"You have been riding for hours among quiet richly wooded scenery, winding up along the side of some kind of gorge, ... then suddenly you come round a corner where the view opens up the valley, and you are almost struck senseless by the blinding splendour of that vast face of ice-hung precipices and soaring ridges, sixteen thousand feet from top to toe ...", from Mistress of Mistresses
(1935) by E.R. Eddison
, describing the grand Nanga Parbat
in the Pakistani Himalaya. The Nanga Parbat was captured in this new featured picture by Wikimedian Waqas.usman
, who spoke to The Signpost
about it (see below). Please use the horizontal scroller if necessary.
This week's "Featured content" covers Sunday 4 – Saturday 10 September
Two new featured pictures explained
New featured picture: Arnold Genthe
was an early adopter of the autochrome color photography process. He began experimenting with the process in 1905 in California. User:Chick Bowen
explains his choice of our first autochrome featured picture in the first section.
From the new featured article: the two Northrop YF-23
prototypes, of unusual design, fly over the Mojave Desert in California in 1994.
From the newly featured List of World Heritage in Danger
, this striking sand-bowl is in the Aïr Mountains
region of Niger, in central Africa. The region is of heritage concern because of military conflict and civil disturbance, and a degradation of the wildlife and vegetation.
* Nanga Parbat (nom; related article), also known as the "killer mountain" for the number of climbers who have died trying to conquer it, is displayed at the top. At 8,125 metres (26,658 ft), it's the ninth-highest peak in the world and the second-highest in Pakistan, and forms the western anchor of the Himalayan Range. The image includes a clear view of several glaciers.
Wikimedian User:Waqas.usman told The Signpost, "I took the component images of this panorama mid-afternoon on 28 June 2005, using a 35 mm Panasonic Lumix FZ15. The field of view—that is, the angle captured from left to right as you scroll across—is between 120º and 150º (the full 180º image consists of 17 images stitched together, but was reduced to provide a uniform horizontal dimension). The panorama shows the north face of Nanga Parbat from a point just north of the base camp. We later descended to the closest village, Beyal, which lies between Fairy Meadows camping ground and the base camp on this southbound trek.
"We arrived at this vantage point shortly after crossing the combined width of more than 500 metres (1600 ft) of the two glaciers you can see in the right half of the picture (Ganalo Glacier, and another referred to as 'Old Branch of Rakh Glacier' on Google Earth). In the left half of the image is the much bigger Rakhiot (Raikot) Glacier. This was at about 3,900 m (12,800 ft)—an altitude that takes several days to get used to, with the oxygen down to about 70% of its sea-level proportion; altitude sickness can be a real problem up there if you're not used to trekking that high. 35°14′15″N 74°35′21″E .
"The image might deceive you as to the real distances involved. The straight-line distance from us up to the peak of Nanga Parbat was about 8 kilometres (5 mi), with a gain in altitude was more than 4.2 kilometres (2.6 mi)! To get an idea of the scale, take a look at the image at full res: to the right of the left-side glacier, not far from the bottom of the image and below a patch of green, you can just make out a small brick-and-mortar shelter—a pretty decent sized building, probably more than 3 × 4 m (10 × 15 ft). To its left is a tiny light-blue object, which is a two-to-three-person tent. The hut and tent were probably about 1.5 kilometres (close to a mile) from where I set up the camera."
* Arnold Genthe: autochrome nude (nom; related article). Arnold Genthe was an early exponent of Autochrome Lumière, the principal colour photography process in use before the advent of "subtractive" colour film in the mid-1930s. Patented in 1903 and first marketed in 1907, the autochrome was loaded into the camera with the bare glass side facing the lens, so that the light passed through the mosaic filter layer before reaching the emulsion—a completely different method from black-and-white plates.
This image, displayed at the right, was edited before nomination by Chick Bowen, who explained the rationale and the process: "We do not have a single featured autochrome, nor do we have a single photographic nude, nor anything by Genthe, who was one of the best-known California photographers before Adams." Chick Bowen set out to overcome what he called "this triple oversight" by choosing this image for artistic reasons. "As nudes go, I feel this one makes particularly clear the goals of modernist, artistic nude photography; the circular form with one hand over the head calls to mind the famous Edward Weston picture of Bertha Wardell. It also shows the way the imprecise color of an autochrome can be an aesthetic strength." This was a tricky edit, apparently (here is the original).
"Autochromes have a typical grid-like chromatic pattern, which is visible in a high-resolution scan of the plate, but this wasn't the way they were traditionally viewed (which was in a small handheld viewer, sort of like half a stereoscope). To reduce the obviousness of this pattern, I applied a very slight blur and downscaled a little bit."
Other featured pictures
Three other images were promoted, and can be viewed in medium size by clicking on "nom":
* Marabou Stork (nom; related article), a massive bird species that probably reaches a height of 150 cm (60 in) and weighs more than 9 kg (20 lbs), with a wingspan of at least 3.5 m (10.5 ft). This specimen was photographed in Mikumi National Park, Tanzania by User:Muhammad Mahdi Karim in June. It breeds in Africa south of the Sahara, occurring in both wet and arid habitats, often near human habitation, especially waste tips. It is sometimes called the "undertaker bird", due to its shape from behind: cloak-like wings and back, skinny white legs, and sometimes, a large white mass of "hair."
* Crowned Lapwing (nom; related article), with its characteristic black crown intersected by an annular white halo. The species occurs from the Red Sea coast of Somalia to southern and southwestern Africa. It is adaptable and numerous, with bold and noisy habits. (Created by User:Muhammad Mahdi Karim)
* Pied Oystercatchers (nom; related article), taken at Austin's Ferry, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia (created by User:JJ Harrison, who says, "The one on the left has just flicked a small mussel towards its mouth.").
Five articles were promoted to featured status:
* 1991 Atlantic hurricane season (nom), the first season in over 24 years in which no hurricanes[nb 1] developed from tropical waves, which are the source for most North Atlantic tropical cyclones. Nevertheless, the season featured Hurricane Bob, which at the time was among the ten costliest US hurricanes, caused billions of dollars in damage, mostly in Massachusetts, and 17 deaths. (Nominated by Hurricanehink)
* Northrop YF-23 (nom), a single-seat, twin-engine fighter aircraft designed for the United States Air Force in the 1980s. An unconventional-looking aircraft, it had diamond-shaped wings, a profile with substantial area-ruling to reduce drag at supersonic speeds, and an all-moving V-tail. The cockpit was placed high, near the nose of the aircraft. The aircraft featured a tricycle landing gear configuration with a nose landing gear and two main landing gear. (Sp33dyphil) Picture at right
* Caroline of Ansbach (nom), 1683–1737, the queen consort of King George II of Great Britain. She put up with his mistresses, and became involved in generational family rows among the Hanoverians. She and Robert Walpole—the first British prime minister—were credited with jointly exerting great control over the King. (Ruby2010 and DrKiernan)
* USS Constellation vs La Vengeance (nom), an action between frigates of the French and US navies during the Quasi-War, in 1800. The battle resulted in severe damage to La Vengeance, which was forced to flee. (XavierGreen)
* SMS Grosser Kurfürst (1913) (nom), the second battleship of the four-ship König class. Grosser Kurfürst served in the German Imperial Navy during World War I. Her name refers to Frederick William I, the Prince-elector of Brandenburg. (Parsecboy)
Two featured articles were delisted:
* Point Park Civic Center (nom: referencing, prose, and lead).
* T-34 (nom: referencing, comprehensiveness, and image compliance)
Three lists were promoted:
* List of NK Maribor seasons (nom) (Nominated by Ratipok.)
* List of Florida Marlins team records (nom) (Albacore.)
* List of World Heritage in Danger (nom) (Bamse.) Picture at right