Lela Bouse-McCracken (owl) Interview
Keywords: landscape, wildlife, macro, photography, owl
Lela Bouse-McCracken is a very special lady; not only has she directly helped us establishing the friendly environment we now enjoy here in the Nikonians Community, she is also an artistic, active photographer with a very rich portfolio.
The first years as head of moderation in the community was not easy for her, but her intense postings (over 4,000 in two years), combined with creating a set of internal moderation policies, helped the team around her to grow and to this day provide the friendly environment we so often take for granted.
She brings finely crafted artistic images as well as a clever wit and a willingness to contribute; both to the Nikonians Community and to individual members. Members really can make a difference by what they bring to the community, with the spectrum of talents they possess, and Lela is a clear evidence of this. Over to her.
“Ponca City is near the Kansas border in north central Oklahoma where we live on a wooded ridge right outside of town. Just over the hill lies a city lake so there are ample opportunities for me to practice wildlife photography. However, I would rather be shooting along the south Texas coast or in the Colorado mountains, and if at all possible, we visit both places at least once a year.
I found the Nikonians Community through a search engine many years ago and joined on the 25th of June 2002, just a couple years after the community had launched. At the time I was looking for information on this amazing, new digital camera that was out and that would accept my favorite Nikkor lens, the 35-70mm f/2.8 AF.
The D100 was announced at the PMA in February of 2002, and it was a sell-out with long waiting lists at $1,999. At the time I was shooting a Nikon N90 film camera, but the draw of digital pulled me in and I have never looked back since. I knew immediately that the Nikonians Community was a group of friendly, helpful photographers who had one thing in common: They were all thrilled about their Nikons! I loved having the chance to help the team for a few years and learned so much while doing so, it was a great opportunity!
When I finally decided that I needed a tripod, I wanted it to be the right decision for my equipment, without unpleasant or expensive changes. After consulting the community members and staff, I purchased what they recommended; a Gitzo 1227 tripod with a Markins Q-Ball ballhead, which I’m still loving and using, without problems or regrets.
The bottom line is that I trusted the people in the know and I haven’t regretted it for one second. When I joined the community I had no idea what a 'quick release plate' was, so it is no surprise that it is my favorite piece of equipment!
Since I shoot a lot of birds and wildlife I really wanted a longer lens. On the recommendation of several members, I have recently moved up to the Nikon D500 and a Nikkor 200-500VR. Wow! I’m just getting to know that combo and looking forward to giving it some real workouts in the field. The Nikonians Community has made my photography journey fun and exciting!
This place is my only source when I want information on equipment purchases and the depth of information provided by members regarding all aspects cannot be beaten. Plus the site is so active, that any questions will be answered promptly and with the utmost courtesy; regardless of your own comfort level with your equipment or shooting questions, you can be assured that you will be treated with regard and answered in a respectful manner.
Do you want to get that milky, smooth look when shooting waterfalls? Bob Tomerlin (drjimbob), Nikonians Moderator Emeritus from Maryland, USA (R.I.P.) suggested to me to shoot waterfalls in cloudy, or overcast weather so that a longer shutter speed can be achieved - I will forever be grateful to him for that advice!
I’ve had several shooting experiences that I look back upon with a fond memory, but the most memorable would have to be when we were in a 'bear jam' in Yellowstone. I had yet to add a bear to my portfolio, so I jumped out of the vehicle and went after my shot. After getting a few shots off, I heard a nearby park ranger on his loudspeaker say 'You must be at least 100 yards from any bear!' Oops, my bad! But, I did get a shot or two."
It is always a great pleasure to see the images you post Lela, and with your new kit it is our hope that we will see even more images from you in the near future. Your photography clearly demonstrates the high quality of images that is possible to achieve with a variety of Nikon cameras, highlighting the elements of the expertise and the eye of the photographer in creating fine images.
Originally written on October 12, 2017
Last updated on November 29, 2017
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Lela Bouse-McCracken (owl) on January 4, 2018
Thank you, Ramon. I wish I had more time to spend here now....hopefully soon.
J. Ramon Palacios (jrp) on November 17, 2017
Lela, very nice collection of images. Hard to choose a favorite. Thank you for all you did and do for the community.
Lela Bouse-McCracken (owl) on November 3, 2017
Thank you, Colin... I couldn't agree more! I could easily still be completely satisfied with the D300/80-400VR combo - I just wanted a little more reach (don't we all?) so finally upgraded a little. I appreciate your comment! Marsha - again, I'm sure it's very frustrating not being able to reach members. Perhaps if you just message them through the Nikonians site, they'll be more likely to receive and respond. Best, Lela PS: We found loons at our local lake today! YAY! :)
Colin H Frydrych (colin1957) on November 2, 2017
Great article and photos. It's good to see that all were taken with a camera / lens combination which represents a modest investment level (compared to the ultra expensive telephoto primes). That encourages the rest of us to get out there and shoot with our existing kit.
Marsha Edmunds (meadowlark2) on November 1, 2017
It is a pleasure working on this feature. It is too bad that many members may not know they have been invited to participate as Junk Mail settings on their computers kick out Nikonians E-mail. Others may not have registered a real e-mail in their profile and there are other reasons as well. Many, many invitations have been extended to which there has been no response. I wish there was a way of reaching members. I chose to see if many would find this message on the comments for your article Lela. It was fascinating working with you and your photography is a joy to review.
Lela Bouse-McCracken (owl) on November 1, 2017
Thank you Alan, Tom and Gary for the very kind words. You are much appreciated. Also, thank you, Marsha for your help with the article. Best, -Lela/owl
Gary Worrall (glxman) on October 18, 2017
(Edited by jrp Friday, 17 November 2017 ) Beautiful work but always a kind word of encouragement for those learning their way Regards, Gary
Tom Jacob (sevendayimages) on October 14, 2017
Wonderful photography going in hand with a fine article. Works like these, and of course people like these make this place a worthwhile stay and inspiration for all of us. Lela, love your views of the world, and Marsha thanks for getting it all together. Go Nikonians ;) Cheers.
Alan Dooley (ajdooley) on October 13, 2017
Clearly, Lela "SEES" the world around her and knows how to interface with it. I think too many people get wrapped up in equipment and technical aspects of photography. They become what I call "brick wall shooters." If Lela ever passed trough that phase, it was swiftly as she took has camera in hand and went into the world. Each picture posted here is a piece of art. Each shows a slice of life that many of us never experience. And I don't think it is just because she is lucky to live in a nice place. Rather, I am pretty sure she has just become incredibly observant and her camera gear is just an extension of her understanding of the world around her. Wow!