f-stop customer Kaleb East is a music and landscape photographer based in Atlanta, GA. He got into photography 3 years ago, and during the week you can find him sitting in a cubicle making phone calls and sending emails. Currently, he works full time for a transportation and logistics company as a National Collections Analyst, which consumes 40 hours of his week. The other 128 hours he is not just sitting in the cubicle, he is either hiking, dreaming or planning his next outdoor adventure. This is the area in his life where he feels most alive!
Words and photos by Kaleb East
I have always loved the outdoors, however, the past couple of years I have not motivated myself to get outside and explore. This year I decided to make a new years resolution that I was going to hike as many trails as I possibly can in one year. So far I have hiked 8 trails in the first month!
As a motivation to get outdoors more I bought the F-Stop Tilopa backpack. I spent about 2 months researching many different hiking backpacks, but none of the backpacks suited everything I was looking for in a bag. I was specifically looking for a backpack that was big enough to carry my camera equipment, tripod, water bottle, various clothing, snacks, flashlights and any misc. items all while at the same time being waterproof and stylish. To say the least, the Tilopa has not only exceeded my wants and needs, but also my expectations in a hiking camera backpack!
This past week I planned my next adventure to hike up to the top of Brasstown Bald. It is the highest point in Georgia; reaching an elevation of 4,784 ft. I started planning the hike 5 days ahead of schedule, so that I knew exactly where I was going to be set up for sunrise in order to get the best composition. To say the least, I was very excited about this particular location, because 1) I had never been to Brasstown before and 2) I was pumped to capture sunrise at 4,000+ ft. elevation.
The morning came for my epic adventure! I jumped out of bed at 4:30am in order to get to Brasstown Bald at 7am; sunrise was at 7:45am. As I drove in the dark, anticipation and excitement were building up as I imagined what it was going to look like at the top. I had seen about 500 different pictures on google and Instagram of the place, so I already “knew what it was going to look like.” I parked my car at 6:55am, paid the $3 entrance fee and started hiking up. The wind was whipping and the air was damp. I then realized I was walking in the clouds! I started imagining just how epic it would be to get to the top and be standing on top of the clouds while the sun rises over mountain tops and casts a golden beam across the top of the clouds.
When I got to the top it was about 7:30am. The cloud coverage was so thick I could only see 20 ft in front of me… there was truly no way of seeing sunrise. The weather turned out to be very cloudy and overcast. Nonetheless, it didn’t stop me from fully enjoying the moment. I pulled out my camera and tripod and started experimenting with the mood that the clouds were providing me.
Even though I didn’t get to see an epic sunrise and the mountain ranges that I’ve seen in pictures at the top of Brasstown, I still had a ton of fun and made the best of it. I have determined that I am not going to let weather conditions stop me from having an epic adventure even if it does not turn out how I had planned it to go.
I cannot wait to see how many trails, adventures and new experiences I will have had made at the ending of 2018!
"We Are f-stop" is a for all f-stop users to share their stories from the field, whether small daily adventure or epic travels. Get in touch with your story on Facebook or drop us an email to [email protected] and let us know on where your photography takes you and your pack!