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I am Nikonians

Karen Gottschall (scenicshutterbug) Interview

Marsha Edmunds (meadowlark2)

Keywords: wildlife, nature, macro, photography, nikon, d700, d500, scenicshutterbug


In the following article, you will be introduced to quite a repertoire of Karen’s work seeing how a photographer’s mind’s eye can have such a great impact on the creative process. Her captures of wildlife are equally impressive.


Bear Cub in Tree - Minnesota
Nikon D700, 500mm f/4 Nikkor @ f/4, 1/125s, ISO 1600, on tripod
Click for an enlargement


“I moved to South Carolina about 3 years ago from Michigan.  For nature lovers, this area provides beautiful coastal scenery ranging from swamps and marshes to beaches and ocean.  It is a birders paradise with many varieties of shore and wading birds, birds of prey, and many migratory species.  Alligators are plentiful and several varieties of snakes, frogs and dragonflies can be found.  Live oaks dripping in Spanish moss are everywhere.” 


City on the Hill
Nikon D700, 24-70mm f/2.8 Nikkor @ 32mm, f/13, 5s, ISO 640
Windowsill support
Click for an enlargement


“There are also many antebellum homes and pre-Civil War era ruins in the area which present interesting photographic opportunities. Charleston, SC and Savannah, GA are nearby providing the opportunity for street and architectural photography.  It is sunny most days, which makes infrared photography a good choice as well.”


Iron Horse Stagecoach
Nikon D700, 24-70 mm f/2.8 Nikkor @ 24mm, f/20, 2s, ISO 640
On tripod - Topaz Clean and Topaz Simplify
Click for an enlargement


“Like many, I began photographing nature and wildlife and that remains a favorite activity. However, my interests have expanded to include architecture, macro, infrared, and even some portraiture. The more time I spend with other photographers, the more I find new things to see and photograph in a scene.”


Nikon D200, 8-200mm @ 95mm, f/5.3, 1/100s, ISO 800
Single handheld shot, not a composite image. Taken at a zoo, the boy is a reflection in the glass around the monkey enclosure
Click for an enlargement


“I learned of Nikonians through a co-worker who was a member. I was impressed with the breadth of knowledge of the members of the community and the willingness of everyone to share information and offer suggestions for improvement and troubleshooting. I continue to value the community for these reasons and have found so many more things to appreciate.  The community provides a great opportunity to explore new areas of photography, to learn about post processing, to better master the equipment I have and learn about more that I may need/want, and to learn from other very talented members.  Every forum I explore at Nikonians adds a new dimension to my photography.”


Mountain Lion on Hilltop - Montana
D200, 18-200mm @ 130mm, f/11, 1200s, ISO 200, handheld
Click for an enlargement


“While in Michigan I was a member of the local Nikonians chapter and it was a great way to meet other Nikonians, get together and shoot at new places and learn from one another.  Organizing the local chapters takes a lot of work but there are great rewards for participating.”


Purity - Vase of Lilies
Nikon D700, 105mm f/2.8 Nikkor @ f/3.0, 0.3s, ISO 200
On tripod. Topaz Adjust
Click for an enlargement


“Nikonians have helped make me a better photographer with constructive, positive image critiques and suggestions.  They have widened my horizons on photographic opportunities and helped me explore the use of new (to me) equipment and techniques.  They have quickly helped me solve computer and equipment problems that would have taken me ages to resolve on my own.  They have helped me better plan the gear to take on trips as well as what to see while there, and they have inspired me with their photography.  

Spend time exploring the forums and don’t be afraid to ask for comments and advice or to contribute to the discussions.  I have found members to be very generous with their time and suggestions, and you will likely get a wide range of suggestions and points of view.” 


Someone to Watch Over Me
Nikon D500, 200-500mm f/5.6 Nikkor @ 390 mm, f/13, 1/250s, ISO 800
Handheld. I added the matting to isolate the birds and eliminate distractions
Click for an enlargement


“While on the deck of a ship with other photographers and passengers, one photographer decided to remove his jacket.  He placed his camera on the deck by his feet for just a few seconds while he unzipped his coat.  The ship hit a small ocean swell.  It was just a small ripple, but it was enough to cause his camera to roll over and disappear through the scupper hole into the bottom of the ocean.  That taught me to never leave my gear untethered.  Memory cards now stay in a zipped pocket of my jacket or backpack, which remains attached to me, and the camera strap is always around my neck.  This poor photographer not only lost the pictures he had already taken, but also lost potential shots that disappeared when his camera went overboard.”


Water Lilies
Nikon D700, 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 62 mm, f/10, 1/640s, ISO 400, handheld
Click for an enlargement


Karen has been very active in photography communities and by all indications with other spheres in life to which she is actively engaged.  Considering that commitment of time elsewhere it is greatly appreciated that she agreed to participate in this feature.



Tight Squeeze - Minnesota
Nikon D700, 70-200mm f/2.8 VR I, @ 200mm, f/4.5, 1/160s, ISO 560
On tripod
Click for an enlargement




Thank you, Karen.




Originally written on June 1, 2017

Last updated on November 29, 2017

Marsha Edmunds Marsha Edmunds (meadowlark2)

Donor Ribbon awarded for her support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Fellow Ribbon awarded for her continuous encouragement and meaningful comments in the spirit of Nikonians. Donor Ribbon awarded for her generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Ribbon awarded for her generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2017

Lethbridge, Canada
Team, 6917 posts

More articles by Marsha Edmunds

More... More...


Karen Gottschall (scenicshutterbug) on June 13, 2017

Hi Philipp, Thank you so much. "City on the Hill" was taken in Edinburgh. Karen

Philipp Duffy (Nuvolari) on June 12, 2017

Thank-you Karen for sharing these, and thanks to Marsha for the write up. Your photos are spectacular. I love "City on the Hill" (where is that, BTW?) and "Evolution" is sheer inspiration. I would absolutely have thought it was a double exposure or other manipulation without your note. As it is, it is pure brilliance and a testament to vision over software. Bravo!

Karen Gottschall (scenicshutterbug) on June 5, 2017

Marsha and Sarah, Thank you so much. Much of my photography is inspired by the work of other Nikonians like yourselves. I am constantly looking at images wishing I had seen a shot the way the maker did! Karen

Sarah Boser (Sarah9) on June 5, 2017

Karen, your images are great! I love the range of subjects and the sense of emotion you're able to convey with each one. Thanks for sharing.

Marsha Edmunds (meadowlark2) on June 4, 2017

Donor Ribbon awarded for her support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Fellow Ribbon awarded for her continuous encouragement and meaningful comments in the spirit of Nikonians. Donor Ribbon awarded for her generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Ribbon awarded for her generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2017

The variety of work you do is amazing, Karen. My thought of the mountain lion shot centres on envy,the opportunity to see one and to have the opportunity to take a shot. City on a Hill is so beautiful. Great fun working with you. You are very accomplished in your work.

Karen Gottschall (scenicshutterbug) on June 3, 2017

Hi Lela, The mountain lion was a beauty, but I think it is a combination of the composition and the crop that makes her look a bit closer than she actually was. I was never in any real danger and she was much more focused on something else that only she could see! It was definitely a thrill to see her, though. Karen

Lela Bouse-McCracken (owl) on June 2, 2017

Donor Ribbon awarded for her generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Donor Ribbon awarded for her very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2015 Donor Ribbon awarded for her very generous contribution to the 2017 fundraising.

Hi there, Karen. Nice range of subjects...but I'm going to have to say you were a little too close to that mountain lion!!! Gorgeous shot, though. :) Well done! -Lela

Karen Gottschall (scenicshutterbug) on June 2, 2017

Hi Donna! Thank you so much. As you might expect, I don't miss the snow, but do miss the beautiful Michigan summers. It gets a bit hot and sticky down here, but I guess no place is perfect all the time. Karen

Donna Knodle (dgknodle) on June 2, 2017

Ribbon awarded for her very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2017

Well, hello, Karen! Your expanded photography skills are very evident in this interview. These shots are truly exceptional. I'm sure you miss our winters here, but you've definitely found your place in South Carolina. I can't pick a favorite in this interview, they are all superb works. You and Marsha put together a great interview.

Karen Gottschall (scenicshutterbug) on June 2, 2017

Dan and Tom, Thank you for your kind words. I owe a lot to Nikonians for broadening my view of photography. It is truly something that you can do anywhere, anytime, just by changing what you focus on. As for "City on the Hill", it is one of my favorite images of one of my favorite places.

Dan Mitchell (danmitch) on June 1, 2017

Thank you for sharing these photographs Karen, as Tom has said such a broad range of beautiful work - "city on the hill" is wonderful.

Tom Jacob (sevendayimages) on June 1, 2017

Awarded for his continuous knowledge and images sharing with community members Awarded for his win at the Best of Nikonians 2016 Photo Contest

Very impressive shots here Karen, and love the way you seem to handle a range of different interest in photography and learned to master them too. I think that's great. Nice of getting to know a bit more of you. Of course Marsha, well done and thanks for all that 'behind scenes' work you do! Cheers, Tom