Photography Students Help Restore Damaged Family Photos of Flood Victims

Over three weeks, students meticulously doctored the pixels on old, damaged images that held special sentimental value to people affected by a devastating natural disaster – the 2015 overflowing of the Blanco River that runs through nearby Wimberley and into San Marcos.

The journalism and photography teacher, Jessica Stamp, posted to the Wimberley Flood 2015 and San Marcos, TX Flood Info pages on Facebook offering the photography staff’s services in restoring photos through Photoshop.

“Our students can scan, edit and resend your photos while learning new skills,” Stamp posted.

She received several replies from families needing help and ultimately collected photos from two based in Wimberley. Both had varying degrees of damage from discoloration to warping to entire gaps.

“It felt impossible at times,” junior Marcel Acosta said. “The damage took out whole chunks of the image. You had to create something out of nothing.”

The students watched YouTube videos that explored solutions to water damage, tears, bends, and recreating features. A missing eye could be created by copying the other eye and flipping it into place. Other source photos could help match missing hair or hands. Ultimately, the students had to figure out how to best restore their assigned photo.

“I’m hoping this is something we can do every year,” Stamp said. “The need is there, it will help these families who tend to value albums of photos over most possessions, and it helps the students push their editing skills to a whole other level.”

Click here to see the Wimberley flood’s devastating effect on the community.

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