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White Admiral

White Admiral
Photo Information
Copyright: jeanpaul Bolduc (jeanpaul) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2097 W: 99 N: 3518] (14962)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-06-22
Categories: Insects
Camera: Pentax *ist D, 70-300mm f4-5.6
Exposure: f/9.5, 1/180 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Butterflies of North-America [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-07-08 21:06
Viewed: 4202
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 36
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note [French]
Amiral Limenitis arthemis (Drury, 1773)
Photo : T. Thormin (PMA)
L'amiral se pose rarement sur les fleurs et préfère se nourrir sur les fruits fermentés et les excréments d'animaux.
Description : beau papillon aux ailes noires traversées d'une large bande blanche. Des rangées de points bleus parfois accompagnées de quelques points rouges sont intercalées entre cette bande et le bord de l'aile. En dessous, des taches rouilles se détachent sur un fond brunâtre. La bande blanche et les rangées de points sont également présentes sur la face inférieure des ailes.

Répartition : l'amiral est représenté par trois sous-espèces au Canada . Le Limenitis a. arthemis se rencontre depuis la côte de l'Atlantique jusque dans l'est du Manitoba. C'est cette sous-espèce qui est présente en Nouvelle-Écosse et au Nouveau-Brunswick. Du centre du Manitoba jusqu'à la côte du Pacifique, c'est la sous-espèce L. a. rubrofasciata qui prend la relève. Chez cette sous-espèce, les points bleus sont remplacés par des points rouges. La troisième sous-espèce, le L. a. astyanax, est connue sous le nom d'amiral points-rouges et se rencontre dans le sud de l'Ontario. Chez cette dernière, la bande blanche fait complètement défaut.

Abondance : l'amiral est une espèce commune.

Période de vol : juin à septembre.

Cycle de vie : les chenilles ont le corps blanc maculé de taches gris brunâtre et ressemblent à des déjections d'oiseaux. En Nouvelle-Écosse et au Nouveau-Brunswick, elle se nourrissent du feuillage de nombreuses plantes, dont les bouleaux (Betula spp.), les saules (Salix spp.) et les peupliers (Populus spp.).

Renseignements additionnels : l'amiral fréquente les clairières en milieu boisé. Des attroupements pouvant réunir jusqu'à une centaine de mâles se forment souvent sur les chemins forestiers autour des flaques de boue. En novembre 1998, ce papillon a été choisi comme insecte emblème du Québec.

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To loot: Photo Macrojeanpaul 1 07-09 19:00
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Critiques [Translate]

You have captured this White Admiral very beautifully, Jeanpaul. Good perspective, colors and details. You have also used the natural light effectively.
Sorry, missed quite a few of your posts lately; am in transit in Dubai on my way to India, so my visits to TN are rather erratic at the moment.
Thanks and have a good weekend.

  • Great 
  • loot Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
  • [2006-07-09 1:33]
  • [2] [+]

Hi JeanPaul
You have done well in your effort to capture this white admiral and that without a macro lens is rather noteworthy. I notice that you also seem to be new at this game of macro photography as far as insects are concerned as this is only your 4th posting of this nature. I have grown so accustomed at seeing your beautiful postings of landscapes, seascapes, lakescapes, sunsets, mammals and birds and now you are endeavouring new grounds with insects.
I would love to say this is an excellent shot, but since I know we can be honest with one another I have to point out that this has some nits/ flaws. If people like Howard Cheek, Gert Ellstrom, and Luc (to name just a few) did not take the time and effort to speak out and identified my shortfalls on my first couple of macros, then I never would have learned what I know today and would not have shown any growth in the field of macro photography.
The composition is fine although you might have cropped it a little too tight at the top and the colours and exposure are great. The details seem to be very soft though.
Since this is a biggish butterfly you really need to close down on the aperture to give you the required DOF. At f/9.5 at this close range your DOF would really be just a couple of mm’s and that is why one can see that only the body part and a portion of the right hind wing is really in focus. Both the left wings and the far part of the right leading wing are out of focus. This can only be improved upon with an f/stop in the region of f/16 plus for this size insect and due to the angle of the shot.
Since you really did not have much light to play with the change in aperture would have meant a very slow shutter speed which might not have been the answer for this moment, but that is where the fill-in flash comes into play. A tripod and a remote controlled shutter release becomes an essentiality as well. The indications are however that there was no camera shake with this photo as the in focus area shows clearly the evidence to support this observation. So, if you have a steady hand at shutter speeds of 1/60 upwards to 1/180, then you can possibly still get around without the tripod.
Another solution which I have learned lately through my own experience is to force a shutter speed of at least 1/200 and let the camera and the flash sort out the fire power through the ETTL or TTL systems. You still might need to do some exposure compensations either on the camera itself or on the flash. That means one can still get away with a hand held shot, however, one still need to make absolutely sure you keep the camera very still as the rather shallow DOF (even at f/16) is very unforgiving in case of any camera movement. I hope this can be of some help to you.
A great try though and TFS.
Friendly regards

Hi Jeanpaul,
Good detail, colours and sharpness. exposure and lighting are good. Good POV and composition.

Thanks for posting, enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Hi JeanPaul

This is great work. Lovely depth of colour, good detail shown and well composed. Very nice to view. :-)

  • Great 
  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2006-07-09 3:40]

Hi JeanPaul,

A colorfull shot with good POV,details and colors,I agree with loot it is slightly soft,but I like the composition,well done and TFS,


Bonjour Jean-Paul ! Un papillon magnifique, que je n'avais encore jamais vu auparavant. L'image n'est certes pas parfaite (il n'y a rien à ajouter après les très bonnes explications de Loot :-) mais elle reste très belle, agréable à regarder. Excellente composition et point de vue. J'aime beaucoup.

  • Great 
  • Graal Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Silver Note Writer [C: 751 W: 31 N: 20] (5100)
  • [2006-07-09 6:08]

Hi J.P.,
great b-fly, beautiful wings, unusual pattern and colours. I like it a lot. Good work.
Rgs, Aleksander

Hi JP,
Excellent macro work!
Great details in the butterfly, maybe the right hand wing tip should fall within focal range too...
Good natural colours of fine clarity,
subject well framed in a pleasing composition!
Pablo -

What a beautiful admiral buterfly JeanPaul.
Superb composition, berat colors and details.
Grat POV and BG.

Great butterfly shot Jeanpaul. Good sharpness, details, clarity and nice POV. Great colours and composition too. Thanks for sharing.

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2006-07-10 6:34]

Hello Jeanpaul,
Beautiful macro.Colors,contrast,framing,lighting and composition are excellent.

Hello Jeanpaul,
Very good shot! The DOF maybe a little shallow, but I very much like POV and framing.

Bonjour Jean Paul,
Une capture jolie de d'une papillon plus joli. Les couleurs et les détails sont assez bons, mais vois que manque quelque chose de profondeur focale ; Les bords de l'insecte sont hors de focus. Mais malgré toute une photo bonne.

Great picture but unfortunatelly the DOF is not perfect - the're some smooth places - especially on the edges of the wings.
Very good colors.


  • Great 
  • RII Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 481 W: 0 N: 895] (2862)
  • [2006-07-20 3:41]

Hi Jeanpaul.
Wonderful specimen, magnific colors and details, nice pose and point of view,great composition, good and complet note.


Hello Jeanpaul,

very pretty and lively shot of the White Admiral. I like the shining colours and the shadows on the white markings on the wings. Some critiques have already mentioned the difficulty to obtain a sharp image all over the wing area from the chosen point of view, but you have focussed on the right parts i.e. the head and a significant, well lighted portion of the right wings. Your point of view makes the image look very lively and dynamic.

As for the ID, I suppose the North American White Admiral you captured is called

"Limenitis arthemis".

The similar European "Limenitis camilla" is smaller, and less colourful on the upperside of wings. I've seen that species a few days ago in the Vienna woods, and it does look less atrractive than the species you captured.

Thank you, and best regards,

Excellent picture of a wonderful White admiral butterfly with great details! Sharpness is very good and colors look nice and natural! Very good use of DOF! Composition and POV are also very nice! TFS!


  • Great 
  • sily Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 239 W: 6 N: 395] (1934)
  • [2006-10-21 18:09]

Bonjour Jeanpaul!
Beautiful insect, vivid colours and very good viewi like the selected focus area it adds some grace to the whole compositions, very nice and relaxing photo!

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