Whether you're hiking High Falls in middle Georgia or at the Lula Lake Land Trust near Chattanooga, having the right gear can make the difference between a day struggling to work around gear problems or a carefree day enjoying nature.
We work so hard and long at our jobs, it's critical that we spend our free time well. For me, that means buying quality, flexible gear that is good for many situations. That way, I can just grab my bag and go to maximize my time enjoying nature.
Our trips are about getting to a quiet space and making memories. And, having great pictures lets us take those awesome moments home with us to enjoy too. So, that requires a camera and the right gear to capture shots in a variety of situations.
The camera: We've been shooting with a Nikon D90 for years. It's got a reasonable weight for packing and features just about every option we need for shooting great waterfall and landscape shots.
Lenses: Normally, we like the Nikkor AF‑S DX 18‑105mm f/3.5‑5.6G ED VR for it's wide range of zoom to help us get just the right shot even when it's hard to get the right distance from the subject (because of things like water!). But, we'll usually carry the lightweight Nikkor Telephoto 85mm f/1.8 because of how well it does in low light situations.
Tripods: For multi-day trips, the Joby Gorillapod tripod can turn any surface or tree into a stable platform for my camera. For day hikes, I just strap a Manfrotto 804RC2 to my backpack.
Filters: I use Hoya 67 mm circularly polarized, UV filter, and neutral density filters to capture shots. The UV filter absorbs ultraviolet rays that often make outdoor photographs hazy and indistinct. The circular polarizer helps cut down the bright reflections off of waterfalls and lets you improve color saturation in and around the waterfall. The neutral density filter is used to reduce the light entering the lens to let me use longer shutter times on bright days to get those whispy waterfall effects even when the sun won't cooperate.