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Photo Information
Copyright: Ivan Kruys (Argus) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-04-11
Categories: Insects
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/1000 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-04-20 7:33
Viewed: 3796
Points: 54
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This is the Common swallowtail (Papilio machaon)

Unlike in neighbouring countries, it is the only species of swallowtail found in Cyprus.

Though Swallowtails are good fliers and can fly long distances during daytime, they tend to avoid flying over long stretches of water. This can explain the development of several subspecies and even new species on islands like the UK and islands in the Mediterranean. Genetic examination can reveal several subspecies, genetically but not visually different.
There are severak subspecies in N. America, probably isolated from one another by natural barriers such as mountains and prairies.

Wild fennel grows commonly in Cyprus, but that could be one of several larval host plants.

Swallowtails often flutter when feeding from flowers, which allows them to remain stable on flowers that would otherwise bend down from their weight.

When I took this shot I had to use a high shutter speed in order to be able to capture the two far wings sharply.

This was taken with the camera hand-held at a distance of about two meters.

joey, simon182, uleko, GLEM, jmp, ramthakur, horia, jaycee, ridvan, fartash, Alex99, marmottelolo, limier, Adanac, Luis52, Hil, anel, MommaMiaX3, peter_stoeckl, sily has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2007-04-20 7:41]

Hi Ivan,
a spectacular shot with brilliant detail and colours.
The DOF could be a little deeper DOF so the wing tip is in focus but not so much so the background is in focus aswell.
TFS Joey

Hello Ivan,

Great contrast between the diffused background and the vibrant colours of the swallowtail. The light is perfect not making any harsh shadows or bright spots. You've also controlled the exposure very well. I agree with Joey that the depth of field is quite shallow, however, I think it is more the angle you chose, it will be hard to get all of the butterfly sharp from this position. Anyway its nicely presented with a simple frame and good note.


Toujours impressionnants ces gros papillons et surtout très spectaculaires.
Bonne journée.

  • Great 
  • GLEM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 540 W: 87 N: 750] (10)
  • [2007-04-20 8:10]

salut Ivan,
jolies couleurs de ce papillon, la composition est agréable. Doammage que la DOF soit un peu faible, on aurait pu avoir un corps bien net.


Hi Ivan,
Beautiful! Even with the blurred wing...the latter indicates 'free flying' or something like that...:-)
I immediately thought about Alexei's artwork...
Great stuff!!!

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2007-04-20 8:16]

Hi Ivan,
Lovely shot with a very nice background and pose. Pov is so good that we can go the animal completely.
Have a nice week end.
TFS, José M.

Hello Neighbour :-)!
This is truly an amazing shot. At 1/1000, the sharpness and details on the far side wings are simply mind-blowing!
The entire composition is a great work of art.
It is a pleasure to see a healthy and faultless specimen of this extrordinarily beautiful butterfly.
Thanks and best regards.

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2007-04-20 8:34]

Hi Ivan

Another stunning macro work from you!
Nice to see such beautiful butterflies are already roaming up there in the north, too :) I hope they wil be so kind and not make you chase them around too much in order to take some more excellent shots :)

The composition here is most cahrming and the correct exposure gave you all these superb colors on the wings and flower.
The DOF is probabalu the only nit here...Judging after the shutterspeed (1/1000), i guess you could have tried a bigger DOF, so that you'd get the first wing in better focus.
Other than that, the sharpness in excellent and the POV is great!

Bravo, TFS and have a lovely weekend!

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2007-04-20 10:35]

Hi Ivan,

Lovely photo. A pretty butterfly on a pretty flower. I like the way you caught the various colors on the wings. The blur of the one wing is very effective.


  • Great 
  • ridvan Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 498 W: 0 N: 1136] (5205)
  • [2007-04-20 11:18]

selam ivan; excellent shot and nice comp with nice colours. despite alittle noisy on the left wing ,good BG and details of this lovely butterfly. TFS
well done

Hello Ivan
Excellent shot of this Swallowtail,
Perfect composition and lighting,
Great BG and POV, Welldone.


  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2007-04-20 12:28]

Hi Ivan.
Few days ago I have tried to use ultra tele lens for butterfly shooting. I have used tele lens 100-400 mm plus TC 2x. Minimal focusing distance also was 2 m. I liked this technique. I see (I think) you have used lens 300 mm and TC 1.4. For shooting so big specimen it is necessary to apply at least F8. However, this is a theory. The practice is…
Great picture. Amazing combination of this colourful beauty and terrific smooth BG. You managed to reflect the vivid colours of this specimen simply perfectly. Sharpness of the butterfly bode and flowers are stunning as well as the whole composition and beautifulness of the shot. DOF is shallow a bit My compliments and TFS.

  • Great 
  • smitha Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 348 W: 73 N: 1165] (4409)
  • [2007-04-20 12:36]

Hi Ivan,
Good shot.Wonderful colours and details.Nice blurred background too.

Hi Ivan,

great shotof this beautiful butterfly
compo,colours, sharpness, details and POV are perfect
excellent blurred BG

TFS Thijs

bonjour ivan
vous allez plus vite a prendre et publier des photos que moi je ne vais a laisser mes commentaires,mais de toutes façons il n'y a rien a en dire ou plutot juste felicitations.
moi j'en vois aussi de comme cela mais pas moyen de les approcher pour l'instant.

  • Great 
  • limier Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 258 W: 14 N: 235] (1055)
  • [2007-04-20 14:41]

Hi Ivan
Yes its a Common swallowtail but its so beautifull.
Great timing and excellent POV
A shot just in time with this swallowtail eating from this little flower
TFS and see you

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2007-04-20 21:38]

Hello Ivan, great point of view, composition, colors and sharpness giving us an excellent image to view.

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2007-04-20 22:54]

Hola Ivan.- Una bella y exelente foto de esta Gran Mariposa Papilio. Unos colores muy naturales y sin saturaciones. Un fondo muy contrastante con el color de las flores. Saludos Luis52.

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2007-04-21 4:45]

Magnífica foto,
una mariposa realmente bella,
un trabajo excelente,
buen pov, detalles y color,

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2007-04-21 4:54]

Hi IVan, yes, those far wings are so sharp and clear. Super colours too, especially how you show the blue tones. Well done

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2007-04-21 5:17]

Hi Ivan,
Great shot and nice posture of the butterfly.

  • Great 
  • Hil Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 696 W: 13 N: 1407] (5035)
  • [2007-04-21 6:38]

Hi Ivan,

Superb macro shot of the Swallowtail, very nice compositiom with a great POV and a fine pose I like the way the Butterfly is resting on a even more delicate flower, excellent details and beautiful colours too.

TFS Hilary :o)

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2007-04-21 12:16]

Hello Ivan,
The papilio machaon is really photogenic. You have caught it in a quite difficult pose and have managed to have a nice grey background, which underlines its beauty.
Thank's and best regards

  • Great 
  • Maite Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 998 W: 65 N: 1270] (5199)
  • [2007-04-21 14:14]

What a marvellous picture, Ivan!
So beautiful and perfectly done!
A real humdinger not only through the beauty of the machaon but through the single composition with those soft colors and the stunning perfection of light, sharpness and bg.
Congratulations and TFS.

Hello Ivan, :)

This is a Fantastic capture my dear! WOW! Great sharpness and the Colours are amazing. Wonderful POV with an absolutely perfect DOF! Professional composition, thank you so much for sharing!


Hello Ivan,
some heavy loads of work have kept me from looking into TN for many days. So it is a great pleasure for me to discover this very lively, very elegant, perfectly clear capture of a Swallowtail from Cyprus, balancing in the air while sucking nectar from that small blossom. Very pretty composition, again.
This year has shown to be a very good year for swallowtails, also in Central Europe. Grateful to see this conspicuous species quite frequently now, and always happy to see its elegant beauty that you have so well captured here in motion.
With thanks, and best regards,

  • Great 
  • sily Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 239 W: 6 N: 395] (1934)
  • [2007-05-07 13:43]

HI Ivan!
Wonderful capture of the elegant swallowtail. Lovely colours and sharp details. Great light management, POV and DOF too. I love its pose as it is captured in a movement, very nicely composed.TFS!

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