I went to the Dallas zoo with the idea of getting close-up animal portraits. I spent 30 minutes watching the gorillas and talking to the zoo keeper. Each gorilla has their own personality and I enjoyed learning about the individuals.
When you bring a child to the zoo you tend to be chasing them and trying to keep up. When you go with a specific intent, you can concentrate on the specific species you intend to photograph and are more able to just relax and enjoy them.
I watched a group of chimps in a very tender moment. It's amazing how much more you see when you stop and enjoy them instead of running to the next exhibit. The two chimps sat and groomed each other while a young baby hid behind the bushes and played, doing somersaults and enjoying the sunshine.
Next I was lucky to have a cheetah sitting right by the window of the enclosure. The pair of cheetahs were quite active as well and stepped into the light. I got to see more of their personalities than usual, the last time I remember seeing them resting in pasture too far for my telephoto to capture anything but a group of spots.
The giraffes were fun because they come up to get feed, you can pay to get some leaves to feed them. I was impressed by the textures in the face and the eyes and the intricacies of the spots.