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Upside-down humans look alien (pictures)

The faces in this photo series might look like the creation of a sci-fi special effects master. But they're just images of ordinary people. We promise.

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MichaelFranco_140x100.jpg

Michael Franco

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1 of 8 Anelia Loubser

Windows to the alien soul?

Wayne Dyer said, "If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at will change." When South African photographer Anelia Loubser came across that quote, she took it as more than a personal-growth strategy. She took it as a literal guide to creating her next series of portraits.

To change the way we look at normal human faces, Loubser took photos of people she knew, cropped in tight, and flipped them over -- to striking effect. The series is called "Alienation," and when you see just how alien-like her photo techniques make the human face look, you realize what an appropriate name that is.

Related article: Upside-down portraits turn human faces alien

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2 of 8 Anelia Loubser

Human face with feline flair

Did Loubser ask people in the series to deliberately furrow their brows, or were they photographed without altering their faces? The photos are natural, but the photographer had this to add:

"I photographed people of different ages for 'Alienation.' It’s possible to get an alienated face from anybody, but I found that older people worked the best, because they would sit down and there would already be an alienated face because their lines and wrinkles are so prominent. The more lines and wrinkles and scars, the better the alienated face."

Related article: Upside-down portraits turn human faces alien

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3 of 8 Anelia Loubser

Rush to the head

On choosing her models, Loubser said, "Because this was a personal 'passion' project of mine, I wanted to photograph my favorite people. So 'Alienation' is a mixture of family and friends, and local artists that inspire me and for whom I have great respect."

Related article: Upside-down portraits turn human faces alien

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4 of 8 Anelia Loubser

Black and white, but colorful

"My signature style is vibrant, colorful images. I love color," Loubser told Crave. So why did she go with black and white for this series?

"When I started with 'Alienation,' I experimented and found that taking the color out of the images lets the alienated beings speak for themselves," she said. "It’s raw, there is no distraction between you and their gazing eyes and their faces seem like they want to pop out from the frame."

Related article: Upside-down portraits turn human faces alien

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5 of 8 Anelia Loubser

Smiley, um, face?

"Black and white images can be high contrast, powerful and mesmerizing, which worked perfectly for 'Alienation,'" Loubser told Crave.

Related article: Upside-down portraits turn human faces alien

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6 of 8 Anelia Loubser

A new perspective

"I have been a 'photographer' since I was 14 years old and a professional photographer since 2009," Loubser said. "Photography was never a choice, it just chose me. I grew up on a farm where I had a lot of open spaces to experiment with and grow my passion for photography. I have always worked out of South Africa."

Related article: Upside-down portraits turn human faces alien

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7 of 8 Anelia Loubser

The eyes have it

"'Alienation' is an ongoing project," Loubser said of the series. "I still have a lot of people that I really want to photograph to see what their alienated beings look like. I cannot help being aware of people’s foreheads now; everywhere I go I look at foreheads and I dissect their lines. I will still photograph friends and people I know."

Related article: Upside-down portraits turn human faces alien

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8 of 8 Anelia Loubser

It's all how you look at it

As for future work, Loubser says she's currently working on another "passion project," a collaboration with her twin sister.

Related article: Upside-down portraits turn human faces alien

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