Operation Photo Rescue, an organization that restores photos damaged in natural disasters, is coming to Seaside Heights for a “copy run” Friday, May 3 through Sunday, May 5.
“Following family and pets, photos are the next most cherished possession, as the memories captured in photos are all that remain after a natural disaster,” a news release from Operation Photo Rescue said.
Jersey Shore residents can bring up to 20 photos for free evaluations and potential restoration.
Operation Photo Rescue works to restore photos discolored by floods and damaged by mold or debris at no cost to the owners.
“Insurance can replace homes, furniture and automobiles in times of need. Photographs, which are important pieces of a family’s history are unprotected,” Operation Photo Rescue’s mission statement says.
Charity volunteers make a “copy run” to a disaster area, developing digital reproductions of damaged photographs. The restoration artists take a photo of the photo with “state-of-the-art imaging technology,” according to the news release.” The photo is then uploaded onto a computer and digitally retouched using photo editing software. Once complete, the picture is printed and mailed to owners.
All photos must be dry and removed from picture frames and albums, the news release said. Photos that cannot be extracted will still be copied, but the quality may suffer.
Soaking can separate photos that are stuck together. First test a corner with a wet Q-tip to determine if the emulsion is stable enough to soak.
Mud, dirt and debris can be removed from the photo by gently soaking both sides in a bucket or sink of clear, cold water. Operation Photo Rescue advises not to rub the photos and to change the water frequently.
The Seaside Heights Home Depot is sponsoring Operation Photo Rescue’s May 3-5 efforts. The charity will be at Home Depot, located at 201 Sumner Ave., from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 3 and 4, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 5.
The nonprofit, founded after Hurricane Katrina, is made up of a network of photographers, graphic artists and hobbyists, and has repaired more than 9,000 photos to survivors of hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and wildfires.
The group recently restored photos for those who were affected by Sandy in New York.
For tips on salvaging flood-damaged photos, click here.