<< Previous Next >>

Common Leopard Fritillary For Peter

Common Leopard Fritillary For Peter
Photo Information
Copyright: Loot Eksteen (loot) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-05-06
Categories: Insects
Camera: Canon EOS 350D, Sigma 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 HZ DG Macro, Digital ISO 100, UV 62mm Kenko
Exposure: f/13.0, 1/200 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes (Fill) Flash: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Insects and Spiders of Southern Africa, Butterflies of the African continent., Butterflies, Butterflies III, Beautiful Butterflies, Butterflies with minimum 50 points & above, Butterfly, I love, Pretoria Zoo 1, A study in Entomology (insects) 1, Dedications at Trek Nature, 90-99 Puntos (chapter 1), My Dedications ;o), Macromania [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-02-26 20:09
Viewed: 9407
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 90
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
African leopard - Phalanta phalantha aethiopica
Also known as the "Common Leopard Fritillary".

This meagre attempt is dedicated to my friend the butterfly-man Peter Stoeckl. In my opinion, Peter has proved to be one of our foremost lepidopterists and over time one of the most improved butterfly photographers on TN. Technically (most, if not all) his postings are normally in a class of their own and as a rule absolutely faultless. The visual impact of his photos is usually sky-scraping in essence and it is this factor that makes his butterfly shots so distinguishable.

As a TN member I greatly appreciate your friendship and admire your TN contributions.

As you can see, I am still taking a short break from my Kruger Park series and once more I dug into my archives to hopefully find something you will take pleasure in. This shot was taken in the Pretoria Zoo at the African savanna waterhole, early last year. You can read more about this encounter here.


Wingspan: 40-48mm. Medium sized, fast flying and agile butterflies. Restive and wary, they sit with wings constantly moving up and down. Both sexes are similar. Extremely similar to the forest leopard and very difficult to tell apart.

The butterfly is a rich orange brown above and ornamented with black spots and streaks, reminiscent of the Fritillary butterflies. The underside is a lighter orange with a purplish sheen in side light. Forewing marginal line unbroken by paler interneural spots, ground colour with richer orange hue. The male vigorously defends his territory. Both sexes are attracted to flowers and wet mud.

The caterpillar normally lives on the host plants Sagewood - Buddleja salviifolia or the Weeping willow - Salix babylonica and in Madagascar it lives on the Malagasy Plum tree - Flacourtia indica. If the caterpillar is not very beautiful, the chrysalis is a true jewel. These butterflies can be found in secondary growth and is fond of Lantana blossoms.

They fly especially in low altitude, where it is common in forest edges, flatlands, mountains, and hillsides. They are frequently encountered in urban areas, parks and gardens. Most likely due to the fact that the caterpillar feeds on the Weeping Willow tree, which is an ornamental tree found in many gardens and urban areas.

Geographical distribution
Savanna and woodland from Eastern Cape to KwaZulu-Natal, Swaziland, Mpumalanga, Gauteng, Limpopo, and Northwest Province. In edition it is an Ethiopian subspecies, which also flies to Madagascar, Maurice, in the Comoros and perhaps in Aldabra. Also present in Asia.

Flight period
In cooler areas, Oct-Apr; in warm areas, all year-round, peak late summer and autumn.

Source: "Field Guide to Butterflies of South Africa", by Steve Woodhall, published by Struik.

Post Processing was done with Adobe Photoshop Elements 2.0.

Adanac, cecilia, Janice, Silke, cedryk, JoseMiguel, saeedabbasi, Argus, Bufo, Tamrock, SelenE, dew77, anel, Aaltjie, star74, Alex99, ellis49, ramthakur, horia, manyee, RAP, Dyker, snowfalken, scottevers7, marhowie, jeanpaul, peter_stoeckl, uleko, pankajbajpai, wuta, SkyF, TAZ, aido, betsie, Miss_Piggy, Rehanna has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To SunToucher: Fair comments...loot 1 03-24 18:13
To betsie: Beautiful butterfliesloot 1 03-06 18:04
To horia: Old toothless oneloot 1 02-27 22:59
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2007-02-26 20:21]

Hello Loot,
This is a superb macro with fantastic details and color. Loot I'm not sure if I have told you before if so it deserves repeating, your notes and critiques are always extremely informative. Thanks Loot.

Very sharp and nice details on the butterfly. I like its natural pose you captured here. Very good dof and beautiful presentation...

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2007-02-26 20:31]

Hi Loot, I was expecting a 'real' leopard to appear, and here we get this beautiful butterfly... And I agree with your comments about Peter and his favourite postings.

It is a well captured and a clear presentation of this butterfly. Colours and composition are very eye pleasing, in fact, a good job my friend, TFS...


  • Great 
  • zoso68 (21)
  • [2007-02-26 20:49]

Great colours and POV.
Great shot

  • Great 
  • Silke Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 729 W: 98 N: 1707] (5458)
  • [2007-02-26 21:02]

Fabulous posting, Loot! I shall have to look for the work of your good friend now too!
Fabulous colours and details, perfect composition, and wonderful notes

  • Great 
  • cedryk Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 50 N: 1722] (5270)
  • [2007-02-26 21:27]

Hello Loot,
It's a beautiful species. Nice details and well saturated colours. DOF could be a bit deeper though. Anyway a great contribution.
Best greetings from Poland!

Hi Loot,
Impressive capture of this african leopard!
I like so much the vivid and intense orange-yellow of their wings, and all that clear and sharp details got on the insect.
Very good the background got, so soft.
You really took good advantaje of the large size available to display all the magnificence of this butterfly.
Congratulations and thanks for share it with us.
My best regards,

Hi Loot ,
great details and very nice colours.
well composed nad great sharpness.
very well done.

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-02-27 1:30]

Hello Loot,
Great shot of an African Leopard with very appropriate dedication, since the quality of this shot, its, presentation, composition and sharpness is en par with his postings, so I'm sure he will approve.
This species may be common in SA but it is new to me, which also makes me appreciate this shot.
TFS and best wishes, Ivan

  • Great 
  • Bufo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 404 W: 69 N: 951] (4247)
  • [2007-02-27 2:32]

Hello Loot,
you took this picture (I suppose at daytime) with flash and tripod. Something I hardly ever do. But the tripod (and flash) prove their value. Great sharpness and well exposed butterfly with a well chosen depth of field. F13 is an aperture I only reach at sunny days.
Having seen your picture I should maybe cosider bringing a flash and tripod with me. My girlfriend would sent me back to change close if I would weat the colour combination of purple (background) and orange (bf). But then again, in nature all is allowed :-)
Regards, Jacob

hi loot!
really sharp and fine picture
on this very fine butterfly
lovely background!
well done!

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2007-02-27 4:15]

Hi Loot,
Very good POV and composition. The colors are beautiful. You used the flash in a very successfull way, it looks as daylight. background colors are also very nice. TFS

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2007-02-27 5:43]

Hello Loot,
Excellent close up.It's very close and well detailed.I liked vivid colors,simple BG,cross framing,lighting and composition a lot.Have a great week!

Very good capture! Very good details and colours!
My best regards,

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2007-02-27 6:52]

Hi Loot,
Nice to see also butterflies from You. Very good slightly diagonal presentation, showing us a lot of interesting details, like the blue eyes. This species seems to have less spots than european fritillaries. Thank's also for the excellent note.
Best regards

EXCELLENT shot!!! Very well captured, clear and sharp. Rich in autumn colours.
You most certainly have some beautiful images in your gallery and this one is no exception. Just perfect!
A well deserved dedication from one outstanding photographer to another.

Warmest regards

Hello Loot,
Great macro shot
Lovely colors of this butterfly.
I like the contrasts and sharpness in details alot.
Well done.

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2007-02-27 9:51]

Hi Loot.
You have addressed very nice words to our friend Peter. BRAVO.
Unusual but I think true colours of your excellent close-up picture. I like its great details, very impressive DOF and excellent composition. Note is perfect too. as always. My best wishes and TFS.

Hi loot,
welcome back.
this beautiful butterfly is a great dedication to our friend Peter. The colours are wonderful and the composition is very nice the a shallow DOF who help the butterfly to standout well from the BG. Details and exposure are spot on.
Great work, my friend.

Hello Loot,
A mind blowing massive macro of this beautiful butterfly. It is faultless.
Peter definitely deserves this great dedication.
Thanks for sharing this gem of a picture and with warm regards,

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2007-02-27 13:20]
  • [+]

Hi Loot

This is the famous African Leopard? Well i don't see why people are so affraid of it...really....it doesn't even have such big teeth :)))))))
Seriously, this is a splendid macro work!
It's actually very long since i've seen such a shot from you.
Anyway, i really like the pose of the b-fly here and the very good POV from which the shot was taken. It gave you this interesing but very beautiful composition.
Also the DOF is impeccable - blurring the BG nicely - and the exposure is spot-on!
All-in-all splendid work, my friend!

Bravo and TFS

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2007-02-28 3:56]

What a bright bright spot of color, Loot!
How can one resist breaking into a big smile?
Such happy warm colors in beautiful light.
This butterfly seems to know she is the star of the show.
She is certainly posing for you, spreading out her wings to show her fancy markings, which you captured with excellent sharpness and exposure.
The gorgeous soft colors in the BG certainly enhance our appreciation of this African Leopard.
TFS. : )

  • Great 
  • RAP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2524 W: 345 N: 2373] (7405)
  • [2007-02-28 7:21]

Punto de vista ideal para componer una bella presentación estimado amigo, con gran luminosidad y apropiado foco y agudeza, aunque el DOF no alcanzó el extremo del ala.
Buen encuadre dentro de un amplio cuadro, excelente OOF y detalles bien marcados.
Mis mejores saludos... Ricardo

Ideal point of view to compose a beautiful presentation esteemed friend, with great brightness and appropriate focus and sharpness, although DOF didn't reach the end of the wing.
Good framing inside a wide frame, excellent OOF and very marked details.
My best regards... Ricardo

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2007-02-28 8:41]

Hi Loot,
Wonderful capture form an excellent pov, exact exposure, great details, perfect colours reproduction and a nice blurred background.

I've browse your gallery to see how often you posted butterflies and I've seen you need a human reason to post one.:-) I agree with you about the quality of Peter's photos.

I'm a little fascinated by butterflies, but not because of its beauty, but for the complexity involved in caterpillar -> butterflies transformation. It's one the things that makes me think from my childhood.

TFS and best regards,
José Miguel

  • Great 
  • Dyker Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 136 W: 0 N: 57] (170)
  • [2007-03-01 0:38]

Hello Loot
You don't post macros that often, but when you do it definitely makes one notice and pay attention. Since your first macro attempts it is obvious that you made good use of the advice that was given to you by members such as Howard and Gert and you've shown excellent improvement. This fine dedication to Peter underlines this fact. I fancy the full framed composition and the use of the maximum pixel size allowed. It ensures a nice larger-than-life view of the lovely butterfly. The colours are beautiful and the details are very sharp and well focused. The fill-in flash was put to great use to allow for a brilliant exposure.

Hi Loot,
This is a very nice macro with fantastic details and color.

Well done and TFS.

PS. I can understand. You had camera, nice senery but no power. What can be bad then that for a photographer?

Hello Loot,

This is a beautiful butterfly and a great dedication, my friend! It is very kind of you to express your admiration towards an honorable TN member and his outstanding contributions.
You created a great composition by diagonally dividing the square format of the picture into two complementary triangles, an orange one and a dark blueish one. The butterfly faces the right direction and the nice, blurred background isolates it from everything else. I find this butterfly species very much alike this one, although living in completely different and distant areas.
The colors are bright, well saturated and make a great contrast which draws attention to the subject. The dark spots on the butterfly's wings just add to the overall contrast.
The correct exposure rendered beautiful details with only one minor point: I think the fill flash light was a little bit to strong which led to barely noticeable tiny reflections in the scales. Nothing to worry about since it doesn't diminish the breathtaking beauty of this butterfly.
Another great asset is the excellent DOF. The details are sharp throughout the whole subject with only a negligible fall-off in a small area on the right wing tip. I photographed many butterflies and consistently kept having this problem at long focal distances (200 mm), even at small apertures. Most of my pictures had large areas OOF except when the plane of the butterfly's wings was perpendicular on the shooting direction. The same problem occurred whenever I re-framed the picture after focusing with the central sensor (causing back-focusing?). Although you used a much longer focal distance, you achieved excellent results and controlled the DOF very well, extremely difficult at 300 mm when the lens-to-subject distance is so small, even at f/13. Excellent camera work my friend! The useful note completes your post! Thank you for sharing!

Warmest Regards,

Hi Loot,
An excellent frame filling macro! The corner to corner with the wingtips looks great. The rich orange colors with black patterns look great. Nice sharp detail with a well controled DOF. A nice OOF backround shows him very well. A fitting tribute!

Hi Loot,
I think you have an excellent POV and composition here. Great details, nice color, and well seen from this BG.
Well done & TFS!

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2007-03-02 23:01]

Hello Loot

A beautiful photo of this fritillary.It amazes me how many species look similar on different continents.Excellent POV and DOF.The pose ,with wings spread is lovely.Excellent detail,colour and texture.Great job Loot.TFS

Bonjour Loot
Félicitation pour cette trčs jolie prise de vue . C'est vraiment un beau papillon et les couleurs sont justes.Le fond rosacé fait bien ressortir les couleurs du papillon.
Félicitations pour la netteté et les détails.

Merci pour l'envoie et Bravo....JP

Dear Loot,
having been absent for a number of days from TN - completely swallowed by work these days - just returned to my desk to find your very beautiful contribution and read your very kind and honouring dedication. Please accept my apologies for responding with such a delay.
An excellent presentation of that african fritillary, shining in the sun, colours glowing, closely approached, clearly and sharply shown in dynamically inclined slightly frontal position, with just the right amount of sharply focussed plants in front of a distant and neutral background. You once more have shown to be a master in a broad spectre of disciplines of nature photography, being creative, dedicated to precision, and passionately loving life and nature.
I am enchanted and deeply moved being honoured in person by this very enjoyable and well done buttefly portrait. Thank you, Loot. My best wishes to you, dear friend.
With best regards,

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-03-04 10:50]

Hello Loot,
A really stunning sharp shot of this beauty in wonderful bright orange colour against the wine colour background! I like the angle of the butterfly and the little buds below.
TFS and regards, Ulla

Hello Loot,
congrats you for this faultless macro...
Have a nice week and best wishes...
(thenks for critique about my work: it was a bark of pine trunk, i always love abstract sections and geometry from nature)

Very good and informative notes Loot - It makes me realise how little we take note of the beautifull butterflies that we see every day. Good shot!

hi loot,
very impressive capture of this beautiful insect,
well saturated colours, nice point of view, sharpness is good, nice details captured,
tfs & regards

  • Great 
  • wuta Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 855 W: 2 N: 617] (2142)
  • [2007-03-11 14:56]

Hallo , Ook deze is beautifull ,wat een mooie vlinder Loot prachtige kleuren en een hele mooie achtergrond , Groeten Teunie .

  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2007-03-20 7:09]

Hi Loot,
a nearly perfect picture, If I would change anything I would crop out the orange spot on the far right. Other than that this composition is superp, eyecatching, colorful and of wonderful quality.

  • Great 
  • TAZ Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2241 W: 47 N: 3167] (10926)
  • [2007-03-20 12:06]

Hello Loot !
Too busy this winter I make a little tour on TN and I discover a wonderful shot here ;-)
The "+++" : subject, POV, sharpness, DOF, blurred BG, warm colors, exposure, useful note...
The "-" : perhaps the distracting orange spot could be remove, on right side...
Congratulations my friend and TFS.

Hi Loot,
I've been inactive the last couple of weeks, but did see some wonderful photos from you. I also need to thank you for your fair comments in the Forum. It is a pity that this person decided to leave instead of changing her/his mind and come to terms with the community we are. But this is probably for the better.

What I really find striking about this photo is the color combination. It is just beuatiful how the red OOF BG enhances the bright orange color of the b'fly. It makes the edges of the b'fly stand out perfectly. The top down composition works good as well, especially with part of the plant in the photo, giving it some extra depth. A wonderful colorful photo with great details and also a great dedication for Peter.

Hi Loot,
The pattren on this butterfly's wings is so similar to the one we have here in India, Great colors and the POV is something that's amazing. The diagonal position of the wings , placing the butterfly at one edgde and giving a directional space is something i love and cherish a lot. The notes is wonderful and very useful. Its nice to have a person like you in TN who is so dedicated to this community as a whole and because of people like you we will have more purpose to this!.
Have a Wonderful week!!
Goutham R

  • Great 
  • aido Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 1044 W: 156 N: 1218] (4046)
  • [2007-04-01 10:32]

Hi Loot,
I was searching around for Leopards and I came across this. Not exactly what I was looking for but on seeing it I felt compelled to stop and leave my comments.

An excellent macro shot. The colour is just popping out of my screen, the orange is so vivid it makes the Butterfly look almost edible (only almost, I am a vegetarian after all :-)) I like the reds in the background too, a good contrast and quite unusual. Great detail throughout, perfect flash control and exposure. If I was really nit-picking I would mention that the right wing is OOF which I am sure you are aware of, however at f/13 already I'm guessing you would have to use at least f/16 to bring that in, and then of course you may be stepping into 'unsharp territory' with your lens. I'm not familiar with this particular lens so that's really just guesswork.

A great dedication to Peter, I'm an admirer of his work. A great note too, your portfolio is becoming almost like a wildlife Wiki. Great work.
Best regards,

Hallo Loot,

'n Fantastiese foto van jou, soos gewoonlik. Ek hoop ons vind jou binnekort gesond terug op Treknature. Baie sterkte!


  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2007-07-17 0:52]

Hi Loot,
Outstanding shot of this beautiful Fritillary. Such rich and vivid colours and patterns on its wings. Awesome lighting and a sharp focus brings out its prettiness and grace to the fullest. I love its diagonal pose and the way it stands out against the BG. Excellent POV and a superb composition. Kudos.

Dear Loot
A lovely dedication to Peter which I am sure he appreciated much at the time given. I agree that he is indeed the "Butterfly man" He, his camera and a butterfly is a perfect match. This is a Wow photo. The shiny gloss on the butterfly's body is just stunning. It looks as if a can of metallic paint was spilled over it. The combination of orange, black and silver is a perfect combination and a pleasure to the eye. I like the position you have captured the butterfly. Good focus with lots of sharp details to enjoy. Thanks for sharing.
Kind regards
Ps. Have a super, Super 14 weekend. May the best team win! Are you listening Janice?

Calibration Check