<< Previous Next >>

Swallowtail at stormy weather.

Swallowtail at stormy weather.
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter Stoeckl (peter_stoeckl) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1738 W: 291 N: 4005] (11530)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-05-05
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon EOS 350D
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Swallowtails, Butterflies with minimum 50 points & above, Dedications at Trek Nature, Beautiful Butterflies Part Two, Loot's Favourites 1 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-06-23 6:37
Viewed: 5331
Points: 54
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Swallowtail at stormy weather.


For Loot.

That day in early May was bright and sunny, but very windy. All of a sudden, that fresh young Swallowtail sat down on a dandelion flower right in front of my path, clinging to the blossom, and fighting against the wind. I made a series of about twenty shots of that butterfly shaking wildly in the storm - and these shots taken under very adverse conditions appeared to be OOF and OE when checking them at home, and in disappointment I forgot about them.

The unexpected here: Looking into these pictures again much later, there was one shot taken from large distance with 140mm telezoom that turned out to be useful after little postwork that included heavy cropping and a little bit of selective sharpening.

So - if you agree that this shot is not that bad for the conditions it was taken - it is thanks to the unexpectedly high precision resolution of the equipment that allows very close cropping of an image taken from large distance.

Some of you may remember a similar shot from the same setting taken with a compact Minolta from one of my previous postings.

Papilio machaon (Linnaeus, 1758)

European Swallowtail
Le Grand Porte-queue
Paź królowej
Vidlochvost fenyklový
Otakárek fenyklový

Wingspan 70 - 80 mm

Family: Papilionidae.

Widely distributed all over Europe, from the lowlands up to the mountains well above 2000 meters above sea level, scarce and very local in the UK. Rather local and not very common in the rest. In the southern parts two to three generations from April to October. Caterpillars feeding on Umbelliferae and Rutaceae, e.g. Dictamnus albus that grows in abundance on Eichkogel.

L.G.Higgins, N.D.Riley: Die Tagfalter Europas und Nordwestafrikas. Verlag Paul Parey, Hamburg und Berlin 1978.
C.Jonko: Butterflies and Moths of Europe: http://www.lepidoptera.bai.pl/

A limestone hill called Eichkogel, near the town of Moedling, South Eastern Lower Austria.

Camera: CANON EOS 350D, sRGB, 3456 x 2304 pixel, Tele Zoom 140mm, macro activated, F/9, 1/400 sec, ISO-400, 05.05.2006, 13:22.

Postwork by Photoshop Elements: heavy cropping, slight selective sharpening of butterfly and blossom, noise removal, downsized to the web.

Thank you for looking.
Have a very good weekend.

leboistoo, hansh, markula, scottevers7, TAZ, red45, marhowie, loot, eruyanik, ramthakur, jmp, dew77, jchemas, CTP, magal, coasties, keanhoon, phlr, firelord, eman68 has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To loot: difference in colour, which is more true to live?peter_stoeckl 2 06-24 08:47
To markula: heavy (I wonder how heavy) croppingpeter_stoeckl 1 06-23 16:31
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

Hi Peter,

Nice tight cropped composition. Amazing shot, especially if it was in stormy weather. Beautiful contrast of colours. I guess you'll have quite a few admirers of this one. Excellent write up, greatly appreciated.


  • Great 
  • hansh Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 277 W: 1 N: 741] (2762)
  • [2006-06-23 6:44]

Very nice, sharp and well colored picture. I like it a lot, thanks.
Gr. Hans

Hi Peter, this is really an amazing shot, so beautiful ! Details, colors, composition and POV are perfect. Also an excellent DOF and BG. This swallowtail is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful butterflies we can encounter in Europe. Very well done !

Hi Peter,
EXCELLENT! This really has vivid beautiful colors in it. Perfectly composed and framed. Nice sharp detail with a superb contrasting OOF backround. This is a beauty!

Hello Peter!
Very nice shot in spite of unfavorable conditions and heavy (I wonder how heavy) cropping. Even if you didn't mention those I would have still liked it. It is really frustrating that so often when you have an interesting subject in front of you wind makes it hard or impossible to take advantage of the opportunity. In this case you shouldn't complain, you ended up with quite good result. Regards,

Hallo Peter,

I really like this picture. The focus and DOF is very good. The picture is ever so slightly soft. Well done


  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2006-06-23 7:18]

Voici un beau Papilio machaon. Les couleurs ont belles. Dommage que l'aile droite soit un peu hors focus... Note complémentaire instructive.
Well seen and well done, thanks Peter for sharing

Hello Peter, excllent details, Bg POV, colors and DOF is right on, detail are excllent everything is really crisp, great Job, TFS Kyle

  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2006-06-23 7:39]

Hi Peter!

Big and colorfull. Still on my wishlist [I captured it only once]. Right wing is slightly blurred, but it's ok, rest is sharp and clear. Composition with small flower is also good. You had great meeting with this beautifull insect :-)

Hi Peter,
Very nicely exposed, vibrant colors..
Excellent diagonal presentation, great BG blur isolating the subject well. Great POV as well...
Even with the heavy crop, great detail has been retained.
Well done and Thank You!

  • Great 
  • loot Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
  • [2006-06-23 8:57]
  • [3] [+]

Hi Peter
Thank you my friend, I appreciate your kindness and this lovely gesture. Yes, I remember your first posting very well. That was the day you visited the nature lovers Hades, the ultra shop in Vienna. (It almost sounds like a follow-up title for an Ultravox song.)
I am glad you managed to salvage this photo from that trip. You were rather disappointed with the results from the new 350D. That was when (I think) the reality hit home how different the DSLR reacts and handled compared to a digital compact with regards to macro photography. You ended up posting a photo of this same butterfly, which you took then with your old 'black' Minolta (the trusty one). However, I was still hoping to see the 350D take over that role, but I kept on seeing photos of the Minolta and lately a Sony DSC-H5 coming through. Now I told you then that the photo you took with the Minolta was excellent, but this one here is magnificent (i.e. excellent x 2 = magnificent) and it falls in the WOW category.
I just wonder, going back to that photo and noticing the difference in colour, which is more true to live? The white swallowtail here in this posting or the one with the Minolta which showed much more yellow. Looking at this one it does appear to be the more natural one, judging by the colour of the vegetation, as the other one even had a yellow hue in the foliage as well. This photo is very sharp although it seems that due to the movement caused by the wind the focus actually fell on the dandelion, which is really saying something about the DOF obtained with the f/9 aperture. The only slight nit I can see is the little movement which rendered the right wing a little soft in detail.
Excellent work my friend and TFS.

Hello Peter!
Great shiny colours on this one! pov, framing, bg, sharpness all are very nice! Great result with that hard conditions. Thank you!
Have a great weekend!

This is as good a shot as any other from you, Peter.
Perfect POV, DOF, colours and sharpness.
If you have done any PP work on it, it does not show.

Every one who consider conditions know how it's diificult what you did. I like take pictures in that conditions because butterflys usually stay on flowers with opened wings. The worst of situation is that the flowers don't stay on a right place all the time.

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2006-06-23 14:32]

Hi Peter,
I think the shot is good enough for the situation you describe. A beaufitul butterfly, great composition and an excelent bg. DOF do not cover the right wing, but this minor detail do not affect the great result you have got.
Best regards,
José M.

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2006-06-23 15:02]

Hello Peter,
Wonderful capture.Vivid colors,lighting,framing and composition are wonderful.Have a great weekend too!

Hi Peter.
We have to excuse all the cropping and work that have been done in this shot because this Swallowtail looks splendid.
The composition is superb and it is rare that this type of butterfly likes a flower like dandelion and the butterfly colors on the yellow makes this picture a magnificent shot.
Excellent colors and details and the POV and BG are great.

  • Great 
  • CTP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 644 W: 6 N: 946] (2726)
  • [2006-06-23 23:56]

Hi Peter,
Excellent Swallowtail close-up.
I like your pov,dof,focus,sharpness,details,colors,note and framing.Well Done.TFS

  • Great 
  • magal Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 224 W: 0 N: 313] (1251)
  • [2006-06-24 2:39]

Hi Peter,
Wonderful shot, with ideal POV and brilliant colours. RHS wing slightly out but this does not [in my opinion] effect the beauty of the shot. Here in Malta, the Swallowtail has a more yellowish tint, your specimen here is whiter.

Hi Peter

You show this butterfly beautifully. Excellent composition. All the technical stuff is spot on. Very nice work. :-)

Great note indeed. Nice color of this Swallowtail.

Hej Piotrek!
Jakie sliczny motyl! Kolory, glebia ostrosci i kadr... super.
Gratuluje i pozdrawiam - Roma

Hi Peter

Really nice shot of this butterfly. Very good composition and colours. TFS


  • Great 
  • phlr Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1237 W: 130 N: 882] (2821)
  • [2006-06-26 10:45]

Very good shot under the bad conditions Peter!
You did a great job!
Very good POV!
5* and TFS!

  • Great 
  • soccer Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 587 W: 0 N: 655] (2557)
  • [2006-06-27 11:36]


Very good Composition, POV, sharpness, detail of subject, DOF and BG. TFS,

Hallo Peter,
Wunderbares Bild mit schönen Farben.
Dieser Schwalbenschwanz sitzt schön auf seiner Blume.
Danke für die Teilung!

  • OzBY Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 183 W: 2 N: 351] (1355)
  • [2006-07-21 10:48]

Hi peter,

Great picture of this butterfly.
Great color, position, DOF, BG and sharpness.


Hallo Peter,

What an amazing galery you have.
Very sharp and well compossed pictures.
and again this is a wonderfull shot


Gr Thijs

Calibration Check