Time restraints due to changed circumstances in life make it impossible to continue with this hobby, so my activity here will more or less come to an end. I might still be uploading an older photo or two while cleaning up after myself, but that'll be it. Thanks to all for the good times! All images will remain available as CC0 / Public Domain for anyone to use and I'm open to requests for originals or other versions, but I won't be putting real time into creating new content anymore.
    1. Comment on Long Horn Beetle 11 months ago
      Meantime, life circumstances have changed, resulting in first giving up on the (time consuming) participation on various forums (as well as tuning down participation on JD) and more recently I've more or less given up on the photography part altogether too.
      The time it all takes seems to be more and more of a problem for my direct environment, taking away the relaxation and rest that I used to find in it. I may still be uploading old stuff as I have some projects that I want to finish and will be browsing through my backlogs of images for that, but no more new stuff and reference searching orgies for ID. Sh*t happens, life changes ...

      This goes to illustrate how _I_ (used to) perceive JD, just as an example - others will certainly have their own, quite different take on matters.

      As for photography advise: Not my forte. My personal *cough*experience*cough* would lead me to state something like: Always first look at what you can do to improve the light, next look at improving the light. Once that is done, go back and see if you can find better ways to get light on the subject and on the scene as a whole. Forget about megapixels, optics and camera settings until you've covered that. I'm still working on the lighting bit of that scheme and still not happy with most of the results, but that's probably just me being either too ignorant or too lazy to yet again build a new/different yoghurt cup flash diffuser.

      Maybe, this rant will prompt some others to offer their views on what JD is to them and/or help with photography advise. Don't attach any value to my answer - I'm just trying to get things rolling for you ;o)
      Cheers, Arp

      P.S. Forgot to mention that: Me thinks your images already _are_ at a high quality level - very crisp and sharp!
    2. Comment on Long Horn Beetle 11 months ago
      part 1
      Hi William,
      in reply to one of your comments I already said hello and welcome to JD and next had a quick browse through your photos, stumbling on this question. Probably Ferdy (site founder) or some of the more active members could answer your questions better, but basically I think JD can pretty much be what you want it to be.
      Personally, I came here because the site is regularly in the top results on google when you search for a species name and I noticed that the IDs were not always on par with the photo quality, so I decided to give some feedback here and there. The high ratings in Google make sense given the (on average) fairly high quality of the photos and availability of images of many rare species, both terrestrial and aquatic.

      In my perception, I'm more of a "species documenter" than a photographer and I have been fairly active on various forums trying to help others to ID their images and learning a lot in the process for my own fun and satisfaction, at some point resulting in being asked to "validate" observations of various groups of arthropods on our Dutch biodiversity platform (waarneming.nl). IDs on JD are a completely different ballgame, with a world-wide source and information on many groups of species from different areas being scarce or hard to get by. I've given it a go at a few occasions (very time consuming ;o) and learned a lot by doing so and had fun doing that.

      While lingering here I decided to also upload some of my images to supplement the species documented here. I had a short spin on Flickr long before I found JD and left because my preferred license (CC0, Public Domain dedication) was not supported at the time and because they started pulling stunts like requiring a Yahoo mail account shortly after I had signed up. JD didn't have that sort of restraints. The only one that still annoys me a tad is that I couldn't sign up with my preferred username (Arp) so I resorted to an old nickname ;o)

      As time passed, I more or less started using JD somewhat as a place to "showcase" a few of my "better" images in higher resolution than would be allowed on most other nature platforms or forums. Please keep in mind that I'm certainly still not a photographer striving for good/beautiful images, but sometimes even a blind chicken finds some corn while picking around in the dark. I use _very_ low end gear (no budget: 15€ 2nd hand 8Mpx bridge camera and a selection of "expensive" (<80€) macro "filter adapters", mostly Raynox DCR250 and MSN202).

      So, to me, JD has been a place to enjoy seeing beautiful and interesting images of other members, while having fun pulling my hairs out on the occasional ID and at the same time using it as a place to dump/store some of my own work online so it can be found and used by others (no point in hoarding it on my local HDD).

      While being here, I've always felt right in place in a very small and "cozy" community, with few but very valuable active members on all levels (knowledge of nature, photography as well as personal). A very pleasant place to come and visit on a daily basis, to be delighted by beautiful images from all over the globe and "meet" good people.
    3. Comment on Megacoelum infusum - Nymph, portrait 11 months ago
      Thanks William, and welcome to JD - hope you enjoy your stay!
      Cheers, Arp
    4. Crying it's *ss off ;o)
      I thought this shot constitutes special levels of proof, considering all the skeletons of previous victims on Vlad's back!
    5. Literally :o)
    6. Comment on Vlad, the impaler one year ago
      Thanks Ruth - the white balance on this one was messed up, but the scene is worthwhile ;o)
    7. Comment on Vlad, the impaler one year ago
      Thanks Wesley - kudos for the great nickname go to Ferdy :o)
      (see comments with this image):
      Nineta flava - Larva having lunch https://www.jungledragon.com/image/120013/nineta_flava_-_larva_close-up.html Chrysopidae,Chrysopinae,Chrysopini,Hemerobiiformia,Jane's garden,Larva,Neuroptera,Nineta,Nineta flava,nl: Gele gaasvlieg
    8. Ha! Well phrased Ferdy - I'll see what more evidence I can dig up!!11eleven
    9. Yeah - another one that's clearly just enjoying being soooo gruesome!
    10. Comment on Nineta flava - Larva having lunch one year ago
      Excellent! *rofl* ... does Chrysoperla also qualify?
      Larva of Chrysoperla carnea s.l. having lunch  Chrysoperla,Chrysoperla carnea,Chrysopidae,Common green lacewing,Jane's garden,Larva,Neuroptera,nl: Goudoogje,predation