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Anecdotes from “A day at Bonorong”

By September 1st, 2021Out and about5 min read

It was a big day at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary for shutterbugs Toni, David, Melissa and Mary. Starting the day with an overview of each of their cameras and an introduction about shooting modes, settings and techniques for wildlife photography, it was one very full day of practical learning experiences. It was a discovery about the relationship between ISO, aperture and shutter speed, about composition, white balance and exposure compensation, about considering all of this and so much more while taking memorable wildlife photos.

We enjoyed special wildlife encounters and experiences, went inside some of the enclosures, helped the keeper with feeding time, learnt about the characteristics of species and personalities of individual animals; it truly was an interactive day of learning how to photograph wildlife with the help of the very special and photogenic creatures at Bonorong. A very big thank you goes to all the team at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, especially wildlife keepers Bob and Melissa for their part in what was a wonderful photographic experience for our participating shutterbugs.


“There’s something about Mary”

In no way could we possibly have gotten bored with Tina the wombat… while roaming around the auditorium at our feet showing off her personality, she also posed for some close up photos. Tina also took a liking to Mary and wasn’t going to give up climbing until she was sitting on Mary’s lap. With help of expert keeper Bob, Tina got her way (as determined wombats do) and was able to get up close and personal with Mary… we’re not too sure who enjoyed this experience more, Tina or Mary.
This was one of those wildlife experiences best enjoyed with the camera put aside … and that’s what Mary did!

“Encounters with Eastern Quolls”Eastern-Quoll

The quolls at Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary are usually observed from outside of their enclosure which is why part of our Wildlife Photography Workshop includes spending 2-hours with expert keeper Bob to give us access into selected enclosures for far better photo opportunities. Entering the Eastern Quoll enclosure* was possibly one of, if not ‘the’, highlight of the day – time passed so quickly as the quolls zipped about us and provided many a chance for close-up photos.

* The Eastern Quoll should not to be confused with the Spotted-tailed Quoll – they have different characteristics – while it’s safe to enter the enclosure of the Eastern Quoll, it would not be with the Spotted-tailed Quoll.

David-Giles-Blue-Tongue-Lizard“Did you get it?”

This was a common question amongst shutterbugs during our “A Day at Bonorong” wildlife photography workshop. Capturing a moment of action of, or interaction between animals is the goal of many a wildlife photographer… the blue tongue of the Blue-Tongue Lizard, the fork tongue of the Tiger Snake, combats between the teenage Forester Kangaroos, battles between Bettongs just to name a few… exciting moments for all to see.

Some of the other memorable moments of the day

  • Hearing the keeper’s words of wisdom about why getting low to the ground to take a photo of a Tassie Devil is not such a good idea. Capturing that much-desired eye-level photo of a devil is most easily and best achieved while observing them in a reputable sanctuary environment.
  • Learning techniques about how to photograph through enclosures with nets and cages (necessary to keep safe the animals and humans alike).
  • Spending time in the enclosures with the Sugar Gliders and watching as they ate their fruity sweet treats.
  • Meeting Fidget the albino possum – Fidget is a permanent resident of Bonorong because he would be at risk if released back into the wild (because of his albinism and the fiercely territorial nature of other Brushtail Possums).
  • Interacting with the yellow-tailed black cockatoos – a favourite animal amongst our workshop participants.
  • Feeding the very passive Tawny Frogmouths their evening meal.
  • Looking on as teenage Forester Kangaroos boxed playfully at the end of the day


Here’s what participants said about their day
“A fantastic day with wonderful company & tutors. I cannot think of any way you could improve on what you are doing so thank you for the opportunity and the privilege of being able to be so close to those wonderful little critters!”

“(the) Workshop gave me plenty of time to really absorb some of the key points and practice them.”

“… (in) a Devil photo I’d taken the eyes were actually really clear – all my attempts at photographing devils and quolls during previous Bonorong visits resulted in blurry blobs, so this was quite a triumph.”

“It has totally rekindled my enthusiasm for practicing camera skills.”

Private Wildlife Photography Tuition experience…
With our partners of Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary we offer Private Wildlife Photography Tuition on location at the sanctuary. This experience also includes a very special encounter, private and exclusive, with a keeper and one of the unique creatures of Bonorong.

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