This week's Signpost is for the birds!
This edition covers content promoted from 27 November to 3 December 2011.
A male and female Orange-bellied Parrot
. Only 35 to 50 specimens of the species exist in the wild today. JJ Harrison
, who took these new featured pictures, gives us a little background and a few hints below.
The Signpost welcomes back JJ Harrison, previously interviewed in August. Four of JJ's pictures were promoted this week, and he shares a little of what it takes to shoot featured pictures.
"Lighting, position, exposure and composition are a few things that are worth considering when out and about with a camera. Where the light at any given time is and how best to approach a subject are important considerations. Getting to your subject’s horizontal level usually looks better, and can also help to throw the background out of focus. As far as exposure goes, I recommend checking the exposure/histogram every few shots and adjusting the exposure compensation if needed. I use fill flash a lot, particularly in bright sunlight, and I adjust the flash exposure compensation as necessary. I often use aperture priority (Av) mode, except for birds in flight or when I use flashes and other techniques where manual exposure (M) is better."
Katy Perry, whose discography has become one of our newest featured lists
New featured picture by JJ Harrison: a male Beautiful Firetail in Melaleuca, Tasmania
From the new featured topic, Song Taizu, the first emperor of the Song Dynasty
Two featured lists were promoted this week:
- Philadelphia Phillies all-time roster (W–Z) (nom), by Killervogel5. Another in a series of featured lists related to the Philadelphia Phillies all-time roster, the list covers the 129 Philadelphia Phillies whose surnames start with W, Y, or Z; no player in Major League Baseball history has had a surname starting with X. Of the members of this list, Cy Williams is the only one elected to the Philadelphia Baseball Wall of Fame.
- Katy Perry discography (nom), nominated by (CK)Lakeshade. American singer-songwriter and musician Katy Perry has released three studio albums, one live album, two extended plays, ten singles as a solo artist, as well as some promotional material. After her first album flopped, Perry eventually moved to Capitol Records, where she had her first success with One of the Boys, which was promoted on the internet by the single "Ur So Gay".
A single featured topic was (re)promoted this week. The new topic (nom) consists of four good articles and four featured articles related to the Song Dynasty, which ruled China from 960 to 1279 AD. The topic, previously a featured topic (previous Signpost coverage), had been delisted in March 2010 (pictured on left).
No featured articles were promoted this week.
Seven featured pictures were promoted this week:
- Commodore 64 (nom; related article), by Evan-Amos. An 8-bit computer introduced by Commodore International in 1982, the Commodore 64 sold up to 17 million units, becoming the best selling personal computer of all time.
- Orange-bellied Parrot male (nom; related article). Photographer JJ Harrison travelled to Melaleuca, Tasmania mainly to photograph this species. The Orange-bellied Parrot is one of only two parrot species that migrate and is one of the rarest wild birds on Earth, with only 35 to 50 individuals estimated to be surviving in the wild. This image is of a male. Regarding how he took these fantastic shots, JJ told The Signpost, "during the summer the Orange-bellied Parrots all breed in Melaleuca. As such, I flew down there by light plane to photograph them. While researchers placed feed out each day to count them, I was there to get a few shots. This presented its own complications – I had to shoot through glass (which I volunteered to clean a few times!)." (above)
- Orange-bellied Parrot female (nom; related article), by JJ Harrison. A female to complement the male. (above)
- Beautiful Firetail female (nom; related article), by JJ Harrison. Also taken in Malaleuca, the image depicts the Beautiful Firetail, named for its deep red rump. It is classified as least concern, with an extent range of over 1,000,000 square kilometres (390,000 sq mi).
- Beautiful Firetail male (nom; related article), by JJ Harrison. A male to complement the female.
- Eleven-faced Goddess of Mercy (nom; related article), by unknown artist. Promoted after almost two months in limbo, this image from the 12th century Heian period depicts Guanyin, the bodhisattva associated with compassion in East Asian Buddhism. The original is a national treasure of Japan (below).
- Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (nom; related article), by MrPanyGoff. The Bulgarian Academy of Sciences headquarters, depicted in the new featured picture, is located in Sofia next to the National Assembly of Bulgaria. Founded in 1869, the BAS is the National Academy of Bulgaria.
Featured pictures is proud to present this 12th-century illustration of Guanyin, promoted after nearly two months in limbo: