So when I went out for a walk today to photograph birds at Clearwater Beach, FL, I was mindful of this advise, especially since I was planning to use a 14-42mm lens.... and needed to get up very close and personal. I took a lot of photos of seagulls and other local birds but wasn't able to get up close enough to anything for a good shot. Everything just flew away as soon as I took the camera out. I felt like I had failed the "intimacy test" with the birds of Clearwater so I put the camera back in the bag and headed home.
But like many things.... when you stop trying too hard your luck changes. As I was walking back home I saw a white Egret near the shore. I slowly walked toward it. And as I got closer and closer.. and closer.. I couldn't believe that I was being "trusted" enough to get within 6 feet of this beautiful bird! It felt really intimate. How did I get so lucky? This Egret just stood there steadfast...almost begging me to come closer. Well, as the Lightstalking piece said, it really helps to be patient and "unobtrusive". But I should note that it also really helps when there is a tasty little bite sized fish dangling off a fishing line just a few feet over your shoulder! Turns out that some kids were fishing off a nearby ledge and had caught a fish just as I was walking up and moving in on the Egret. Maybe the Egret "trusted" me but I think he was really looking for a quick and easy dinner. Yep, miracles happen.... especially if you are in the right place at the right time!