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Lioness in Hwange National Park

By pf  
I recently went on a trip to Hwange.

For this shot I used my Canon 100-400mm F/4.5 - f/5.6 IS L Lens. I was also using a Kenko TC 1.4 (but not all the time).

I submit some of my photos to a photo agency, but have been rejected on quite a few from this series due to rasterised images - this being one of them?

On viewing on 100% I can see noise in the background, but I don't actually know what rasterised means - is it the same as noise / pixelation?

I would really appreciate some help in where I went wrong - either in camera or post editing.

I was quite pleased with this image, but obviously something isn't right. On 100% I can see noise, but as I didn't use high ISO, I don't understand where the noise has come from?'

I used a Canon 7D, with the above lens, shot as follows:

ISO 200


Zoom 170mm

Exposure 1/1000

Manual White Balance - Daylight

I used photo elements 8 to adjust lighting & cropped it.

I am only an amateur enthusiastic photographer and understand (I think) the basics of aperture and shutter speed.

Any help or advice would be appreciated- Thanks in advance.

Tags: Wildlife and nature

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This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.


JuBarney 7 26 3 United Kingdom
15 Jan 2014 8:41PM
Well done. I hope you get some advice,

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pf 14 47 United Kingdom
15 Jan 2014 9:00PM
Thanks for looking - I hope so!
ColleenA Plus
5 367 6 Australia
15 Jan 2014 9:15PM
I am of no technical help at all. I do love the image though. Your timing is excellent catching her yawning. The morning light is also great.
dark_lord Plus
14 2.2k 540 England
15 Jan 2014 9:57PM
A well caught moment and the lighting is at an attractive angle and not too harsh.
There is just enough detail in the background to place the environment - I notice from your exif that you couldn't have gone any wider to soften the background further. That is just something to consider further down the line, as i said i think this looks fine.
I've added a mod where I've made a Levels adjustment by moving the black slider to the right to meet the bulk of the histogram, thus giving a fuller range of tones and boosting the contrast, as the image was tonal a little flat.

doolittle 8 2 2 South Africa
16 Jan 2014 6:40AM
Nicely composed but for me it needs more contrast.

You were brave to visit Hwange.
paulbroad 10 123 1250 United Kingdom
16 Jan 2014 9:22AM
I'm not sure rasterisation is a sensible comment from the agency. To me, it means an image created by dots, which is what digital imaging is. I think they mean grainy or noisy. I fear it may be your 7D. For some strange reason, in certain circumstances, I get this comment from agencies, also a 7D.

Try a slight gaussian blur, then a smart sharpen. Often works for me. I've resubmitted images that were rejected after this treatment to slightly blur the grain, then sharpen edges and they have been accepted.

I believe the Kenko converters are supposed to be quite good, but I wouldn't use any converter other than the Canon dedicated one. Past experiences with them not good.

this image is well composed but the existing tonal range, all similar colours, does give a slightly flat appearance. Not sure the image has enough to say for library use?

banehawi Plus
14 1.8k 3893 Canada
16 Jan 2014 12:16PM
I think you need to ask the agency to explain what they mean. They may well be using the term in a way to describe a quality of the tonal range, something like tone mapping, that they are not happy with, and use that general term. For a digital image to be a raster image it has to be created by the computer in a vector environment, which this hasnt been. So I have to assume an inappropriate use of the term, whereas a more specific description might be more helpful. Its not noise btw.

If when the image is enlarged, straight edges remain straight and sharp, rather than assume "pixel" shapes, it can be described as rasterization. IF I was to assume any part of this image might fall into that category, which I dont, it would most likely be the background, where some animals legs look like very straight and distinct lines.

I think Paul is onto the issue really as he is able to address it.


iancrowson Plus
8 211 146 United Kingdom
16 Jan 2014 5:07PM
Interesting comments here. I've had an image rejected by Alamy Agency for same 'rasterised fault'. i could not see or understand what they meant either. It could have meant noise but in my case probably meant over sharpened.
pf 14 47 United Kingdom
16 Jan 2014 8:31PM
Thank you all for your help and suggestions.

I am pleased to hear the 'noise / raterizing' doesn't appear to be anything I have done wrong, although I do appreciate the comments on not enough contrast.

I will try blurring the background and sharpening the edges to see if that makes a difference!

Hwange is a lovely place and it is safe - the people we met were great, and didn't resent the British at all - if anything they appeared to appreciate what we had done for the country.

Looks like i will have to visit again with my newly acquire Canon 300mm F/4 Lens - but I must buy a Canon 1.4 TC for the next trip ;o)

All comments greatly appreciated.
paulbroad 10 123 1250 United Kingdom
17 Jan 2014 8:53AM
I would leave the background alone. Blurred enough and you often can tell it has been done. Just a slight contrast boost, thats all. i think people sometimes try and do too much.

Sharpening. Alamy are dead keen on over sharpening. They don't like you to sharpen at all. As we all know, almost every digital image benefits from a little bit of sharpening, but for agencies, especially Alamy, very little. In fact, this is making me wonder about the 7D/noise issue. Will do a test shutting off in camera sharpening.

JuBarney 7 26 3 United Kingdom
17 Jan 2014 5:47PM
Glad you have received some advice,

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