Purina Wonderfur Winter Contest
Marley, a cat from Scarborough, needs your help.
The tabby cat is a Round 1 finalist in the Purina Wonderfur Winter Contest, which will see the winning cat and dog featured on next year’s holiday treats packaging, is now on.
Marley currently has 66 votes and needs your help to get get him past Peter, who has more than a 1,000 people cheering – and clicking – him on.
Visit www.wonderfurwinter.ca to vote for your favourite cat or dog or to enter your pet into the contest.
Pet photography tips
With Christmas just more than a month away, now is the time to learn how to take your pet’s picture.
The following tips are courtesy of pet photographer Jason KB.
Know your pet
Photos will turn out better if you stop to think about your subject and brainstorm ways to highlight your pet’s special characteristics.
For example, if your dog has a happy disposition, think of a way to put a smile on his face. If your cat has a long coat then find a way to show it off in your photos.
Pretty up with a little primping
You wouldn’t get your picture taken with bed-head hair or unflattering clothes, so why should your pet? Groom your pet before the photo shoot. Animals with long fur should have it trimmed away from their eyes or tied back.
Time to get physical
If your pet is full of energy, exercise them before the photo shoot so they are relaxed and better behaved. On the other hand, if you animal is always cool and calm, pick their most active time of day so you have their full attention.
Location, location, location
Choose a location that puts your pet at ease and will make a nice backdrop. The dog park might be a picturesque location, but the other dogs running around might make it tricky. Also be sure that the backdrop doesn’t have distracting visual elements that will draw attention away from the subject in the photo.
Lights, camera, action
To take a great photo, you’ll need to figure out how to light your animal properly.
Indoors: photograph your animal in a room with lots of natural light (near a window works great).
Outdoors: photograph your subjects in the shade or on an overcast day for nice even lighting. On sunny days, shoot during the “golden hours” (one hour after sunrise or one hour before sunset) for flattering light.
Tip: No matter where you shoot, try to angle your animal so that light reflects off their eyes. This catch-light will bring them to life in the photos.
Testing, testing 1,2,3
Set your camera up and take test shots before you start. Avoid using your on-camera flash, which will make your animal’s eyes glow. Consider using a large aperture to blur the background, which could otherwise distract from your animal.
Make it interesting
Use treats, toys and praise to get your animal interested in the shoot. Your pet will make different expressions depending on the toys you use and noises you make. The more they are enjoying themselves, the better they will look in their photos.
Tip: Try holding a treat or toy beside the camera
Lower yourself to your animal’s level by sitting, kneeling or lying on the ground. The perspective of the photos will be better and your images will look more dynamic.
Find a helping hand: It’s hard work to compose your photos and control your animal, divide the work in two by recruiting a friend’s assistance.
Take lots of photos
You can’t always predict what your animal will do, so take lots of photos and narrow them down to the best ones later.
Taking photos of animals is not easy, so be patient and try to have a good sense of humour. The more fun you have the better your photos will turn out.
Bring a pet home this Christmas
There once was a time when animal shelters closed their doors at Christmas, refusing to allow people to adopt a pet during this time of year.
Not any more.
Central Bark blogger Marc Ralsky says shelter staff are realizing this busy and happy season is the best time to bring someone new into your life - www.insidetoronto.com/blogs/post/1314776-pets-it-s-the-holidays-bring-home-a-pet-says-central-bark/