We took our daughter Lydia to the zoo the other day and I brought along my camera. Zoo photography is usually a mixed bag. The challenges and rewards of shooting animals in the wild are replaced with an entirely different set at zoos.
You can get quite close to the animals but you also have to contend with the unwashed hordes of humanity jostling for places at the enclosures, and nocturnal animals who pretty much just sleep during the day. Add toddler-wrangling to that scenario, and you have a situation that's not especially ideal for contemplative photography.
Between managing an excitable two year old, and the massive throngs of people there that day, it was hard to really set up for shots. The real challenge for this was not to get the most remarkable shot possible, but simply to get a decent shot while juggling everything else. Since lugging around a tripod was out, everything had to be taken quickly, in so-so light. Fun, but exhausting. It was a bit liberating to ditch all of the worries about technique and exposure, and just shoot on the fly, hoping to get lucky.
While not part of the "photoshoot", this sign made me laugh.
After a day of running after a toddler, dragging an expedition's worth of toddler gear and camera, fighting through streams of humanity, in 100 degree heat and 100% humidity, I would have traded a forest's worth of orangutans for a chocolate bar. Don't even ask what ecological carnage I would have engaged in if you had offered a beer....