In the wake of devastation from Hurricane Sandy and the flooding that stretched across much of the New Jersey shore and Long Island last fall, much of the focus has been on restoring the immense property damage and rebuilding lives. Now, months later, one group is reaching out to help save memories from cherished photographs that were once thought to be lost in the flood waters.
The nonprofit organization, called Operation Photo Rescue, was created in 2005 by photojournalists Dave Ellis and Becky Sell after the even more destructive Hurricane Katrina caused so much misery in New Orleans. By using the latest digital restoration methods, the group can recover some water-logged or faded images, reprinted them on new paper and return them, free of charge, to the owner, along with the original prints.
This coming Feb. 2-3, Operation Photo Rescue will make a stop in the New York area to digitize and reprint photographs that were damaged during Hurricane Sandy. The group is teaming up with Chase Bank and The School of Visual Arts for imaging stations, software and volunteers. Other partners include Imagingetc and Ken Allen Studios for restoration work; DigMyPics for printing and shipping images; and PhotoShelter for online storage.
While Operation Photo Rescue can't guarantee that all images brought in can be saved, it will evaluate up to 20 photos per person to determine how much work is needed. For more details, visit the Operation Photo Rescue site.