Old Romanian Glass Plate Photos Reimagined In An Amazing Way
Fascinated by the many old glass plate photos, belonging to the Costica Acsinte Archive from Romania, an Australian artist by the name of Jane Long had decided to bring some new life into them by digitally restoring, manipulating and colouring the more than 50-year-old, black-and-white glass plate phots.
For those of us who don’t know what glass plate photos are – they are the precursors of photographic films as a medium for storage. They are typically thinner than ordinary window glass, but as the technology progressed, they were replaced by film. Though superior to film, glass plate photos were more fragile, cumbersome, and more expensive to produce.
Anyway, here are Jane Long’s reasons for why she had decided to take on the project: “I wanted to bring them to life. But more than that, I wanted to give them a story.”
Besides adding in the colour and digitally restoring the damaged sections of the photos, Long also inserted her own personal touch. She gave the characters a completely new environment surrounding them, creating in a sense, a new universe for those people to be remembered in. And as was the fashion back in the early days of photography, people were oftentimes quite sober and stern-looking. This is why Long decided to go the other way with the background and, maybe bring forth something that already existed in those people’s minds, to begin with.
As you might already suspect, some people didn’t approve of this project, saying that it was disrespectful of Long to use and alter the images of people she doesn’t know. Nevertheless, she still stands by her work, saying that:
“I wanted people to see these figures as real people, more than just an old photograph. Adding colour completely changes our perception of images,” she said. “I wanted to change the context of the images. 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.”