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Black Swallowtail

Black Swallowtail
Photo Information
Copyright: Jim White (jmirah) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 509 W: 5 N: 1141] (4687)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-08-31
Categories: Insects
Camera: KODAK Z612, 35-420mm Schneider Kreuznach Variogon
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): BUTTERFLIES OF AMERICA, Butterflies of North-America, Butterflies, Butterflies III, Butterfly & Dragonfly, Butterfly, I love, Butterflys of the world [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-09-01 3:43
Viewed: 3784
Favorites: 3 [view]
Points: 42
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Black Swallowtail Butterfly-Female
Papilio polyxenes

Black Swallowtail Butterfly

I observed several of these butterflies either playing, fighting or mating. They would chase each other, two or three gathering together on one flower, but I didn't witness copulation. I've been really busy at work the last few days but I stopped on the way home to see what was happening at the Garden. Too my surprise there were butterflies galore. Since seeing images of the Black Swallowtail caterpillar, I've really wanted to get a photo of one. I didn't see any on this visit, maybe next time. Getting a good shot was difficult because they were vibrating their wings at an amazing speed everytime they would land on a flower. It was as if they were on an excited and urgent feeding frenzy. I took many photos but I posted this one because the POV showed the detail of the wings very well. Thanks for looking and have a great weekend. Monday is Labor Day, a holiday in the US to acknowledge the efforts of the workforce. Ciao, Jim

Exposure Setting: Manual
f/stop: 4.8
Shutter Speed: 1/400
ISO: 200
Focal Length: 588mm[35mm]-equivilent
Auto Focus: Normal/Center-Zone/Continuous
Compression: Standard
White Balance: Daylight
Color: Natural
Sharpness: Normal
Tripod: Yes
Flash: Off
Megapixels: 6.0
Dimensions: 800 x 601
File Size: 142 KB
Date: August 31, 2007

Sharpness adjusted and resized for posting

Photo of the amazing speed at which they were vibrating their wings is in workshop.

schnoopie, haraprasan, angybone, uleko, eqshannon, earthtraveler, Argus, nglen, livios, jrobertop, pierrefonds, anel, mjaniceanne has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To coolnik: Thanks CoolNik.....jmirah 1 09-01 19:22
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Jim,
great photo, with very nice colors and details.
TFS Tatjana

Hi Jim
Beautiful photo. Great colors, perfect sharpnes nice center composition. I like especially the yellow and green mosaic buckgrund with nice light
Best wishes

  • Great 
  • Silke Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 729 W: 98 N: 1707] (5458)
  • [2007-09-01 3:52]

Wow! Fabulous contrasts here with that dark swallowtail against the brilliant cosmos.
Outstanding composition and perfect PoV to show us all the details.

  • Great 
  • batu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1079 W: 293 N: 4497] (16383)
  • [2007-09-01 4:16]

Hello Jim,
an adeqaute picture to show the beauty of this butterfly. Its wings are nicely presented, sharp and in their natural colours. Light is well managed.
Best wishes, Peter

This one is exceptional!!!!
You're really getting very very good!
This is just perfect all around. WOW

hello jim,
fine capture, the pov gives nice view of the butterfly with open wings and the flower too, image is sharp,
well saturated colours, liked the composition very much,
well done,
tfs & regards

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-09-01 6:06]

Hello Jim,
What a splendid capture of this lovely butterfly with the wings wide open. It stands out very nicely against the yellow flowers and details are very sharp and the colours natural. Very fine composition too. Well done!
Many thanks, Ulla

Good shot....The flowers outdo the butterfly, almost. In thumbnail it is the yellow which reaches out and grabs. Your notes are becoming very interesting to read.


Hello Jim,
Absolutely eye candy, excellent sharpness and riot of colors, equally good BG & POV.

Nicely black swallowtail with rich details emphasises the yellow flowers on which IS posata.Good definition and colors


Fantastic Jim
Very fine focus deatil and color on this BF
The bright flowers set it off wonderfully
Great comp and DOF

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-09-01 10:03]

Hello Jim,
That's usually the problem with swallowtails: they vibrate their wings too much to be able to get a good shot, but you managed a great capture with superb sharpness, excellent pose, POV and composition with the orange flowers.
Well done and TFS!
Enjoy your long weekend,

This is an amazing capture, Jim!
The beautiful, sharp image of this black swallowtail is like silk and displays all the detail, pattern and colours that you could possibly expect! My compliments!

Kind regards,
Bev :-)

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2007-09-01 11:56]

Hi Jim. Would love to have them in my garden. What a colourful picture . good detail in the butterfly and detail. it has some nice markings which you have captured so well. A nice top view. well done .TFS. good notes too.

  • Great 
  • livios Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2150 W: 319 N: 4263] (16942)
  • [2007-09-01 15:20]

Jim, this one is very beautiful indeed.

Excellent sharpness, colors, pov and composition.

I like saturation and contrast too.

An excellent job.

Hi Jim,
Excellent colors, sharpness and contrast.
Magnificent composition!
Impressive the wealth of details.
Thanks for sharing!
My best regards,
Josť Roberto

Hi Jim, splendid butterfly with excellent details, great composition with wonderful light and colors, very well done, ciao Silvio

Hello Jim,
Very beautiful butterfly, excellent POV
and well composed picture, the colors
are warm and inviting.. Well done


Hi Jim,
A beautiful capture of the black swallowtail. We have a similar species here named common mormon. Nicely captured with excellent details and POV.

Thanks a lot for sharing.

Hi Jim,

A nice image of the black swallowtail butterfly, the photo has a good composition, sharpness and nice colors. Thanks for sharing.


  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2007-09-02 5:09]

Hello Jim,
Very colourful and beautiful picture. Excellent composition too. For me it is fascinating to see these dark swallowtails which don't exist here.
Thanks and best regards

I love this picture! The composition is so beautiful and the butterfly is so sharp. The darker butterflies are tricky for me with exposure. I sse you used a tripod.

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