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Upload Pictures to the Kamusi Project

We welcome you to contribute images to the Internet Living Swahili Dictionary. We are looking for pictures that can be used to demonstrate things and concepts for dictionary entries and online learning exercises. You can upload your own photographs, or any other image that we may use within the fair use guidelines of U.S. copyright laws. (We reserve the right to reject pictures that in our judgement do not meet project needs, or that we cannot use for copyright reasons.) To access the image upload feature, just go to the appropriate dictionary entry and click on "[ photos: upload ]"

We greatly prefer images taken in East Africa, especially slice-of-life photographs that enhance the ability for dictionary users to understand the cultural context of the Swahili language. We also appreciate historical photographs, original drawings, and even museum images. As you look through your collection of images, think about the various concepts that your images could illustrate. For example, we came across an animated image that nicely illustrates the concept of "-sukuma," even though it was not taken in East Africa.

If you live in or are planning a trip to East Africa, look for opportunities to take photographs of items and activities from daily life. For example, a great choir picture would be one that shows a Tanzanian or Kenyan choir in their church, clearly in the act of singing - such a picture could illustrate both "imba" and "kwaya." If you see a carpenter building furniture, a good series of pictures would show him or her using various tools. Straightforward head shots are not so interesting from a teaching perspective - for the dictionary, it is much better to show your subjects in the context of their lives, doing something or holding something or near something that will be nicely explained through the use of your picture.

Pictures work best if they are taken at the highest resolution that your camera or scanner will allow - our software will resize the photos appropriately, so it's best to start with good quality images that can withstand some of the electronic manipulation that will follow. Also, it's important to pay attention to lighting, perhaps using a flash even in bright light if taking a picture of someone with dark skin, so that their features aren't underexposed by the camera. Make sure your subjects are not hidden in shadow, and take as many pictures as possible during the more gentle natural lighting of early morning or late afternoon.

The Kamusi Project has many entries for specific plants and animals. If you are a naturalist and can supply pictures to attach to those entries, for instance photographs of a tree species' leaves, bark, and fruits, or various details of a particular bird species, that would be extremely helpful.

Those are some general ideas of the sort of photo we're looking to include in the project. Please feel free to scan and submit any pictures from your existing collections - just go to the appropriate dictionary entry and click on on "[ photos: upload ]" to get started. If you have the opportunity to take photos in the future in East Africa, and this sounds like a good assignment for you, go shoot some pictures and have fun!

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