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Papilio machaon.

Papilio machaon.
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter Stoeckl (peter_stoeckl) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1738 W: 291 N: 4005] (11530)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-04-03
Categories: Insects
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC-H5
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/250 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2007-04-03 15:07
Viewed: 4791
Points: 52
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Papilio machaon.

Tails from the Vienna Woods.

A marvellously bright and sunny working day today, the afternoon happily spent out of work in nature at one of my favourite locations, easily accessible from downtown Vienna, and full of rarities, with the fascinating biodiversity of Pannonian grasslands merging with Central European fauna and flora – Eichkogel near Moedling to the south of Vienna.

Lots of flowers in blossom: Adonis vernalis, Pulsatilla grandis, Iris pumila. And a surpring number of butterflies around. Pieris napi, Anthocharis cardamines, Vanessa urticae, Issoria lathonia, Nymphalis polychloros (the first ones I have seen since many years – a picture may follow), and Swallowtails (Papilio machaon) happily dashing around in flirting mood.

The unusually mild winter seems to have done no harm at all to fauna and flora.

Papilio machaon (Linnaeus, 1758)

European Swallowtail
Le Grand Porte-queue
Махаон (бабочка)
Paź królowej
Vidlochvost fenyklový
Otakárek fenyklový

Wingspan 70 - 80 mm

Family: Papilionidae.

Widely distributed all over Europe, from the lowlands up to the mountains well above 2000 meters above sea level, scarce and very local in the UK. Rather local and not very common in the rest. In the southern parts two to three generations from April to October. Caterpillars feeding on Umbelliferae and Rutaceae, e.g. Dictamnus albus that grows in abundance on Eichkogel.

L.G.Higgins, N.D.Riley: Die Tagfalter Europas und Nordwestafrikas. Verlag Paul Parey, Hamburg und Berlin 1978.

C.Jonko: Butterflies and Moths of Europe: www.lepidoptera.pl

A solitary limestone hill called Eichkogel, surrounded by vinards, next to the ancient town of Moedling, South Eastern Lower Austria.

The camera:
SONY DSC-H5, 3072 x 2304 pixel, sRGB, 11mm, F/6.3, 1/250 sec., ISO-125, -0.3 backlight compensation; mini tripod, no flash, steady shot image stabilisation activated; 03.04.2007, 16:27.

Photoshop Elements, slightly cropped, downsized to the web, selectively resharpened, levels slightly adjusted.

If you want to see another swallowtail, taken the same day, at the same location, but with much more to see of the Vienna Woods, please click

>>> here.

Thank you for looking.
Happy Easter Holidays to all of you!

anel, cedryk, cicindela, phlr, Hil, glazzaro, uleko, Alex99, volkan, jmp, horia, lgfoto, Silvio2006, snowfalken, SkyF, Adanac has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To snowfalken: Eddie, danke!peter_stoeckl 2 04-13 04:33
To cicindela: ... near the seaside?peter_stoeckl 2 04-03 17:22
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2007-04-03 15:12]

Hallo Peter,
Kaum zu glauben. Diesen Schwalbenschwanz hast Du heute gesehen. Glücklicher Mensch. Wunderschöne, etwas unorthodoxe Aufnahme. Gefällt mir sehr.
Schönen Abend

  • Great 
  • cedryk Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 50 N: 1722] (5270)
  • [2007-04-03 15:32]

Hello Peter,
Very dynamic shot of this butterfly. I like this very unusual POV. Excellent exposure and spot on focus. One could debate on the DOF but in this case it's just a personal choice.
Anyway, a great job.
Best greetings and Happy Easter to you!!!

  • Great 
  • batu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1079 W: 293 N: 4497] (16383)
  • [2007-04-03 15:41]

Hallo Peter,
ein steiler Start in die neue Faltersaison. Wie immer äußerst natürliche Farben und ausgewogene Lichtverhältnisse, aber dazu ein außergewöhnlicher Blickwinkel. Absolut gute Schärfe!
Ich war in den letzten Tagen sehr beschäftigt .. nur sporadisch bei TN. Ab morgen habe ich 'kleine Ferien' und werde die Natur durchstöbern.
Schöne Grüße, Peter

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2007-04-03 16:00]

Hi Peter ,this is a very good picture of the Swallow tail fine detail ,the colour is jusr right against the background.well done..
Nick happy easter to you.

  • Great 
  • Nilson Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 488 W: 0 N: 566] (4423)
  • [2007-04-03 16:08]

Belissima borboleta de qualidade muito boa ,exelente meus parab´[ens.

bonjour peter
bravo pour le point de vue, de cette maniere le papillon est vraiment de toutes beauté.tres detaillé et joliement coloré.
l'exposition est parfaite.

Hello Peter!
This is one of my favourite butterfly species :)
Very colourful, big and... common (especially since last decade).
You picture is really good. I like sharpness, POV and details. Also the BG looks nice (did you take this photo near seaside? I thing there is a sea :>).
Note as always very professional :)
Best greetings and have a nice Easter!

  • Great 
  • Hil Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 696 W: 13 N: 1407] (5035)
  • [2007-04-03 17:42]

Hi Peter

Superb shot, I really like the composition with the tight crop and its a really interesting POV and pose that I like a lot, very good details and great colours too.

Happy Easter to you too

TFS Hilary :o)

Hi peter,
very nice shot, i liked the pov very much, lovely composition, well saturated colours, liked the sharp image with good details,
well done,
tfs & regards

Nice focus, solid detail throughout, well taken shot.


  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-04-04 2:39]

Hello Peter,
One of my favourite species which we seldom see here. We had one in the garden last year with a broken wing! Lovely capture of this beauty showing sharp details and natural colours. Unusual pose, but it really looks quite smart like that!! I envy your early spring, it's only slowly on the way here!
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2007-04-04 3:14]

Hola Peter,
excelente pov.
una imagen realmente bella,
detalles y colores fabulosos,
muchos saludos

Hello Peter,

Your butterflies’ pictures are always so impressive. You gave them a dimension that we don't see often with those great back grounds, unusual POV and superb DOF. In fact, they are more than insect’s pictures as they are almost like landscape’s ones at the same time :) Your country seems so nice, with those mountains and vegetation... I have to go there someday.

This is another beautiful capture of this great specie. Details, POV, composition, exposure and colors are just perfect! What else to say except, congratulations! Thanks and have a Happy Easter too :)


Superb shot, absolutely perfect exposure.
Brilliant sharpness and DOF
Excellent composition.


  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2007-04-04 9:14]

Hi, dear Peter.
Once more your amazing butterfly composition with true (now) BG. Perfect combination of the precisely reproduced butterfly and well coloured, detailed enough, pictorial BG. I also like your terrific POV and other virtues of this wonderful shot.
The workshop picture is so beautiful as original one. Bravo, my best regards and good wishes for trip.
Yours Alexei.

Hi Peter,
This is a wonderful capture of the machaon.
They haven't come out here yet.
I wish they did :))
Nice point of view and clarity.
Well done.

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2007-04-04 11:47]

Hi Peter,
Impressive pov and pose, natural colours, perfect light and sharpness and an slight touch of background to put bf in context. And definitely I like ws even more than the "main" post.
TFS and best regards,
José M.

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2007-04-04 13:38]

Hi Peter

Another splendid macro capture from you, mt friend!
I am still to photograph one this year, but until then i'm left with watching your superb shots :)
The colors here are most charming and the exposure is impeccable managed.
I really like the WS photo, too.

Bravo and TFS

  • Great 
  • lgfoto Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 194 W: 13 N: 279] (1536)
  • [2007-04-04 17:44]

Magnificient shot Peter.Very sharp details and structures.TFS

Hi Peter, superb butterfly with wonderful details, excellent sharpness, splendid light and colors, great focus, very well done, ciao Silvio

Hello Peter,

First I would like to apologize for returning your critique so late! It takes a long time for me to write detailed critiques and I am already over one page back but I promise to make it up soon!

This is a wonderful capture of the largest of the butterfly species we have here! It is also my favorite species!I haven't seen any swallowtails around here yet this year! It seems you were pretty "busy" before Easter and I am grateful for sharing these beauties with us!


The composition of your picture is great as usual! You spoil us with more and more unusual points of view. This low POV is excellent as you can use the sky as a background! I appreciate the way you distributed the empty space around the subject! The isolation of the butterfly is excellent thanks to an almost plain and OOF background!


A picture of a butterfly is almost always a successful one, from a chromatic POV speaking. The same goes for your picture which has wonderful, bright and natural looking colors! The saturation also is excellent, just as much as it needs to look great! It is a pleasure for my eyes to explore your photo!


The black pattern in the butterfly's wings is the key element for providing such great contrast! It also helps drawing attention to the butterfly since the contrast in the background is much lower! Besides, black and yellow provide the strongest contrast as far as I know!


It is remarkable how you exposed the scene having such a bright background! Most pictures in the same situation would show underexposure in the subject and probably strong chromatic aberration! It is not the case here. My stupefaction increases even more as I checked your settings to find out whether you used a fill flash or not to work around this inconvenience! You didn't! All my admiration for such a great camera work! You really know how to control light!


Very good focus on the butterfly! You controlled the DOF very well to keep sharp details throughout the whole subject! I usually have big problems getting sharp pictures of butterflies. This is due to the long (200 mm) focal length which creates a very shallow DOF. This is why I try to shoot perpendicular on the butterfly when it has the wings in a single plane (flat open or closed). It feels great to see your different angles of shooting and still have a good sharpness! Very well done!

Thank you for sharing this picture! It is an outstanding work of art! The notes are very useful too! You must be happy to live so close to such a butterfly lovers' paradise! Now I can't wait to photograph the first butterfly this year! Thank you my friend!

With Friendly Regards,

Hello again!
Just perfect picture! Unfortunatelly the Spring has just coming to my area and I couldn't start making pictures yet ;-D
Anyway: Please change the link to my website: it's no longer www.lepidoptera.bai.pl but just www.lepidoptera.pl


  • Great 
  • SkyF Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2234 W: 188 N: 1912] (8073)
  • [2007-04-13 14:29]

Hallo Peter,
Das ist wieder ein ganz tolles Portrait. Bei uns sind die Burschen noch nicht unterwegs, nicht mal eine Eintagsfliege. Sehr schoen getroffen in seiner natuerlichen Umgebung. Der POV und die Schaerfe sind umwerfend.

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2007-04-20 21:29]

Hello Peter,
Superb macro work giving this image fantastic colors and sharpness.

Hi Peter,
A masterpiece from the master himself :-). By God this is an excellent POV and a superb shot filled with details, colors and Depth!

very impressive collection of butterfly in a impecable presentation, and high quality picture.

DOF is very very deep, and from this insects, DOF is important.

one great TFS for all the collection,

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