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You might have dabbled in Photoshop by removing blemishes and unsightly pimples from your photos, but we bet you’ve never tried anything like this.

It all started when Australian digital artist Jane Long happened to discover the archived photos of Romanian war photographer Costică Acsinte on Flickr. His sometimes eerie photos of people during and after the First World War fascinated Long to no end.

“I wanted to bring them to life. But more than that I wanted to give them a story,” she said in a statement.

Wanting to also brush up on her retouching skills, the 44-year-old masterfully killed two birds with one stone by creating what’s now known as “The Dancing with Costică” series. Using her vivid imagination and self-taught Photoshop skills, Long created fictional lives for the unnamed subjects of Costică Acsinte.

“I will probably never know the real stories of these people but in my mind they became characters in tales of my own invention…” the statement continues. “Star crossed lovers, a girl waiting for her lover to come home, boys sharing a fantasy, innocent children with a little hint of something dark.”

The before and after photos are hauntingly surreal and beautiful at the same time. Check them out in the gallery above and be sure to follow Jane Long on Facebook for a look at her other work.

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