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Beautiful beast

Daniel Medel made this engaging connection with an orangutan at the San Diego Zoo recently. You can imagine the surprise Medel got when this beautiful beast sat down right in front of him, practically posing -- meeting eye to eye.

This photograph and moment reflect the soulful spirit of the animal. Medel was able to create a connection by being patient and finding the right spot.

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Medel said that growing up in Mexico, he was brought up around photography. He said he has fond memories of his father and uncles taking pictures at parties and special events and then rushing home to develop the film in a darkroom -- a.k.a. the closet -- producing prints and returning to the party to sell them.

Imagining young Medel witnessing this scene makes photography such a romantic extension of his history. It is no surprise that Medel is passionate for photography; it's practically in his blood.

Follow Kathy M.Y. Pyon on Instagram and Twitter. Tag me, I want to see your awesome California Moments pictures

Each week, we're featuring photos of Southern California and California submitted by readers. Share your photos on our Flickr page or tag your photos with #socalmoments or #californiamoments on Instagram and Twitter. Follow us on Twitter or visit latimes.com/socalmoments for more on this photo series.

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