Stock landscape and outdoor adventure photos from Oregon, Washington, and the Pacific Northwest

The Best Smith Rock State Park and “Monkey Face” Photos You’ve Never Seen!

OK, I know that the title of this blog entry doesn’t totally make sense, but hopefully you get the idea.  We’ve recently taken some new Smith Rock State Park Photos that I’m very proud of and we haven’t been able to find a simple way to fit them into our blogging schedule.  These images haven’t ben shared with the public and therefore they’ve never been licensed and seen in print.  I strongly suspect that you will soon see some of these images in local ad campaigns and tourism offerings as they are great pictures of  a special and unique Central Oregon Location.  First I’ll start with a couple of my images.

 Photo of Smith Rock State Park, the Crooked River and the "Monkey Face" rock formation

Photo of Smith Rock State Park, the Crooked River and the "Monkey Face" rock formation

For quite some time now I’ve wanted to add a “Monkey Face” photo to my fine art print collection.  The above image is definitely my best effort to date.  I plan on printing it in a large format version and adding it to my fine art offerings.  Mike’s Fine Art Prints I’ve seen hundreds of different Monkey face images but most offer washed out noonday light and plain blue skies.  Those are fine for snap-shots but not for fine art prints or great stock images.  I knew I wanted a shot with interesting clouds and warm late evening light.  I also got the Crooked River in the scene as a bonus which adds another attractive element.  The above image was captured with my large format 4×5 camera in hopes of making it into a fine art print.  I also shot many other great images on that beautiful evening  with my canon 5D camera.  The following picture is a closer view of Monkey Face with some interesting cloud formations to liven up the scene.

Monkey Face and evening light from Smith Rock State Park in Central Oregon

Monkey Face and evening light from Smith Rock State Park in Central Oregon

On the enlarged version of this photo, you can actually see climbers in the mouth of “Money Face”.  Cool!  I like how my relatively wide angle lens slightly distorted the scene giving it an abstract feel.   I also like how the hiking trail in the foreground leads the viewer to the base of Monkey face.

The following Smith Rock State Park picture was taken on a different evening but helps to show the diversity of our Smith Rock portfolio.  I took the following shot at the end of a long photography day during which I chased clouds all over Central Oregon.

Picture of Smith Rock State Park at sunset

Picture of Smith Rock State Park at sunset

It may have been good fortune that allowed me to catch this scene with the colorful cloud formation hovering over Smith Rock’s summit but I certainly don’t mind being lucky!    I’ve seen countless photos taken from the viewpoint at Smith Rock, most of which are uninspiring, but I couldn’t resist on this evening.

Now for the grand finale of our mini Smith Rock State Park tour.  I’d like to give you a preview of what I predict will be the next great cover shot for the Central Oregon tourism industry.  My good friend, Troy McMullin took the following outstanding Smith Rock State Park photo.  I think it might be the best Smith Rock photo I’ve ever seen and I’ve seen thousands of them!  I’ll be very surprised if it isn’t licensed for a cover shot in the very near future, and whoever licenses it will have the good fortune to associate themselves with this  stunning image.

Smith Rock Sunset photo with the Crooked River in Central Oregon.

Smith Rock Sunset photo with the Crooked River in Central Oregon.

There are countless reasons why I think this image makes a great landscape  photo but I’ll just cover a few of them.  1. Great subject matter.  Smith Rock is veery recognizable and obviously stunning.  2. excellent composition. 3. lots of interesting elements including the impressive rock formation, awesome clouds, great color in the sky, the gently arcing Crooked River below and the distant South Sister to the left of the rock formation and Mt. Jefferson to the right.  Wow!  Like I mentioned, I’ll be very surprised if this image isn’t licensed in the near future.  Please leave any comments in the comments section at the end of this entry, and don’t forget to tell your photo editor and graphic designer friends that you’ve just seen the next great Central Oregon cover shot!  For some more great Smith Rock State Park Stock Photos, please visit our new Smith Rock gallery at Pacific Crest Stock.

Posted by Mike Putnam

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  1. Late Pictures of Fall Color in Central Oregon - Pacific Crest Stock Photography Blog

    [...] not be as stunning as Troy’s sunset image from this same location found in this blog entry  Smith Rock Photos but the delicate predawn light works well with the fall color in the riparian areas at the base of [...]

    Oct 31, 2009 @ 10:26 am


  2. Cindi Canaday

    Troy,
    I have written a story for my children and grandchildren about a monkey rock. Could I use your picture in that story? It is about a young boy who doesn’t lose his imagination eyes and can see animals in the rocks.

    Jul 24, 2010 @ 5:08 pm


  3. Christmas party

    christmas presents…

    [...]The Best Smith Rock State Park and “Monkey Face” Photos You’ve Never Seen! – Pacific Crest Stock Photography Blog[...]…

    Dec 01, 2011 @ 6:14 pm

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