I frequent the beautiful Smith Rock State Park in Central Oregon. I had scouted a location in the park that seemed to me to be the perfect frame for a sunrise. If all went to plan, the rocks would slightly light up as the sky behind filled with its pink and blue sunrise colors. After a fresh snowfall, I could capture the snow covered foreground and set the contrast for the image. From this angle, the river bent perfectly around the sheer cliffs of tuff and basalt, almost as if someone painted the scene perfectly. On the far left side, way in the distance you can see the cascade mountain range, enjoy the sunrise for itself. 

I waited weeks, with many failed attempts for the appropriate conditions to present themselves! As we all know, especially with photography, "Patience is a Virtue!!!" and certainly pays off, as it did in this situation. The night before, Smith Rock had a nice dusting of fresh snow. My alarm was set for a very early morning. I set out for the park, went straight to my location, set up my gear and waited. As the sun approached  the horizon, the rocks lit up, the sky put on a show of pastel pinks and blues. The river swept smoothly around the rocks and far in the distance, sure enough, you could see the Cascade range enjoy its view of the sunrise! The plan came together. The dream came true! And forever now, I'm thrilled to be able to re-live the moment through this photo. It was a happy morning, I was beyond thankful. As soon as I took the photo, I softly said to the scene in front of me, "Morning Mr. Smith!"

- Ross Lipson