OKAYAMA – A photo studio in Okayama Prefecture has offered to restore -- free of charge -- photos damaged by the heavy rains that ravaged western Japan last month, prompting people in the disaster-hit areas to send in tens of thousands of photos. Staffers and volunteers at the Yagyu Photo Studio in the city of Kasaoka are hand cleaning and drying the photos that include snaps of school field trips, wedding ceremonies and images of moments dear to many of those affected by the storms. Mud-stained photos are prone to rot and it's not possible to use regular chemicals, which could possibly damage them, so those working on the restoration must clean the images by hand. The photo-cleaning service has garnered such attention -- prompting the massive influx of damaged photos -- that other studios in Aomori and Yamaguchi prefectures have offered to assist with the cleaning. I hope this endeavor can contribute to the region's reinvigoration after the disaster," said Kuninobu Yagyu, CEO of Yagyu Photo Studio.
You may be thinking that was something you knew already, but trust us -- you've barely even scratched the surface. Over the past few weeks, UK journalist Andy Kelly has been showing us just how deep the rabbit hole goes with @darkstockphotos -- a collection of the most bleak and bizarre pictures available on sites like iStock and Shutterstock. "I've always found stock photography hilarious, and while digging through the depths of Shutterstock I noticed a few that stuck out among all the smiling models playing tennis and eating salad. Some were disturbing, but mostly they were just funny," Kelly told us. "No matter how serious the subject matter is, the absurd artifice and bluntness of stock photography makes it amusing."
Google is moving from a mobile-first to an AI-first mentality, CEO Sundar Pichai explained at Google I/O today, and you can see that in action via Google Photos, which is getting an upgrade to help you more easily share your photos. With Suggested Sharing, Google Photos will tell you which photos it thinks you should share and who might want to see them. Did you snap a bunch of shots at your sister's graduation? Google Photos can automatically pick the best shots and ask if you want to send them to your sister, mom, dad, or anyone else featured in the photos. When your friends receive them, Google Photos will also remind them to add their pics, too.
That we can purchase a tangible object to remind us of a special time, place, experience, or person, might be one of the most meaningful developments of this age of technological advancement. Memories can live on forever, thanks to the photograph. But it matters which photo service you choose. After months of research, and multiple photo product orders from 10 different online photo services, we found that not all photo services are going to deliver the same quality of products. While most gave us reprints that were not terrible, some definitely were terrible, and some were way better than the rest.
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