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How iphones are challenging Sandy in NY

Since Shoot4Change launched the S4C Photo Rescue Project in New York (click to read more), offering FREE service to restore photographs that were destroyed during the storm, things evolved pretty fast.

Somehow we expected this but not that fast.

 Many volunteer Photographers joined us (yes, you’re still in time! Fill this form if you want to join the Team) and were dispatched to most affected areas which  include but are not limited to Coney Island, Breezy Point, Staten Island, Rockaway, Sheepshead Bay, Brighton Beach, Red Hook to assist families. 

Families started contacting us and we teamed up with other fantastic Associations as Care for Sandy and Pics for Proceeds  (if you’ve been hit by Sandy and need our photographic assistance fill this form).

(click to see a photo gallery)

The devastation of Hurricane Sandy is of catastrophic proportion with thousands of people displaced and homes destroyed and we decided (through our S4C New York team coordinated by Yelena Futeran and the NJ Team coordinated by HeatherJo Mangum ) to do our part.

We are trying to help people  recover the memories and preserve their history by restoring damaged family photos and create points of photo collection for those lost and found familiy photos scattered all over.

An East Side coffee shop provides power via a generator so that neighborhood residents can charge their phones. Two days after Hurricane Sandy many Manhattan residents are still without power. (click to see the gallery)

But when you launch something like this and you are a non profit Association on a VERY tight budget like S4C (actually, our account is dangerously approaching the zero figure but who cares) then you got to face logistics issues.

The field team was struggling in figuring out how to obtain tons of scanners and who will spend the hours scanning and then they realized that they can take a digital print through their Iphones and other smartphones.

They determined that the most efficient way to run the Photo Rescue Project was with iPhones….

I’ve asked Yelena to update me and a few minutes ago she wrote:

The family we are helping  had  thousands of photos.  When we began to go through the images, so many of them were covered in mold and sea water.. it’s was devastating to see this.  The family in trying to recover the images submerged under 6 feet of water, placed them on paper-towels and then put them into plastic containers, which only caused more damage. 

(click to see the gallery)

We removed the photos to let them air out.. washed them and used our Iphones to create digital files.  Actually, this worked so much better then we anticipated.  We were able to ditigize the images in a very fast pace and also crop the images that were damaged as we were taking the photos. 

We also used Instagram Filters to help in restoring the lost color and fading of the photos. Once done, we created a smumug photo account, this site allows us to create photo albums that are password protected.  We are also able to upload the images, send the link to the album and let the person determine if they wish to keep the images online or upload them to their computer. 

I think this is a process that anyone can use and we encourage people to do so.  This a fantastic and simple way that our modern technology can be used to preserve and  restore old photographs.  Pretty much everyone has an IPhone now and we ask anyone with one to partake.”

(click to see the photo gallery by a S4C NYC collective Team: Carla Ciatto, Angelo Merendino, Gretchen Robinette, Grace Roth)

 I think there’s nothing more to add to this but calling on your help. We need logistic and photographic help.

We are not asking for money. We do not want money. We want your creativity, we want ideas on how to save and restore their memories and histories. We need you.

Up for the challenge?

Antonio Amendola




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