I went with a team from work to volunteer and help with restoring memories for some people who need it. We went to a beach town called Chigaseki about an hour from Tokyo. I'm sure many of you have the exact same question I had when I first emerged from the subway station. "Is it safe to walk down the street eating a sandwich without the fear of a gigantic prehistoric sized seagull swooping down behind you, it's huge left wing smacking the back of your head as it's huge talon like claws grasping your sandwich from your hand as it is just inches from your mouth causing you to scream like a little girl?" The answer is no it is not safe and this is highly likely to happen. Today's configuration: Ricoh GR IV
This is a nice beach town. I hope I can come back here and spend some more time.
The magnitude 9.0 earthquake that rocked Japan a few years ago sparked off a terrifying tsunami in which many people lost their lives. The lucky ones that survived lost everything they owned. Many material possessions can be replaced with money. Homes and communities can be rebuilt with time. Family keepsakes can never be replaced. At the heart of those are family photos. I think how much I treasure my family photos and I couldn't image losing all of those memories. I constantly look back on photos of my family.
Mission Raccoon has collected more than two million photographs that have washed up on shore. Through their efforts they have returned a staggering one million (1,000,000) photographs back the families that own them. It is a mix of volunteers that help clean, catalog, and scan the images so they can be brought to community centers to be reconnected with their owners.
The photos are all in different stages of distressed depending on they were found and how much time they had spend in salt water.
They walked us through the chemical breakdown process that destroys photos.
You can see that this one has had the green and red layers already removed and the image is barely visible anymore...
This photo is all but gone...
They are very dirty so you needed to wear masks to protect yourself...
We were using just water to remove the corrosion and stop the chemical breakdown process.
It was a long and painstaking effort for each photo.
Some of the photos are pretty sad to see. Photos of family events such as birthdays, weddings, and graduations. It is sad to think that these memories could be lost forever for these people or that these people might not even be around anymore to come and collect these images. It felt good to spend some time helping people who need it. I really like that my company allows for and encourages volunteer work. It was also nice to do something photography related that is helping people. If you get a chance to volunteer I highly recommend you do. It is always great to give back.
Thanks for stopping by today...