Tsunami Damaged Photos Repaired By Volunteers Around the World

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Tsunami Damaged Photos Repaired By New York Volunteer

Koechling helped recreate intricate details of a bride's kimono, using Photoshop to repaint tiny flowers onto the red garment after seawater washed out the photo. In another image, he brought a young girl's smile back to life, erasing yellow blotches that covered her face.

For survivors like Reiko Yamada, the restored photos offer precious reminders of life before the disasters. She and her three young children escaped the waves, but the tsunami destroyed their two-story home in Rikuzentakata. Yamada found the second story along the water days later, and managed to grab photos of her children's birth and birthdays, but she accidentally smudged them while trying to clean the dirt off.

Thanks to retouchers in Singapore and Australia, the images are ready to be framed again.

All Hands volunteers have cleaned 135,000 photos so far, retouched more than 300.

They have helped Tomomi Shida reconnect with a hometown she no longer has. Shida's home in Ofunato was washed away, but firefighters recovered family photos, badly damaged, in the rubble.

She brought the photos to Manson, after the local newspaper featured her work.

"I thought it was a miracle when the photos were found," an emotional Shida said, as she gazed at restored school photos of her sons. "This is another miracle."

Manson considers it a blessing.

"I'll be going out of Japan with so much more than I ever thought I'd gain from this," she said.

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