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El Pavo Real.

El Pavo Real.
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: 2007-03-16
Categories: Insects
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC-H5
Exposure: f/4, 1/200 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Vienna Woods - Biosphaerenpark Wienerwald [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2007-03-17 4:44
Viewed: 4212
Points: 42
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
El Pavo Real.

Inachis io (Linnaeus, 1758)

Павлиний глаз
Rusałka pawik
Babôčka pávooká
Babočka paví oko
Paon de Jour
Pavo Real

Order: Lepidoptera
Family: Nymphalidae

Wingspan: 60 – 64 mm.

Yesterday afternoon I saw that peacock basking on dry leaves at the edge of the Vienna Woods, spreading its wings for the sun to appear again from behind a passing cloud. The scene reminded me very much of the nice picture our friend Peter (batu) posted a few days ago from Germany. I hope he won’t mind me repeating his theme here in a variation from Austria.

Talking of eyespots developed in an evolutionary process to resemble eyes of dangerous predators, the European peacock butterfly certainly has achieved a most conspicuous high level mimicry resembling a wild cat staring with eyes wide open. We humans may be attracted by such “pretty” eyes, but birds do as requested – they stay away.

Inachis io hibernates as a butterfly and therefore is one of the first ones to be out in spring. The species is distributed from Japan through temperate Asia to Europe, where it can be found as a common and wide spread species from southern Scandinavia to the northern Iberian peninsula, the UK, and Ireland.

Butterflies can be seen from the lowlands up to 2500m. There is one extended generation of butterflies flying from June to October, hibernating and reappearing in March. Caterpillars feed on nettles (Urtica dioica).


L.G. Higgins, N.D. Riley, W. Forster (bearb.): Die Tagfalter Europas und Nordwestafrikas, Hamburg und Berlin 1978²

Tom Tolman, Richard Lewington: Die Tagfalter Europas und Nordwestafrikas, Stuttgart 1998.

C. Jonko: European Butterflies. http://www.lepidoptera.neo.pl

The location:

Satzberg, a sandstone hill covered with deciduous forest and meadows at the western borders of the city of Vienna, at an elevation of 350 meters above sea level.


SONY DSC-H5, 3072 x 2304 pixel, sRGB, 13mm macro, F/4, 1/200 sec., ISO-125; mini tripod, no flash; 16.03.2007, 15:35.


Photoshop Elements, cropped, downsized to web presentation, slightly sharpened, brightness, contrast and saturation adjusted.

Thank you for looking.
Have a very good day.

jmp, phlr, uleko, horia, Alex99, anel, sgo, cicindela, Juyona, JoseMiguel, wallhalla15, Adanac, loot, pankajbajpai, snowfalken has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To loot: "fearless" shot -peter_stoeckl 1 03-30 15:25
To snowfalken: Thank you for your very detailed critique.peter_stoeckl 1 03-19 11:51
To sgo: schönes Frühlingszeichenpeter_stoeckl 1 03-18 15:28
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Critiques [Translate]

bonjour peter
bravo,il cepourrait bien que ce soit mon prochain sujet.
les couleurs sont tres realistes,excellente netteté et bon DOF.
le POV lui n'est pas extra mais ce n'est pas voue qui avez choisit l'endroit ou il s'est posé.
bon week end.

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2007-03-17 4:59]

Good morning Peter,
All a surprise to read "El Pavo Real" in the title!
Wonderful colours, "invisible" soft light, perfect exposure, excellent details and sharpness. What is more, what you can see around is its environment, exactly what I expect to see and the right place for my aesthetic tendencies.
TFS and best regards,
José M.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2007-03-17 5:56]

Hello Peter,
Any signs of spring are most welcome after the long winter! Beautiful capture of this Peacock, in amazingly good condition after hibernation. The colours look lovely against the dead leaves and it is all beautifully in focus. Excellent composition!
TFS and all the best, Ulla

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2007-03-17 6:03]

Hello Peter,
Spring butterflies are a great boost to the morale when they emerge after their hibernation and it is nice to see TN members rising to the occasion by taking such fine shots as this one of yours showing the Peacock butterfly with good sharpness and from a fine POV and on last year's leaves - quite symbolic.
TFS and a happy lepidopterous season!

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2007-03-17 6:21]

Hi Peter, I love this butterfly - always so pretty. Peacock suits it's name. This is a beauty, the colours and details are great.

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2007-03-17 6:55]

Hi Peter

Another charming capture from this year's "Spring Collection" :))
The details of this Inachis io are terrific and very sharp and its wonderful colors helped to isolate him from the leaves and grass on the ground.
The exposure is very beautifully managed and the POV and timing are great, capturing it with its wings wide opened.

Bravo and TFS

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2007-03-17 8:06]

Hi, my dear Peter.
How small my knowledge is. I have not known that butterflies can hibernate. What a disgrace.

Thank you for your note and picture of this amazing specimen. Its image is wonderful and I also like a very impressive surroundings created by dry leaves. One of the key points of the shot is terrific transparency and clearness of the paints. I feel myself inside this scene. Superb, refined work. My compliments and best wishes.

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2007-03-17 8:27]

Hallo Peter,
Das Pfauenauge mit so schön natürlichen Farben zu fotografieren und in dieser Position ist schon ein Kunststück. Schön auch, wie der Schmetterling auf den dürren Blättern sitzend, seine Farben wirkungsvoll inszenieren kann.Es ist erstaunlich wie viele Schmetterlinge sich momentan zeigen (habe zum ersten Mal einen Grossen Fuchs gesehen).
Ein schönes Wochenende wünscht Dir

  • Great 
  • dew77 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4432 W: 248 N: 4028] (13270)
  • [2007-03-17 8:34]

Hello Peter,
Very nice capture of this butterfly.Dried leaves attracting also attention.Natural colors,clear details,framing and composition are wonderful.
Have agreat day too!

Hello Peter!
I have some daley with sending comments to your pictures but I hope that soon I will find time to do it ;)
Anyway, this is a really nice photo. Even if very common it is still an interesting species :)

I see that it was taken yesterday. Really I. io was the first butterfly species observed by me this spring.

According to picture I have to say that I really like the BG, not flower, not pland (even if it was a part of tree) but the dead leaf. In looks really nice because of the contrast with welll presented butterfly.
Another very nice element for me is the title - funny but clearly showing the species name :)
TFS and best greetings,

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2007-03-17 9:38]

Hola Peter,
Como siempre una gran trabajo,
detalles y original presentación.
excelentes colores y compo...

Hi Peter,
Again, a magnificent image!
This colourful butterfly really stand out from the background of dry leaves.
The colors and patterns on the wings are really good ones.
I like the green accents added by the grasses.
A very clear and sharp image.
Congratulations and thanks for share it.
My best regards,

Hallo Peter,
Du hast auch das Glück gehabt ein "Winter-Pfauenauge" zu erwischen. Ich hatte zwei von dieser Gattung nur durch scharfes bremsen vor dem Zusammenprall mit der Windschutzscheibe meines PKW´s retten können. Undankbar waren sie auch noch und ließen sich nicht zu einem Foto-shooting überreden. - Dagegen zeigt sich Dein Falter ganz in seiner Pracht. Ein hervorragendes Schmetterlingsfoto, mit sehr gut Schärfe und Tiefenschärfe. Sehr guter Blickwinkel, natürliche Farben - eine kristallklare Komposition. Danke.
Lieben Gruß aus dem Bürener Land.

  • Great 
  • Debz Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 505 W: 0 N: 847] (3307)
  • [2007-03-17 18:42]

Hi Peter, a beautifully shot Butterfly. Nice depth of colour on the wings and great POV. Great detail and sharpness. Lovely compositon.

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2007-03-17 21:41]

Hello Peter,
Thanks for sharing this beautiful capture with amazing details and colors, this is a fantastic composition.

  • Great 
  • sgo Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 137 W: 32 N: 239] (718)
  • [2007-03-18 2:24]
  • [+]

Grüß Gott!
Wie ein schönes Bild dieses aus dem Winter hervortretenden Tagpfauenauges! Das Gleichnis mit den Katzenaugen sehr treffend, selbst denke Ich aber immer mehr poetisch von ihnen als glänzende Rubine und Smaragde! Diese Aufnamhe gefällt mir sehr mit jenen schönen Farben inmitten all des Grauliches und Bräunliches - ein Strahlenglanz der Hoffnung; der Hintergrund scheint mir so wirklich als ob 3D. Vielen Dank für dieses schönes Frühlingszeichen aus den Wienerwäldern!
Mit freundlichen Grüßen,

  • Great 
  • batu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1079 W: 293 N: 4497] (16383)
  • [2007-03-18 2:31]

Hallo Peter,
eine scharfe Darstellung dieses Frühlingsboten: Alter aber quicklebendiger Falter auf altem totem Laub. Die Tiefenschärfe ist großartig - man hört das trockene Laub leicht rascheln.
Schöne Grüße, Peter

òtima foto cores e nitidez agradavel as folhas secas da um contraste muito bom ao primeiro plano exelente.

hi peter,
excellent shot, sharp image with very good details, the colours of the butterfly are stunning & looks very good with dry leafs around, nice point of view,
well done, tfs & regards

Hello Peter,

On my way to work this morning I came across this peacock butterfly which was fluttering around and announcing the arrival of the spring. I was happy to find this picture of the same species and write you a few words! Here's my critique:


This picture is a bit different than the ones you used to spoil us with! If most of your butterfly photos show us the subject on a blurred background, this one is a view from above which also included dry leaves and some grass just to remind us the spring has arrived. You placed the butterfly on the right side of the frame and left some space in front of it. This is much more interesting than placing it in the middle! The open aperture led to a shallow DOF and here is where the open wings laid flat horizontally helped you getting a uniform sharpness throughout the whole subject. Although the background isn't OOF, the colors and contrast make the subject stand out.


Well saturated and rich colors are crucial for this butterfly to stand out from the background. It is interesting to note the way the two complimentary colors (red and green) are distributed in the picture. If you divide the picture diagonally from the upper left to the lower right corner, each triangle contains one of the two colors. Somehow this balances your picture from a chromatic POV.


Contrast is always best between complimentary colors since they enhance each other! The black, blue and white colors also add nice contrast in the subject, helping it stand out from the rest.


The well rendered details are consistent throughout the picture in both shadows and highlights which proves a very good exposure handling.


The very precise focus rendered excellent details! Sharpness is a strong point and I must say I'm impressed by the amazing clarity of this picture. I can even see the thickness of the dry leaves on the ground and the texture of the butterfly's wings! Very well done!

A very good post with well documented and useful notes. Thank you!

With Friendly Regards,

  • Great 
  • loot Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
  • [2007-03-28 19:25]
  • [2] [+]

Hi Peter

Sorry I took a while for the update, but it is amazing how time flies by when one gets side-tracked with everything else except with those things you actually want to or have to do.

You have captured and presented this colourful butterfly in all its magnificent splendour standing out like a "throbbing sore thumb" from this drab scrub habitat. We know that the BG to any species specific (living subject orientated) nature photography can make or break the shot. Normally we would all try to find that POV where the BG can become ambiguous or vague to an extent where we would be avoiding any possible distraction from the specific species (animal) we are shooting or presenting. However, you were bold and absolutely "fearless" with this shot. It surely stems from your confidence in the fact that the subject were so well captured and so colourfully displayed that there is barely any thing else that could distract the attention or focus from the subject.

A lovely composition showing the butterfly in an archetypal pose while having a rest in a very typical natural environment. Heck, they are not always sitting on beautiful or exotic flowers sipping nectar cocktails. The details are stunning and so are the colours. You have achieved excellent exposure levels considering the fact that the supply of or the availability of light in a wooded scenario could be rather sparse.

Very well done and TFS.

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