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Iphiclides podalirius.

Iphiclides podalirius.
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: 2007-04-06
Categories: Insects
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC-H5
Exposure: f/5.0, 1/1000 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-04-14 18:35
Viewed: 4546
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 54
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Iphiclides podalirius.

Scrubs of Prunus spinosa and other Rosaceae are in full blossom in Europe in April and May. These scrubs are the home of Podalirio, the Scarce Swallowtail, and it is a pleasure to see these elegant butterflies out again in good numbers. Not only at the Mediterranean coast where this picture was taken, but also farther north in Central Europe, where we can see many of them on hills near the city of Vienna right now in these days.

Seeing butterflies in the air, and identifying them, are two different things quite often. But not with Podalirio. Its seemingly effortless gliding flight, apparently stabilized by its long tails, is unmistakable.

Recognizing Podalirio, and approaching it for taking pictures, are two other different stories, again. These butterflies love to be in constant motion, they never seem to be tired, constantly chasing each other or other species as well, driving competitors out of their territory, flirting in flight by circling each other round and round two by two in frantic spirals high up into the air.

Well, at least this one young, fresh and gentle Podalirio was friendly enough to spend a few moments sucking nectar from blossoms, and to show its wings in full size well within reach of my arms, and my camera.


Iphiclides podalirius (Linnaeus, 1758)

Scarce Swallowtail
Otakárek ovocný
Chupa leche
Le Flambé

Family: Papilionidae.

Wingspan 70 – 90mm.

>>> More information.

Rocky mediterranean coast at Duino, covered with macchia in blossom.

The camera:
SONY DSC-H5, 3072 x 2304 pixel, sRGB, 72mm tele, F/5, 1/1000 sec., ISO-125, handheld, no flash, 06.04.2007, 15:13.

Photoshop Elements, slightly cropped, downsized to the web, selectively resharpened, background partially cleaned, levels slightly adjusted.

For a view of the place, please see

>>> Macchia in Blossom.

Have a very good day.
Thank you for looking.

cedryk, Adanac, lovenature, TAZ, Royaldevon, Juyona, anel, Alex99, phlr, joey, jmp, star74, Hil, horia, SkyF, lgfoto, scottevers7, uleko, Christopher_PL 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 JoseMiguel: - close approachpeter_stoeckl 1 05-06 09:09
To joey: Thank you, Joey.peter_stoeckl 1 04-20 08:14
Butterfly photographysnowfalken 2 04-20 07:55
To snowfalken: ... without needing to chasepeter_stoeckl 1 04-20 05:41
To anel: Sion, im Wallispeter_stoeckl 1 04-16 01:51
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Peter.

Excellent picture, very good details and colors.

Jose Luis.

  • Great 
  • cedryk Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 50 N: 1722] (5270)
  • [2007-04-14 19:10]

Hello Peter,
Superb diagonal composition, perfect colours and details. Also I like very much the sky background - it matches well the blue spots on the hind wings :-) Also a very nice note to read.
Best greetings and TFS!

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2007-04-14 19:49]

Hello Peter,
My gosh Peter you have a gift for taking PHENOMINAL butterfly images that are so special, Thanks for sharing your superb talent.

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2007-04-14 22:34]

Hi peter,
Superb diagonal composition. Lovely colours with sharp details. I like the POV and DOF as well as the blue BG. Very nicely presented. Kudos.

Gorgeous....just gorgeous
What an amazing capture, very sharp and rich vivid colours, a beautiful portrait of this Swallowtail against the blue sky. Well done.
TFS Janice

  • Great 
  • delic Gold Star Critiquer [C: 440 W: 6 N: 310] (898)
  • [2007-04-15 2:20]

Excellent photo with lots of detail on the texture and patterns. I like the colors, too. Regards,

  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2007-04-15 2:32]

Hello Peter,
I imagine you were in vacation at this beautiful place ;-) And you offer us a nice remember !
The "+++" : composition, subject, pose, sharpness, colors, light, exposure, useful note...
The "-" : nothing...
Congratulations my friend and TFS.

Hello Peter,
I am amazed! This is such a beautiful capture! The p.o.v., the detail, the colours, the focus ... all superb! Well done!
Kind regards,
Bev :-)

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2007-04-15 4:05]

Hola Peter,
deliciosa imagen,
bello encuadre,
colores y iluminación excelentes,
original pov.

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2007-04-15 4:19]
  • [+]

Hallo Peter,
Quelle merveille! Und so schön fotografiert. Es ist schon eine Freude die Segelfalter durch die Luft gleiten zu sehen. Gestern hab ich einen in Sion, im Wallis, gesehen, neben dem Spital, wo mein Mann nach einem Herzinfarkt behandelt wird. Ich hab es als ein gutes Zeichen interpretiert.
Liebe Grüsse

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2007-04-15 4:22]

Hi, dear Peter.
You continue to impress my imagination and to raise to a much higher level a standard to which each photographer should aspire. Only yesterday I photographed fine butterflies whom earlier never met or met once. Including this species of butterflies. It is necessary to work more and more, work hard and more hard.

Bravo, bravissimo.

This picture is perfection. My congratulations and heart wishes.
Your student (may be, post graduate student), Alexei.

that is the best clear shot and composed butterflies I have seen for a while on this site, it has the wow factor for me.

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2007-04-15 4:48]
  • [+]

Hi Peter,
an extremely detailed and well composed shot.
Well done,

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2007-04-15 5:40]

Hi Peter,
Maybe this butterfly loves flying, flirting in flight but surely you can overcome every difficulty with butterfluies!
Best best pov, details, composition and pose.
Have a nice day,
TFS, José M.

bonjour peter
heureusement que vous l'avez placé dans la diagonale sans quoi le pauvre aurait eu les ailes coupées.
bravo pour l'ensemble.

Hi Peter,
Excellent capture of this beautiful butterfly,
Very well composed,
POV,details and colors are perfect,

  • Great 
  • Hil Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 696 W: 13 N: 1407] (5035)
  • [2007-04-15 14:58]

Hi Peter

What a stunning close up of the Swallowtail, very nice classic pose and superb POV, the detail is sharp on all of the Butterfly with very nice colours set against the blue sky BG.

TFS Hil :o)

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2007-04-15 16:24]

Hello Peter, this is a beauty, the colours and details are great. We are so close to this Swallowtai. Well composed, good POV and DOF.
Excellent work, my friend.

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2007-04-16 3:23]

Hi Peter

Another fantstic macro shot rom you, my friend!
It seems that the butterflies in your region are more tranquill and rest moreoften :) I've also seen numerous Scarce Swallowtails this year, but none of them were so kind as to stick around for a photo-sesion :(
Anyway, the result of your work (and probable patience) is terrific and shows this beauty in vivid colors and a charming natural environment - a blossoming tree.
The details everywhere on it's body and wings are crispy clear here and the DOF chosen is impeccable.
Also very nice POV and excellent exposure.

Bravo and TFS

  • Great 
  • lgfoto Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 194 W: 13 N: 279] (1536)
  • [2007-04-17 17:50]

Whaw. Wonderfull clean and sharp details of the wings. Great close up.TFS

Hi Peter,
WOW! that is a beauty. Stunning colors and detail. Perfect diagonal composition and blue sky backround. I would say you nailed that one perfectly.

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2007-04-18 6:31]

Hallo Peter,
wow noch so eine super Aufnahme von diesen schoene Flattermann. Die Perpektive ist einfach himmleich und die Schaerfe und Farben kommen sehr gut an.
Mir gefaellt deie Bildgestaltung sehr, und neidisch dazu dass ihr schon solche schoenen Falter in dieser Jahreszeit seht, wir stecken noch fast im Winter.

Hello Peter,

How beautiful! And technically perfect! With this picture you raise new standards for sharpness! I'm really impressed. This quality is hard to reach even for a DSLR owner.


This is another low POV from you! It is very dynamic and makes the swallowtail look huge! This must be the view a creature from the grass sees when looking upwards from the ground! Your composition has a great perspective. The white flowers make an excellent support for the Swallowtail! The blue sky is a perfect background to isolate the subject!


Your picture shows the colors of the Swallowtail very accurate! I love the cream-white hues of the powdery texture of the wings! The blue color in the hind wings of the butterfly balances the picture very well as I also need to find the blue colors from above the diagonal, below it! This is what painters do in their paintings!


The contrast in your picture is very good! Black and white make a great contrast with the blue from the sky!


A very good exposure in spite of this wide dynamic range! Both shadows and highlights preserved the details perfectly! Even the bright white color in the wings was perfectly exposed. In full sun it could have easily been overexposed. You successfully proved your skills in light management once again!


Excellent focus on the butterfly! The DOF is impressive and I could never achieve this depth with my camera. The details are outstanding! I can literally feel every texture so sharp is your picture! This is even more amazing as I know you haven't used a dSLR! It proves that it is the photographer the one who takes the picture not the camera! Very well done!

Congratulations for such a high quality picture! Thank you for sharing!

I've learned a lot from you, both from seeing your pictures and from your critiques and workshops and am very grateful for that. I don't think I could ever teach you something to return the favor but I guess this is something teachers must live with! :) However I would like to share my humble experience with you, just to know your opinion about it. I decided to write you this because in your notes you described how difficult it is to photograph butterflies. I found a method which allowed me to take some very good pictures of butterflies without needing to chase them. I'll explain it in a discussion as the characters number limit for a critique doesn't allow me to exceed 3000 characters.

With Best Regards,

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-04-20 7:17]

Hello Peter,
Really brilliant capture of this fabulous Swallowtail which I've only seen once in Turkey. Strangely enough it doesn't exist on Cyprus where we've just been. This is a beautiful composition, razor sharp and in brilliant colours.
Many thanks and regards, Ulla

Hi Peter,
Crystal clear results on this magnificant butterfly image, the camera setting works out great, the DOF is well chosen and the colors are very vibrant. :)

As always just perfect shot. Excellent composition, colours, sharpness and all other details ;-)
Really nice to see it!


Hi Peter,
Very impressive view of this butterfly!
It's simply imponent.
What to say about the close approach and great details got, just impeccable!
You did it great handling the light with the exposure.
The texture on the wings is so enjoyable...
Congratulations and thanks for share it.
My best regards,


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