Judy Royal Glenn Photography
I was on St. Simons Island, Georgia for a very brief visit to attend my 30th year high school reunion. My son had his rival football game Friday night, so we stayed to watch his game. We decided to drive straight down to St. Simons and arrived around three o'clock in the morning.
The next day, we had a tour of my high school at ten o'clock, so I had the afternoon to shoot. I did not have a lot of time because our low country boil was at seven p.m.
I knew exactly where I wanted to go - a place where I usually find birds on the beach. When I got there, I walked up on a plover. He did not see me, and I did not see him until I was real close.
I photographed this little guy for an hour. We kind of did a dance. He would walk, and I would follow. When he would have his back to the camera, I would get closer.
In the distance, I saw a very large beach umbrella. The perfect shot would be with the plover in the foreground and the umbrella in the background. Plover's or any bird for that matter are not going to sit still while you put a prop behind them, but the thought of putting an umbrella behind him did cross my mind.
Then the scene all played out. He walked towards the umbrella! I was just excited I got a half decent shot of him with the umbrella in the background.
The bird was very calm and did not seemed stress at all by my presence. I took my camera off my tripod and laid belly first on the sand. At first I placed my elbows in the sand to brace the camera to shoot. I did a military crawl towards the plover and towards the end, I put my lens collar foot on the sand. My camera was about an inch off the ground.
While the shooting is good.....SHOOT! I took about 200 deliberate photographs of the plover, and for 30 minutes did a military crawl to inch closer and closer to him.
While I was photographing him, I either thought to myself said out loud, "That's so you Jesus." I could not have set up the perfect background with the perfect subject if I tried a million times. It would have been comical seeing me running around with an umbrella placing it down behind the plover over and over. But yet, Jesus displayed Himself again to me by orchestrating everything all together!
I knew I was killing my elbows and knees in the harsh sand, but the pain did not matter compared to the shots I was getting.
At one point the plover was so relaxed, he laid down in the sand. He would have laid down longer, but a group of young kids ran past him and made him stand back up.
I had captured my "dream" photo and was finished with my shoot, so I told the plover thank you........a tradition I typically do with the animal I am photographing.
I had no idea how far I had crawled in the sand, so I walked out the distance to calculate later. I crawled over 20 feet. My knees suffered the brunt of the ordeal because the skin on my knees is now peeling off.
I would do it all over again if the situation presented itself. That's so you Jesus!