Surreal Colorized Old Photographs By Jane Long

by . August 15th, 2015

Perhaps one of the most memorable war photographers was Romanian Constantin “Costică” Axinte.


According to Costică Acsinte Archive, he was born on 4th of July, 1897 in a small village called Perieți, Ialomița County. Costică Acsinte participated in WWI as an official war photographer despite his training as a pilot till 15th of June, 1920. As soon as the war was over, he opened a studio.

While innumerable photographs of Acsinte are lost, around 5 000 glass plate negatives were preserved by the Costică Acsinte Archive. Some of these preserved photographs were given a surreal twist by Australian artist Jane Long in her series, Dancing with Costică.

01 - hpXUjiO

Using digital restoration and photo manipulation, Jane Long transformed the black and white photographs into whimsical works of wonder.

“I wanted to change the context of the images,” says Long. “Photographic practices at the time meant people rarely smiled in photos but that doesn’t mean they didn’t laugh and love. I wanted to introduce that to the images.”

Some people, however, found the series disrespectful to the photographer and to his subjects. Jane Long dismissed this thought. “I wanted people to see these figures as real people, more than just an old photograph. Adding colour completely changes our perception of images.”

Check out some of Jane Long’s Dancing with Costică artworks below: 

02 - C5mzd0p 03 - GeAQUHd 04 - NmtjM6Q 05 - uPaBQtI 06 - hUFMvcr 07 - F8SS3o5 08 - ATvtli2 09 - PAeDOp2 10 - WXvPsjT 11 - XiMk0XV 12 - ZKrMduG 13 - oAH4Eav 14 - UawZrzy 15 - YHZCjm4

Dancing with Costică will be exhibited in Ballarat International Foto Biennale from August 22 to September 20.

Check out Jane Long’s website here.

Which photograph is the most surreal of them all? Comment below!


Kevin is a reader first, a writer second, and a gamer somewhere in between. When not rooting for Tyrion Lannister for the Iron Throne, he's probably writing some morbid short story. He enjoys some surreal art, clever advertising campaigns, and a warm cup of coffee while reading Murakami.