reality in which they exist.  I’ll quote Ram Dass here, because I think he sums it up nicely:

“When you go out into the woods and you look at trees, you see all these different trees. And some of them are bent, and some of them are straight, and some of them are evergreens, and some of them are whatever. And you look at the tree and you allow it. You appreciate it. You see why it is the way it is. You sort of understand that it didn’t get enough light, and so it turned that way. And you don’t get all emotional about it. You just allow it. You appreciate the tree.  The minute you get near humans, you lose all that. And you are constantly saying “You’re too this, or I’m too this.” That judging mind comes in. And so I practice turning people into trees. Which means appreciating them just the way they are”

Our terraqueous globe is still speaking to us, still inviting us into a space where we can actually process our lives in a loving manner.  Still offering a chance for each and every one of us to feel more connected to each other, to the planet, and to ourselves.  Still calling out to us to leave our comfortable bubbles and get lost in the mystery of experiences that lie outside of our control.

My final show with ICL is THIS WEEK THURSDAY, December 3rd at Sage Yoga & Wellness and I hope to see you all there (see flyer below)!  As of January I will be turning the page on this chapter and looking ahead for more opportunities to get lost with my camera. I am currently looking for a chance to take pictures full time. Let me know if there are any opportunities in this amazing community that I may be missing out on. Thank you again for following me and I hope to see you Thursday!





A week in the White Cloud Wilderness

Many things have been said about the newly designated Wilderness in the Boulder White Cloud Mountain area. In fact since my return a lot has been on my mind concerning everything said and unsaid.  It is a little disheartening to see some of the comments and witness the “online bashing” that seems to take place a little too frequently concerning this and other important current events.  All I know is that a group of highly motivated and passionate individuals walked into the wilderness on August 9th to celebrate with some good ol’ trail maintenance skills using all handheld tools.  I consider myself EXTREMELY fortunate to have been among the first few to hike in after President Obama signed that bill (see, and I was indeed humbled from both the work we completed, and the White Cloud area itself.  Jeff Halligan (Idaho Trails Association) was beaming, full of knowledge, and just one of the absolute best Idahoans I have met in my life. His insights into trail maintenance are really awesome, I will never look at a hiking trail the same again. Also, the crosscut saw he packs in for these trips is a super rare 1930’s masterpiece that he still sharpens and resets by hand in his shop.  I love seeing people who are passionate about what they do, and Jeff is no exception.  I highly recommend checking out and volunteering for a trip like this.  The work is hard, but rewarding.  We hiked 65 miles in 6 days (got my ass in gear) and took out many fallen logs while creating and maintaining water bars.  The forest ranger (Bryce) assigned to our trip was also extremely knowledgable and shared with us many insights he gained during his 10+ years with the forest service (including how much foil he seems to constantly be removing from fire rings).  Bryce’s experience with Monuments, National Parks, Wilderness, and the land in general was fascinating. I have a whole new respect for the forest service after meeting him. The White cloud mountains are now a part of me forever, I cannot wait to go back and hike through again hopefully with more people hungry to take it all in.  As an avid rider and someone who is more than bike crazy I truly hope that we can all come together to celebrate this incredible, astonishing land under its new designation.

“We deeply need the humility to know ourselves as the dependent members of a great community of life, and this can indeed be one of the spiritual benefits of a wilderness experience. Without the gagets, the inventions, the contrivances whereby men have seemed to establish among themselves an independence of nature, without these distractions, to know the wilderness is to know a profound humility, to recognize ones littleness, to sense dependence and interdependence, indebtedness, and responsibility. Perhaps, indeed, this is the distinctive ministration of wilderness to modern man, the characteristic effect of an area which we most deeply need to provide for in our preservation programs” – Howard Zahniser, author of the 1964 Wilderness act. See the act here:

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Foothills were calling, so out I went

As a person who is definitely in love with bicycling, it was only a matter of time until I found myself cruising off road.  A few years ago my father took me to a shop in downtown Boise called Idaho Mountain Touring, and introduced me to his “favorite bike tech” named Zane.  Since then I’ve regularly taken my fixed gear daily driver and sometimes Jenny’s trusty Fuji into Zane’s care. The dude is always smiling, and certainly has his way with bikes.  In fact, everyone I’ve met at Idaho Mountain Touring have been extremely knowledgable and kind (Julia is so sweet).  As an added bonus, they just happen to carry the absolute best bikes and gear for cycling, climbing, and outdoor adventure.

Now theres been a lot of buzz recently surrounding the Boise Foothills Levy coming up in November, so I decided I would go explore more of these “backyard trails” (along with a few familiar and wonderful camelsback outings).  I spoke with Bill, the manager of the downtown store and he agreed to sponsor me for a couple weeks with a Giant 29’er mountain bike for my exploring needs (MANY THANKS to Bill).  I am super stoked for the time I spent on that awesome bike in an area that is enjoyed by so many. I look forward to more mountain biking and meeting more people who play in Boise’s open spaces. I am currently raising funds to purchase my very own mountain bike someday soon (can’t happen soon enough) so I can get back out there with my camera!  Thank you Idaho Mountain Touring,

Make sure to check out the story on the levy being approved:

And as always, check out the great work Idaho Conservation League is up to:

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“Wild Idaho!” and Craters of the Moon.

A morning I won't soon forget.

There’s something undeniably powerful, perhaps even magical about gathering together around a shared vision. It’s an energy, a feeling that pulls you deeper into purpose and peace. My time at this years “Wild Idaho!” gathering at Red Fish Lodge can be narrowed down to exactly those two states of being; purpose and peace. Now I don’t know about you, but in my lifetime I’ve spent a great deal of time seeking peace, while purpose has proven itself to be an entirely different bag of beans.  My point here is that working with the Idaho Conservation League has refueled my ambition to actually change the quality of the world that we live in, as opposed to just bashing the things within the world that I don’t agree with. It allows me to utilize my desire to connect with and form a stronger bond with my own humanity while working towards my dream of living each day with purpose.  Also, (and this is no secret to most of you)  these Naturalists know how to have a good time.

There were roughly 100+ people attending the event with some key speakers throughout the weekend. Many people shared their visions of an Idaho that learns to be more accountable to our environment as well as the importance of giving back. I sat and watched a room full of people listen closely to a Nez Perce Indian Elder named Silas Whitman share his native creation story and discuss the importance of reintroducing salmon to certain areas of our rivers in attempt to strike a better balance in nature. I listened to ICL’s executive director Rick Johnson, Central Idaho Associate Dani Mazzotta, and Idaho congressman Mike Simpson discuss the proposal of a wilderness bill or national monument for the Boulder white clouds and how many years of hard work it has taken for them to finally see some hope for an area that absolutely demands our protection.  I listened to 14 year old Ilah Rose Hickman share her amazing story of perseverance during the five year journey with the Idaho Giant Salamander towards a proper seat as the official State Amphibian. I met and spent time with Isaac Babcock during an early morning outing in hopes to see wolves in the area. Isaac co-created a film about the Frank Church Wilderness area called “River of No Return” which I highly recommend viewing (currently streaming on netflix.) No wolves showed that morning, however we did spot pronghorn, elk, a woodpecker, and my personal favorite, a great grey owl (the truth is out; I am a bird nerd).  These are just a few examples of stories/moments shared over that weekend. Needless to say I was feeling super inspired to get out there and enjoy the redfish lake area.

Over the next few days I awoke before the sun, grabbed my gear and rushed out. This is not normal for me as I tend to be a night owl, so this was both challenging and rewarding.  Being out there in the woods, close to the waters edge, hiking up the bench lakes trail, or peering through my fathers old bushnell binoculars, I felt restored. I remember noticing that I had almost no thoughts whatsoever, I was simply taking everything in (increasingly rare brain scenario these days).  My “child like” wonder was awakened from its temporary siesta. I think the best part about being in the mountains is that I return to myself.  The original plan was to return to boise on monday morning back the way we came from through garden valley, but the idea of more exploring and extending the trip for a day was almost too convincing. Word got out somehow to Aimee Moran that we were thinking of staying possibly in ketchum or sun valley, so she started networking a cozy spot for Jenny and I to rest for the night (Aimee is THE best).

A gentleman named Dan Buckley approached me shortly thereafter and invited us to stay in his guest room, at his house inside the Craters of the Moon visitors center/campground. I was pretty stoked on the sound of that and was really thankful for Dan. We left the next day after making a vow to return again next year and floated towards ketchum and sun valley. The moody clouds floating above the snow dusted mountain horizon made for an emotional landscape. I tend to hear piano scores and elegant orchestra when I see landscape like this. The mountains have their own tune, and as we made our way through the boulder mountains that tune became a force. Peaks were now disappearing into the clouds, towering, one after the other, after the other. I absolutely love being out on the road, so the drive to craters was pure eye candy.  As we approached the dark, rugged, stark landscape of the Craters area (quite a contrast from the lush Sun Valley slopes) I found myself completely intrigued by the beauty of it all. I remember traveling here only once before with my Grandfather when I was just a kid, maybe ten years old, and even then the place really impacted me.  Dan’s house was indeed located right there at the visitors center, with large bedroom windows overlooking some of the 800,000 acres of lava (really cool spot, ask him to stay sometime just make sure and sign the guestbook). Before the sun went completely down we drove out to inferno cone for a good little sunset walk. The winds were howling cold as the sun sunk lower and lower in the sky, but Jenny is a trooper, she passed me and ran to the top (my excuse is I have to carry heavy camera equipment). I thought she looked really small up there, yet at the same time immensely powerful.

The next morning consisted of sunrise raven hangouts, cave exploring, marmots, a feather found deep inside a cave on some crazy lava flow, and lots of wildflower pictures.  Jenny and myself were feeling the call towards home around mid day, and we made our way from Craters back to Boise. We are so grateful to have had this experience and to have met so many stellar people at Wild Idaho. Thanks again to Dan for the hospitality, and to ICL for inspiring me to get out and continue my investigation into nature and our moments with it. Thank you for reading this and for looking at the work I am creating as the Artist in Residence for the Idaho Conservation League. Every image you see here is available for print purchase with 25% going right back to ICL.  Your support enables me to continue traveling and taking pictures, I truly rely on you!

Also, I have a show coming right up!

@ The Mode lounge at 8th and Idaho, downtown Boise this first Thursday June 4th from 5-midnight? Full bar. Come join us!



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Crazy Wonderful new year.

I started this year with perhaps an overly-eager application to the Idaho Conservation League’s Artist in Residence program. The thought of being outdoors, hiking, camping and breathing in this wonderful landscape while representing an amazing organization was overwhelming. Every time I grab my camera I am telling the world that I am open, I am present to the beauty, the joy, and the tragedy around me. Sometimes even the mundane surprises me with a moment that leaves an imprint on my heart, reminding me that I am practically SURROUNDED by art, all I need to do is open my eyes and focus on the feeling.  I’ve been taking my camera out and pressing the shutter on my own now for quite some time, so I was extremely nervous to be showing my work and applying to represent ICL through my photography. I waited nearly a month for the commitee’s decision and thought about all the different ways that I would represent them and bring a new awareness of Idaho to our young community through my work. I still remember the phone call from Aimee Moran (Director of Development for ICL,) which I received at work; she told me I had been selected and that the committee felt that my work stood out from the rest. There are certain moments in life when everything seems to sparkle with a certain magical quality one may call joy.  This was one of those moments.  I’ve been searching for a chance to portray my true passion for a very long time, and here was my opportunity to express myself and my skills for a greater cause! We spoke of what the residence entailed and when I could formally announce my role. From January on I’ve been thinking of ways to fulfill my role for ICL in a way that will spark a movement, a mental shift perhaps, with far more attention aimed at our wild spaces here in Idaho and the environments that literally sustain our lives. But I will be honest, winter was HARD for me. Let me say that more accurately, January and February were the hardest months to get out and shoot images. From working full time in a restaurant to setting up my tri-pod in temperatures of 5 degrees. From walking on solid ice enclosed by thick inversion, to walking away empty handed, cold, and defeated. I would stand at work during the day and think of all the opportunities I was “missing” only to go out on my next day off and battle the elements for a decent shot. I started to  realize that I was putting far too much pressure on myself, and that the reason I BEGAN taking pictures in the first place was to cherish certain moments while expressing my wonder for what’s in front of me. I wrestled with these thoughts for a few weeks and realized I am so grateful to have the opportunity to really look at myself and my experience with new eyes, to reanalyze what I’m doing and why I do it. Thankfully, the month of March has kissed me with her good graces and I am feeling the warmth of the earth again, calling me out to walk with my camera and to be present. At the end of this month, I am excited and honored to be showing my work at a private show for a collector of ICL 2014 artist in residence Rachel Teannalach’s work. Aside from that I am also participating in this years “Modern Art Show” at the modern hotel, and I’ve entered the “Magic Valley Art and Soul Event” Art show in Twin Falls!  I am committed to keeping this blog because I love to write, although I must admit I feel equally vulnerable and excited to share this with you. Thank you for reading, and for taking time to peer into my world for a bit.


Peter Lovera.