Smith Rock Winter

I’ve been wanting to capture Smith Rock with a dusting of snow for awhile. December 30th was my chance. A few days prior Central Oregon received 6-10 inches of snow. The following days were chilly with temperatures plunging to -5F. Everything was frozen even Mirror Pond and many parts of the Deschutes River.

Smith Rock is a State Park located in Terrebone, Oregon. The tuff and basalt cliffs surrounding the Crooked River are massive. It is surreal when you enter the park, like it doesn’t belong in Central Oregon. Thousands of walls provide some of the best rock climbing in the world. In the summer wild animals surround the rock cliffs including bald eagles, golden eagles, otters, deer, and many more.

I headed out from my house in Bend at 6:30am. It hovered around 3F and I was in rush to hit the road, forgetting my gloves. If anyone reading this has ever been in negative wind chills knows without gloves is f%*king cold, especially when you are grabbing a metal tripod.

Scouting out my fist composition I found myself on the edge of a thirty foot cliff. As I pushed the shutter I could feel the cold in my joints. It was time to head back to the car and warm up. I waited fifteen minutes or so until the sun started to rise above the ridge.

Then it happened the sun hit the massive walls and created the perfect moment. Well that moment lasted for 15 minutes or so, but still the shot I was looking for. Snow with alpenglow on the cliffs I couldn’t believe it. When you envision a picture for so long and finally have it, there is no explanation for the feeling. Below are the three shots I chose from my trip. Don’t let the winter stop you from visiting Smith Rock.

Smith Rock Sunrise

Smith Rock Alpenglow

Smith Rock Central Oregon


January 5, 2015
Central Oregon
Oregon Photography

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