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Why I signed up for OPR...

Started by John, June 21, 2006, 03:47:15 PM

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I heard about OPR at dslreports.com where I hang out a lot.  This was way back when the first blog was up.  I checked it out and knew right away this is where I belong.  This is what I do, what I love to do, what I do every day.  It's not my job it's my joy.  I'll be happy to help any way I can. :D


I live in Florida, and know how devastating hurricanes are. Not only do they do great physical damage, the emotional stress can be overwhelming. To give back even a small piece of someone's lives is an incredible enriching experience.   


I signed up because I thought I could help. As a former texture artist for a Battlefield Vietnam modification, I know my way around photoshop, and I've got experience creating in textures. I'm by no means the best here at this; but I'll definitely give it my all when I get a photo to restore :)


Over the years I've asked myself what worldly posessions I would take from my home should a disaster be headed our way. Without a doubt it would be our photographs. These are our family legacies. They tell us where we came from, where we've been and where we're headed. All that and so much more. I can't imagine not seeing my Mother's face looking at me from the photograph by my bedside or looking at our ancestors who came from so far away to live in America. My photographs are my most revered worldly posession. All else can be replaced. I'm thankful to be able to help others salvage a few precious memories. Thanks OPR, you're the greatest :loveit:

Mark Wilson

There are some things in life that you just know, instinctively, are "the right thing to do".

Operation Photo Rescue was one of those things for me.
"There are no rules for good photographs, there are only good photographs." - Ansel Adams 1902-1984.


This is actually my first post to the forum. I am Angela Ellis, Dave's wife, and the treasurer for OPR.

I was with Dave when the initial idea for OPR struck him. We were in our family room and he had just read the article with Becky's photos covering the devastation in Pass Christian. I remember the goose bumps I got when he told me. When he and Becky went down to Mississippi for the "trial run", I wanted more than anything to help them. Baking chocolate chip cookies for the car ride just didn't seem enough. So when they got back and we all realized we were at the beginning of something big, I knew I had to help. I am a pediatric physical therapist by trade, so helping with restorations was out of the question. So I threw my hat in the ring to work on the business aspects of our "little" project.

Our family means everything to me and holding on to family memories through our photographs does too. I'll do anything I can do to help all of you help the families that need us. As the recent weather has taught us, you don't have to wait for hurricane season to know how important this work is...

Thank you to everyone for all you are doing for OPR! We would be nowhere without you!
Angela Ellis
Operation Photo Rescue, Inc.


My family was directly impacted by Katrina.  My mother lost her home - and unfortunately many of the family photographs as a result of the storm surge that hit Pascagoula, MS.  It completely destroyed the structure - with only the pilings of the elevated structure remaining.  I'm so glad that she had distributed a number of old photos among her children over the years prior to the storm - so as sad as the loss of her photo albums and our high school photos was - I realize just how lucky we are to still have some of them.

As I was scouring the site of her former condominium for anything that might remain of her property (My sister found an intact coffee mug!)  I found a small photo album - that at first glance appeared a total loss - as I turned through the bled-out pages - I was surprised to find that parts of the images within the center of the stack were still partially intact - I instinctively digitally photographed the remains - somehow wanting to preserve the memories - even though I don't know who they belong to.  I think this experience, coupled with the personal loss of my families photo history made me jump at the chance to be involved with OPR.  I was delighted to find a venue that would allow me to help Katrina victims recover some of their cherished family memories.

Great job, Dave, Becky and all the other volunteers  - thanks for all your hard work -  I'm grateful that you had the idea, but more importantly, that you took the initiative to implement it - I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of the team.


I heard about OPR from my friend Dan who was visiting family in Louisiana. He came across an article and thought I would be interested since I've been restoring old flea-market photos for fun. Might as well and restore photos, really memories, and help some people out. I feel very fortunate to be a volunteer with OPR. I'm amazed and bewildered when I see "difficult" pictures to restore. I thought I was pretty good but some of those look beyond repair. I would love to see a before and after on some of those. I have some samples of my restored photos on my web site: www.chadtrutt.com  Any feed back and appreciated.


I lost almost all my photos in a house fire when I was 15. A few were rescued and I got most of my experience restoring those photos. I know how important the photos are to these victims and want to help any way I can. I Cherish the few photos of I have of my younger years.


Although a realatively new Photoshop user I am totally addicted, and spend almost every spare moment working on one image or another [I have a very understanding computer-sauvy hubby  :loveit:]

When I came across a link to OPR through the NAPP website, I was immediately intrigued. I could hardly believe that here was a way to help other people by doing something that I love, half a world away (Australia).

So really, I should be thanking you for giving me this wonderful opportunity.

Thanks guys  :up:


Hi everyone, Like ptollemy I am a photoshop addict and heard about the project through Fotothing.Thought I would throw my hand in as it is a great cause. I don't know what I would do if I lost all my treasured photos,and to be able to restore someones memories to them is just the best thing!


i can't remember now how i found OPR but i knew immediately i wanted to help.  i am self taught , still basic skills, but have had some experience with restorations.  we lost a ton of photos due to mildew and mold many years ago.  what we could salvage has been tucked away until i discovered photo programs.  my dad is the photo bug in my family, he had been dealing with cancer and has major depression.  i began restoring his photos taken while he was stationed in korea in the 50's, many of which he had developed himself, in an effort to take his mind off of the treatments and scans.  i really enjoyed bringing them back to life.  this rescue effort brought joy to my heart and i wanted to help others feel as my dad has that it brings back happy memories from sad, and for him a sense of pride.  perhaps it will bring some comfort and peace to these families as well.
without faith...there is no hope


A few weeks after Katrina, once we were allowed to return home, yard signs advertising various businesses started popping up at intersections around town.  Dozens and dozens of them.  Contractors, roofers, restaurants that were re-opening, etc.  I spotted a few signs for photo restoration and was curious as to the services they offered, prices, and turnaround times.  I had known a few professionals who restored and retouched photos and knew they had steady business before the storm; I figured if anything their business would have increased tenfold. 

I was going to volunteer to help restore photos, paid or not, I just wanted to help out.  Once I found out what these restoration "specialists" were charging people, my jaw hit the ground.  There was no way I could ever charge as much as those guys were and still be able to look at myself in a mirror.  So, I began to consider the possibility of performing the restoration at a significantly lower fee than those "other guys."  That is, until I stumbled upon OPR.  Needless to say, my perspective was changed and figured that this would be a much more worthy cause.  And the rest, as they say, is history.


I managed to find out about OPR while browsing digg.com and seeing a post to OPR's blogpage. After reading the OPR blog, I thought I'd send a shout out to the folks who were running it and offer to lend a hand in whatever way I could. I do some web/graphic design and have a basic understanding of Photoshop, as I have been dabbling with that program  10 years. I also have done a few photo restoration projects for friends and family and got some pretty good feedback.

Mike sent me an email with my first photo to restore while I was out on vacation. This would be my first photo to restoration for someone outside of my immediate friends/family.  Part of what engages me is the challenge of the restoration, of course. But the rest of it (and i'm sure some may agree wtih me) goes along the lines of the saying: "a picture is worth a thousand words", and when doing this particular photo restoration, I can almost build a story as I restore each part of that picture. It helps to motivate me to work harder on it.

Hey Ya'll, I'm Migsy from NYC and I look forward to helping in anyway I can and look forward to interacting with everyone else here in this volunteer organization.  :)


Quote from: paula on June 26, 2006, 07:21:29 PM
I heard about OPR at dslreports.com where I hang out a lot.  This was way back when the first blog was up.  I checked it out and knew right away this is where I belong.  This is what I do, what I love to do, what I do every day.  It's not my job it's my joy.  I'll be happy to help any way I can. :D

I don't know why I just saw this, but I'm also a dslreports.com regular.  Small web!