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Eastern Black swallowtail

Eastern Black swallowtail
Photo Information
Copyright: Scott Evers (scottevers7) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2432 W: 3 N: 3894] (12309)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-07-29
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon 20D, Canon 180mm f/3.5L USM Macro + 1.4X II
Exposure: f/8, 1/13 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes (Fill) Flash: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Volkan's Best [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-08-28 23:38
Viewed: 19473
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 98
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I usually have bad luck when it comes to butterflies. My keeper to delete ratio runs very high to the delete side. When I finally get it right, the butterfly usually has some damage and flaws that make it look bad. So I felt lucky that this female Eastern Black Swallowtail was calm enough to allow me to set up my tripod and get off a few shots before taking flight again.

Eastern Black Swallowtail - Papilo polyxenes

The Eastern Black Swallowtail is a common swallowtail butterfly, often confused with the Pipevine Swallowtail or female Tiger Swallowtail. Both male and female Eastern Black Swallowtails are bluish-black with yellow spots on the wings. They also have two orange eyespots with black dots in the middle.

The male has a yellow band on the hindwings with a blue cloud under it. The female has a row of yellow dots above a blue band. It's easiest to remember that males have more yellow, and females have more blue.

Easternn Black Swallowtails take flight in late March and continue until September.

The main host plant for this butterfly in the wild is Queen Anne's Lace, but they also eat garden plants in the carrot family, including carrots, parsley, dill, and fennel.

mbasil, coasties, dew77, jmp, marjan, elefantino, red45, metcher, MojoUK, valy67, RAP, sandpiper2, Aramok, Dando, pilonm, pablominto, TAZ, cosmln, Zeno, wallhalla15, jcoowanitwong, sAner, jeanpaul, SunToucher, ScottHale, extramundi, marhowie, vanderschelden, saeedabbasi has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Beautiful colors.
I love the shots.


  • Great 
  • mbasil Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 335 W: 148 N: 745] (3320)
  • [2006-08-28 23:48]

A beauty, Scott. A magnificent speciment and really well captured. Great bg with your trademark flash fill. The capture and presentation is perfect. But if there was a skosh more room on the right I might have been tempted to rotate him a couple of degrees and post it as a WS to prove how really anal I am.

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2006-08-29 0:05]

Hi Scott, beautifully presented. And well captured with the tripod, etc. It looks quite a smokey black, and I love his patterns. Well done,

Hi Scott,
a beautiful picture with good details and POV.
The colours shimmering so nice. I like the POV and DOF too.
Good handle of the fill-in flash.
Excellent work, my friend

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2006-08-29 1:20]

That's a beauty, Scott.
You nailed this one. It is gorgeous.
Perfect focus and exposure and POV.
TFS. : )

Hi Scott

Top marks for this beautiful butterfly. Lovely colours, very well composed, perfect exposure and a real pleasure to view! Awesome work my friend! :-)

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2006-08-29 2:51]

Hello Scott,
Wonderful close up.POV,clear details,colors and composition are excellent.

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2006-08-29 2:53]

Hi Scott,
Perfect details from a very good pov. Very good light, sharpness and bg. Great capture!
TFS, José M.

Hi Scott, good shot, excelent coloures and good notice about this beauty butterfly. TFS

hi Scott,

nice photo.
the nit in my oppinion that is to much space in the front of the butterflies.
for the rest i love, the POV, the sharpness is very good.

Hello Scott, fantastic shot! Rich in details and sharpness.
Colors and compo are ok.
Great note.


  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2006-08-29 3:52]

Hi Scott!

Perfect. Black butterflies look great, but they're also hard to capture. You did it superbly. Very good exposure, details, sharpness. Classic POV and good BG. Congratulations :-)

Small tip - try to capture butterflies at early morning when they're less dynamic :-)

Hi, Scott.
Nice whole screen size butterfly and all parts are sharp. Excellent exposure and details. Beautiful colors.

Hi Scott,

Very difficult to find something new to add as everything has already been much better said. The sharpness is incredible, not a sign of any noise and lovely natural colours. TFS.

Regards, Mark.

  • Great 
  • Hil Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 696 W: 13 N: 1407] (5035)
  • [2006-08-29 4:32]

Hi Scott,

A beautiful shot, its really nice to see all the different variety of Butterflys around the world, this one is absolutly perfect, the pose and composition are great and really show the Butterflys shape and colours off perfectly.

TFS Hilary :)

Hi Scott !
The black swallowtails are as beautiful as the yellow ones ! It's really a gorgeous butterfly, and you have captured himso nicely. Details, textures, colors, composition, POV, DOF, everything is absolutely perfect here. Very well done !

  • Great 
  • RAP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2524 W: 345 N: 2373] (7405)
  • [2006-08-29 5:51]

Gran macro Scott, con excelente DOF y colorido como puntos fuertes, que brindan un nitidez maravillosa a la mariposa.
Un encuadre bien apretado realza una más la atención sobre el insecto, además del muy bien logrado fondo de la imagen.
Saludos... Ricardo

Great macro Scott, with excellent DOF and coloring as points strong that offer a wonderful clarity to the butterfly.
A very tight framing enhances a more ones the attention on the insect, besides the very well achieved bottom of the image.
Greetings... Ricardo

Excellent shot Scott.

Beautiful species, great sharpness.
Very nice composition and DOF.

this is a very good one Scott,
I know this is not an easy one to photograph, but you did do it very good. The quality is high and the point of view is great, very good photo, good job.
gr. jaap


this one is a beauty - you have pulled it off really well and the detail visible is excellent as is the specimen for once!

very nicely done.


Hello Scott, what an excllent close up, perfect colours bg, pov dof perfect details. very crisp, excllent POV and Framing, TFS Kyle

  • Great 
  • Dando Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 637 W: 32 N: 792] (3084)
  • [2006-08-29 7:45]

Hi Scott, truly excellent work my friend. Nice composition with excellent details and very good control over the DOF. The colours are perfectly exposed, in fact the whole shot is PERFECT! Can't really say anything more than this, well done and TFS.

Hello Scott,

Excellent closeup of this so wonderful buttefly! Good composition and I like the fact that the antennas are against a light green leaf letting us see them clearly! Colors are very natural too! Great job and TFS!


Hello Scott,
Superb composition!
The framing works very well, great details of pin sharp quality, wonderful colours in the butterfly...
The green leaves work well in enhancing the butterfly, well done!
Pablo -

  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2006-08-29 10:37]

What a smart species that you have well captured ! Colors, exposure, DOF and sharpness are very good ! I also appreciate the complementary note... Congratulations Scott and thanks for sharing.

hi scott
qu'elle beauté ce papillon avec sa forme et aussi ses couleurs.
excellent cliché.

  • Great 
  • Zeno Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 483 W: 0 N: 1345] (10867)
  • [2006-08-29 12:43]

Hi Scott,

Perfect POV and DOF. I like the colors of this butterfly and the subtle pattern in the wings.
My compliments!


Hello Scott,
I never pictured this wonderful butterfly. - Crongrats, this is a superb butterfly shot. Excellent sharpness, details and brilliant colours. Great POV and excellent composition. Thank you for posting.

HI ,

Everything is so crisp, black butterflies are so hard to photgraph! You even have the tiny blue patterns...

  • Great 
  • osse Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 955 W: 0 N: 89] (7805)
  • [2006-08-29 17:48]

Hi Scott
Great shot. Great colours, sharpnes, light, details and POV.
Well done Scott


  • Great 
  • CTP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 644 W: 6 N: 946] (2726)
  • [2006-08-29 22:14]

Hi Scott,
Excellent Swallowtail close-up my friend.
Great pov,dof,focus,sharpness,colors,framing,blurred bg and composition.TFS

Good morning Scott,
Just time for a quick visit.
Nice capture. enjoy the rest of the week.

Great shot Scott! perfect focus and Dof, avoiding those (not so natural) black backgrounds!!!

Hi Scott,
Wow! I didn't have the chance to see this one yet. So many amazing things on TN and this one is just great! Details are razor sharp and colors are wonderful. What a nice composition, TFS,

Hello Scott,
This one is beautifully captured. All settings are perfect. Very adorable picture.

  • Great 
  • sAner Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1455 W: 74 N: 1426] (4750)
  • [2006-08-30 8:45]

This is a very beautiful shot Scott. The colors and exposure are perfect and the composition is very good. Details are sharp. Well done & TFS!


Hi Scott
Very, very nice shot, the shot and presentation is perfect, too very good DOF, POV and perfect exposure.

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2006-08-30 15:26]

Hi Scott,
incredible, great exposure, the colors and details are amazing. POV, sharpness and composition outstanding.
Very well done.

Bonjour Scott
Félicitation tu nous envoies encore une superbe prise de vue d'un très jolie papillon qui va se retrouver dans ma collection . Belle composition
belle couleur et beau BG ainsi que les beaux détails.
Bravo et merci....JP

Hi Scott,
What a stunning photo the details and colors on the wings are just amazing. You might have a higher delete ratio, but when you do have a keeper it is such a good one that it diminish the entire trashcan.

Textbook DOF. Perfect isolation. Nice colors and awesome composition. Fill flash here really brought out some good color which may not have been captured at 1/13th exposure. Very cool post that prompted me to post a Rice Paper.
Superb work pal!

This photo is amazing! You've captured the beauty of this superb swallowtail! The composition is great and the colors make a beautiful contrast! The sharply rendered butterfly stands out perfectly on the blurred background! I love swallowtails and hope to encounter one like this one day. Well done and keep posting great pictures!


Hola Scott,
Una hermosa mariposa que has retratado muy bien, con un buen foco y logreando exquisitos detalles. Me gusta como el insecto llena la imágen y el fondo liso, sin ruido, así como la iluminación.

  • Great 
  • Graal Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Silver Note Writer [C: 751 W: 31 N: 20] (5100)
  • [2006-09-03 2:57]

Hi Scott,
pretty butterfly, good shot. I like the colours and pattern of wings. Superb quality of photo. Good work.
Gr., Aleksander

A very nice capture of this imaculate subject.
Blacks are amazing, so much details and so moody colour and light.
Elegant job, thanks and regards, Felipe.

Hi Scott,
I'm glad you got a keeper..
Very nice exposure and use of flash. Great details and color as well. Excellent job under low-light conditions.
PS - I try not to use my extender with overcast or poor light..Most butterflies are large enough subjects to get close enough without it..usually ;)
Very well done mf.

Hi Scott,
that's a real beauty, I only saw them in white, but never in black. It's so impressive, what a wonderful butterfly. Excellent shot with wide open wings, I like it very much, thanks
Sabine - wishnugaruda

Great image of this wonderful butterfly.
Well done

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2006-10-08 22:03]

Hello Scott

Superb exposure and DOF on this shot.The details are spectacular.A beautiful butterfly against a lovely blurred BG.TFS


Hi dear Scott ,
very nice colors.
good focus and composition .
thanks for share.

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