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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: 2007-06-17
Categories: Insects
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC-H5
Exposure: f/4, 1/1000 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2008-01-20 12:03
Viewed: 4617
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 70
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note

Apatura iris (Linnaeus, 1758)

On that lucky, very hot and sunny day in June 2007 in the seemingly subtropical damp river forests of Rohrwald near Vienna, there were so many of them to see, to watch, and to observe their behaviour: of the rare, iridescent blue

>>> Purple Emperor.

The camouflage markings on their undersides of wings are just as fascinating as the lustrous uppersides. Strong contrasts seem to dissolve the large butterfly’s contours to a predator's eyes, while the drab earthy colours are merging perfectly with the colours of mud – the butterfly's favourite resting ground. And, at the slightest disturbance, the front wings are lifted, showing a very clear, well developed eye-spot that quite apparently seems to work as a large animal mimicry signal to divert predator aggressors.

The upper sides’ strong signals of blue iridescence - that seems to be part of a distinct intraspecies communication aimed at sexual partners and sexual rivals of the own species - are coming in combination with

eye-spot and false head mimicry signals

on the hindwings, that are obviously part of a broadband interspecies communication aiming at the target group of possible predators.


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

Christopher Jonko: Butterflies and Moths of Europe: http://www.lepidoptera.pl/

Walter Schön: Schmetterling - Raupe: http://www.schmetterling-raupe.de

The camera:
SONY DSC-H5, 3072 x 2304 pixel, sRGB, 15mm macro zoom (equivalent 90mm at full size SLR), F/4, 1/1000 sec., ISO-125, hand held, no flash. 17.06.2007, 14:04.

Photoshop Elements. Slightly cropped, downsized to web, selectively resharpened.

For seeing Iris's underside markings ab bit larger and in better resolution, please look into

>>> close approach.

Thank you for visiting.
Have a very good week.

Miss_Piggy, eqshannon, javig, jmp, uleko, Argus, jonathan_hart, dejo, nirmalroberts, mariki, anel, vanderschelden, angybone, marcellr, Maite, Alex99, Necipp, Juyona, JoseMiguel, XOTAELE, hester, Jamesp, loot, cicindela, jusninasirun has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To anel: ... man sieht wirklich ein Gesichtpeter_stoeckl 2 02-25 01:27
To Miss_Piggy: .. they just don’t want to sit still.peter_stoeckl 1 01-27 06:14
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Critiques [Translate]

Hallo Peter
Looking at the amount of beautiful butterflies in your gallery I cannot help to wonder how you managed to photograph them with such perfection. I really try to photograph the butterflies in the garden but they have such a huge amount of energy and do not sit still for a second. I walk behind them like a crazy thing, follow them and hide from them but they just don’t want so sit still. This “Apatura Iris" is a stunning butterfly with a beautiful arrangement of colours and pattern detail. The sand creates a different atmosphere than the usual greenery. I like the huge size of the wings which shows no sign of any damage. The focus is excellent and the composition good. I really enjoyed looking at it. Thanks for sharing.
Kind regards

Here we have Vienna, a place where I have read so much about and known of so many great minds, including my philosophy mentor who attended musical school there...a place I will only dream of visitntg..and the we have the Purple butterfly so named Emperor which is also the main title of a book ..Purple Emperor (The Faerie Wars Chronicles)..Sharp and colourful image of this species...very nicely done...ahh yes spring!

  • Great 
  • javig Silver Note Writer [C: 9 W: 0 N: 20] (134)
  • [2008-01-20 12:42]

Hello Peter,

Superb photo of this Apatura, very good sharpness, colors and DOF (both antennae in focus), showing the amazing color of the proboscis... Here in Spain this species is rare.

Best regards,


Gday Peter

Wish my pics were as technically good.

Rgds Mike

  • Great 
  • jmp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1659 W: 95 N: 2273] (8415)
  • [2008-01-20 12:58]

Hi Peter,
Awesome sharpness and bright, exact exposure, great texture and reflections... a very beautiful butterfly and photo.
TFS and best regards, José M.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-01-20 13:03]

Hello Peter,
Yes indeed, a fascinating photo. Excellent light and natural clear colours. Very sharp focus and good POV. Great composition.

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-01-20 13:09]

Hello Peter,
This is an outstanding capture of the underside of the Purple Emperor from a fine POV. Excellent sharp details of the wing pattern and colours. I like the amazing yellow proboscis matching the eye colour! It looks very fine against the sandy background.
Many thanks, Ulla

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-01-20 13:14]

Hello Peter,
Once again a superb capture of this delightful butterfly, this time showing the underside of A. iris.
The technical quality is of high standard in every respect with skillful use of the low aperture and the POV shows the striking yellow proboscis very well in this capture. Well done, my friend, and thanks for this further inspiration to look for it and photograph it this year.
Best regards, Ivan

excellent, and the close approach has the perfect quality :D

Hello my friend Peter,
It's very nice to see your excellent posting again!
As perfect as ever with superb sharpness, awesome colour and so much details to enjoy and view!
the exposure and focus is spot on!
excellent job!
my compliment!

Hi Peter,
Sharp details. Perfect exposure. Thanks for sharing this beautiful butterfly
- Nirmal

Peter, this image is sheer magic.
What a fascinated underwing!
Great POV, details, colours and composition.
Thanks for sharing this gem of a picture.
Best regards.

Excelente pose de esta bella mariposa. A destacar una luz impresionante y buen enfoque
Saludos Peter.

Hello Peter,

Very nice picture of this butterfly. Great POV. Good exposure. Excellent sharpness and great detail. Wonderful colours. I like the green colour of the proboscis, same colour than the eyes.
Well done,

  • Great 
  • dejo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 344 W: 51 N: 520] (2242)
  • [2008-01-21 0:48]

Hello Peter,
beautiful capture of this lovely butterfly, details and colors are really great
very good DOF
best regards, Dejan

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2008-01-21 1:03]
  • [+]

Hallo Peter,
Dein Falter scheint sehr beschäftigt, aber verlor Dich scheinbar nicht aus den Augen. Die Erdfarben diese Bildes gefallen mir sehr. Alles sieht so natürlich aus. Hochinteressant die Workshop-Bilder und deine Erklärungen dazu. Eindrücklich die Details der Hinterflügel, man sieht wirklich ein Gesicht.
Hab herzlichen Dank

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-01-21 2:24]

I'd love to see a Purple Emperor!
I will have to go looking for one in the summer :)
Un-blemished shot of this perfect specimen!
The DOF is superb and keeps every millimetre of the butterfly razor-sharp while blurring the BG into an undistracting smudge :)
Great composition that draws the eyes straight to outstretched proboscis and striking colours.
Superb work Peter!
Thanks for sharing this one,

Hello peter,
Another impressive butterfly image.
Good composition.
Well done

Hi Peter,
You managed exposure very well here as those colors are bright and saturated with no trace of over exposed spots on pale tones. I think that details are impressive for this aperture you used. This is a good POV with interesting note and excellent composition. Thanks,

What amazing details! Love the proboscis so clearly evident. Wonderful clarity and just overall great shot!

Hi Peter, lelegant butterfly with splendid colors and excellent sharpness, beautiful details, very well done, ciao Silvio

Ciao Peter,
le due immagini di A. iris che ci proponi sono tutte da "gustare", con la piacevole meraviglia che si prova davanti a tanta bellezza!
La spiritromba gialla è veramente eccezionale e magnificamente a fuoco.
Grazie di condividere queste belle foto con tutti noi.

  • Great 
  • Maite Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 998 W: 65 N: 1270] (5199)
  • [2008-01-21 7:02]

What an amazing and outstanding close-up, Peter! Both pictures are really amazing! How beautiful a macro upon this beautiful Purple Emperor closed-winged! I love the fine crisp details from tip to tip of the specimen. Magnificent low-level POV and splendid DOF, with perfect contrast and exposure.
I really love it!
Congratulations and thank you very much for sharing.
My best regards

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-01-21 8:01]

Hi, dear Peter.
I have received four remarkable gifts from you these days. I do not which of them is the better. Many thanks. But now about the finest of them.

Superb picture of an amazing butterfly. Your POV is fantastic and impressive at highest range. You managed to reflect so rich colour pattern simply outstandingly as well as the charming details of the butterfly. Eyes, tongue, legs, wings and other parts of the insect are reproduced with terrific exactness. I like great DOF. Even antennas are in focus. Bravo and thanks a lot for your art and kindness.

Hello Peter, very nice catch. Superb details, excellent pov, perfect dof with great amount of detail in the eye. Nice focusing tfs. Rgds, Necip

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2008-01-21 15:02]

Hola Peter,
preciosa mariposa,
excelente pov. colores y buena compo.
espléndida macro,

  • Great 
  • rdfoto Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 372 W: 0 N: 719] (3295)
  • [2008-01-22 12:20]

Bonjour Peter
Superbe prise, excellente netteté, couleurs et lumière. Bravo
Amicalement Robi

Exelente trabalho de macro uma qualidade muito boa parabéns pela tecnica e composição cores agradaveis.

Hi Peter,
Your work is so inspirational!
I made today a couple of butterfly's shots, not successful ones, but to came here and see your photo is enough to recharge batteries and enthusiasm.
Sharpness and DOF couldn't be any better.
Details, colours and patterns are a joy for the eyes!
My compliments and thanks for share it.
Warm regards,

Hola Peter.
Una genial macro con una nitidez y detalles muy bien logrados.
Perfecto encuadre y buen comentario.
Saludos, JL.

  • Great 
  • hester Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1515 W: 18 N: 3165] (11638)
  • [2008-01-26 13:38]

Hi Peter

Great maxro work, you can see the smallest details here. Nice POV, sharp focus and good DOF. You have shown the markings beautifully



  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-01-29 9:17]

Hi Peter

Great close-up - excellent detail and colour. Pretty near perfect IMHO.


bonjour peter
bien que ses couleurs interieures soient plus jolies je le trouve egalement tres beau comme cela,le piqué et l'exposition sont tres bon.

Hello again!
And again very ice capture of A. iris. I like a lot POV which allow to see all characteristic details of wings. Also this time timing is very nice, and moreober you presented an insect in very characteristic pose.
Best greetings and have a nice afternoon!

  • Great 
  • loot Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
  • [2008-02-26 1:22]
  • [2]

Hi Peter

Ok, finally I've made it here. Late and well down the line, but it was never-the-less a mini victory in clawing my way through the rat race hassles and other tangential and unfocused divergent endeavours.

This little guy with the yellow eyes, yellow proboscis, and little red "light" at the tip of its antennae is too cute for words. You have captured this butterfly with unequalled skill. Few other photographers would be able to make even a dull patch of real estate act as such a fabulous BG. You also managed to turn the "drab earthy colours" of the underwings into a magnificent feast of colour. The details are amazingly sharp (something I cannot closely imitate you even with my H9) and the exposure was perfectly balance and on the button.

Great work MF and TFS.
Best regards

Hello Peter. This is just brilliant tight crop image. The quality is top class and I like the compound eye that pops out of my LCD screen. Well done and best regards. Jusni

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