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The colours in the peacock tail

The colours in the peacock tail
Photo Information
Copyright: Pam Russell (coasties) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3749 W: 483 N: 8155] (28054)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-11-20
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 1D Mark III, Canon EF 100-400mm L IS USM, Digital Raw 1000, Hoya UV 77mm
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2007-11-20 0:47
Viewed: 10942
Points: 12
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The colours in the eye feather

The colours in the peacock tail are particularly beautiful because they are bright and iridescent. An iridescent colour is a colour that changes with the angle of view. The colours are not produced by pigments but by an optical effect called thin-film interference that takes place in the barbules.4 In technical terms, the peacock has ‘structural colours’.

In the eye pattern, the barbules appear bronze, blue, dark purple and green. Away from the eye region, the barbules are uniformly green. The colours in the eye feather can only be seen on the front surface of the feather because this is where the barbules are positioned. The back of the feather is uniformly brown because the barbs contain a brown pigment.

The eye pattern: The particular beauty of the eye pattern comes from the rounded shapes that have a high degree of resolution. The ‘pupil’ of the eye is formed by a dark purple cardioid and the ‘iris’ is formed by a blue ellipsoid. These shapes are located within a pointed bronze ellipsoid that is surrounded by one or two green fringes. A very important feature of the eye pattern is that it is a digital pattern which is formed by the combined effect of many thousands of individual barbules. Some patterns in nature are formed by natural growth mechanisms, as with the spiral shape of the nautilus shell. However, the eye pattern in the peacock tail requires the precise coordination of independent barbs and this cannot be achieved by a simple growth mechanism. Barbules on adjacent barbs coordinate perfectly with each other to produce the eye pattern.


Camera: Canon 1D Mk lll
Time of day: 19:23 p.m.
Date: 20th November 2007
Weather conditions: Clear
Lens: Canon 100-400mm L IS
Filter: Hoya 77mm UV
Shutter Speed: 1/320
F-Stop: F/5.6
Focal Length: 400mm
ISO: 1000
Support: Hand Held
Original File: Digital RAW

Debz, fartash, horia, Janice has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Sneza Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Silver Note Writer [C: 94 W: 27 N: 16] (672)
  • [2007-11-20 0:59]

Nice colours indeed. Good POV and DOF.

  • Great 
  • Debz Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 505 W: 0 N: 847] (3307)
  • [2007-11-20 1:08]

Hi Pam, it is good to see the Peacock tail as a close up, the detail and colours are magnificent and you have taken this one very well. Nice and sharp with the colours well saturated and natural. Very nice presentation. I have taken loads too they are very inspiring. Good work.

Hello Pam
Very intersting shot of this Peacock tail,
Full of patterns and colors
Perfect lighting ,composition and POV,
Superb shot.


  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2007-11-20 8:03]

Hi Pam

A vry beautiful and arthistical aproach to nature!
The iridescent colours are a great attraction always, and this is an excellent way to present them. I really loved your note here about them!
The huge variety of tones here really attract the eye of the viewer adn the shallow DOF concentrates all of it on the first eye which is again nicely explained in the second part of your note.
All-in-all: a splendid, original and aestetic post and presentation!

Bravo and TFS

  • Great 
  • sela Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 47 W: 0 N: 39] (738)
  • [2007-11-20 13:17]

Very well composed Pam and the colours are very beautiful.
Regards Rose

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2007-11-24 2:02]

Such beautiful colours and patterns Pam - and look at how sharp and clear they are.
Bravo MF

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