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Testing my new 200mm micro. Working distance on this shot was about 30". I have a hard time knowing how close is too close. This appears to be some type of swallowtail, but I can not find my book so if anybody can give ID I would appreciate it.
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There are a number of forms of Papilio glaucus according to the seaboard they are found on. There is a DARK form which is very unusual.
If I remember rightly the common name in the USA is also Tiger Swallowtail.
They are quite famous in the world of lepidoptera as one of the first known drawing of this species was done by John White in the 1580's. He was the leader of the 3rd expedition to Sir Walter Raleigh's Virginia Colonies.
They are lovely butterflies and very similar to the Scarce Swallowtail on the mainland of Europe, Iphiclides podalirius., which I will be chasing around the fields of Southern France in about 5/6 weeks time.
Nice picture taken with an excellent Macro lens. Normally the average butterflies are taken at a reproduction ratio of 1:3 but this species is quite large and I, like you, like to give them space within the frame.
I know you didn't ask for one, but that's never stopped me before
Went to smugmug to view the original, then finally decided to copy your Swallowtail to work on in PS/CS. I found that your DOF was rather shallow @f4, since parts of it's wings are OOF, due to this shallow DOF. Probably needed more along the order of f8 or so. Those macro lenses have a mighty shallow DOF!
Also felt your crop was too loose, leaving too much open frame around the COI, the butterfly. I think it could use a bit more USMing as well.
If you'd like to see what I came up with, say the word, and I'll (temporarily) upload it, so you can see it here.
I, too, would go with the Zebra Swallowtail. Very common in the D.C. and Virginia areas, especially along small streams (although found elsewhere). If you noticed any Paw Paw trees around, you will usually find Zebra Swallowtails.
Of course, you have had lots of opinions as to what this is, I'm simply adding another to confuse you.
My very best,