Photographer Colorized Old Photos While Adding Beautifully Surreal Narratives

Photographer Colorized Old Photos While Adding Beautifully Surreal Narratives

It takes a lot to motivate me to reach out to a photographer for permission to feature their work but a lot is exactly what Brisbane-based photographer and digital artist Jane Long provides with her latest series, "Dancing with Costică”. Colorizing, compositing and creating content for images she sources from the Costica Ascinte Archive, Jane is able to deliver beautiful, imaginative and surreal narratives to each of her final images. This series has already been exhibited at the Romanian Embassy in Canberra, Australia and the Romanian Photo Festival this past May. If you're fortunate enough to be in the area, you can see her work first hand at the Ballarat International Foto Biennale starting this August 22nd. If not, then you will just have to stalker her on Facebook like the rest of us unlucky masses. Thanks for sharing and inspiring, Jane.

I wanted there to be some ambiguity about the images. Things that are almost real or not quite right. That’s why I like to place them in a slightly surreal context. But I think it should be up to the viewer to determine if the characters in my images are good or bad, light or dark. 

This is in many ways a collaboration, albeit one with a photographer I have never met (and never will) and the man who has taken it upon himself to conserve the archive. It is through the work of Cezar Popescu in restoring and digitizing these images that I am able to draw on such a rich source of inspiration in Costică Ascinte’s work.

The Dancing with Costică series initially came about when I decided to brush up on my retouching skills. After finding the Costică Acsinte Archive on Flickr I became fascinated with the images and their subjects. I wanted to bring them to life. But more than that I wanted to give them a story. I will probably never know the real stories of these people but in my mind they became characters in tales of my own crossed lovers, a girl waiting for her lover to come home, boys sharing a fantasy, innocent children with a little hint of something dark. 

Artist Biography Jane Long

Photographer and digital artist Jane Long was born in Melbourne, Australia in 1970. Currently based in Brisbane, Australia, she combines photography and photomanipulation to create slightly surreal images that straddle the line between reality and fantasy.

Long has spent most of her career as a graphic designer, entering the industry over 20 years ago and establishing her own studio in 1996. Completely self-taught, she has worked with Photoshop since 1994, both commercially and for personal work.

She developed an interest in photography as an extension of her personal photomanipulation work, wanting more control over the stock images she was using, both from a creative and copyright point of view, and progressing to a love of photography in general.

Initially working with friends and family, she used an old instamatic or borrowed equipment for several years until her first DSLR purchase a little over two years ago. Since then she has delved wholeheartedly into photography, concentrating on conceptual portraiture. However digital art remains a passion and forms an integral part of her work.

Deciding to move into the fine art market in April 2014, her first series “Self-Preservation” has received several accolades including several images being listed as finalists for the Macquarie Photography Prize and “Cured” being announced as a semi-finalist for the Moran Photographic Prize.

Her next series “Dancing with Costic” shot her to international exposure with features on over 40 prominent photography and general interest websites including ABC News US, Daily Mail UK, Daily Mail Australia, SLR Lounge, PetaPixel, Bored Panda and BuzzFeed as well as a number of photography magazines and Romanian TV!

The series was exhibited at the Romanian Embassy in Canberra, Australia from March-June this year. It was also shown at the Romanian Photo Festival in May and opens at the Ballarat International Foto Biennale on the 22nd of August.

Jane Long Photography:

101 Park Rd Wooloowin Qld Australia 4030

ph: +617 3857 5737 

via [Imgur]

Kenn Tam's picture

Been holding this damn camera in my hand since 1991.
Toronto / New York City

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Incredible work.

This is disrespectful. I wouldn't want a photo of me to be composited by some artist in a hundred years to make it look like I am as high as a kite no matter how much skill or talent this takes.

Lets just hope this guy doesn't get a hold of any death photos from the old west.

Oxy and Capt. Morgan might chill you...

Sorry man, but these images look great!

I also disagree with Cornelius and would have to agree with your view! For me the work is brilliant, it's as if someone asked the kid's what was on their minds as the photos were taken. I would also guess given the nature and vivid imaginations of children all over the kids would have loved what the artists have done with their portraits ...

What if they photoshopped your likeness to make it look like you are are engaging in sexual intercourse with whatever sex you are not attracted to? What if they smeared digital poo over your face? Would you still approve?

Why would you or anyone care about what someone does to a photograph of themselves a hundred years after their death? That is f*king ridiculous.

The only thing I'm concerned about *while I'm alive* is that one of my descendants would be as upset as you are over someone turning my likeness into art- regardless of the genre.

I really like what this artist has done. I dare say I'm even inspired by it.

That mouse.

My Little home town of Ballarat mentioned in my favourite photgraphic forum.....AWESOME! I will be checking this exhibition out for sure.

you and me Richard.... its good to be Australian... and to live about an hours drive from Ballarat :P

Amazing and impressive. The first one with the webbed feet is pretty freaky.

Wow. There has been some great work featured here, but this is incredible.

Makes me want to send in a old family photo. I think some of them are very cool.

Crazy skills....

Very good indeed, it gave life to old pictures. Wht buggers my mind is the fact that all those people might be dead already....