Creative Photo Challenge: Printing on Alternative Surfaces

Creative Photo Challenge: Printing on Alternative Surfaces

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Transferring your images to an alternative surface allows you to preserve your image in a unique and lasting way. The alternative surface also adds a layer of depth and uniqueness to an image that makes it timeless. In our next Creative Photo Challenge, Lindsay will create a photo transfer on to stone, walking you through each step of the process.


Get Challenge No. 9  – Printing on Alternative Surfaces, right here.


Printing on an alternative surface gives you the ability to create beyond your end photo. By transferring your image to wood, tile, stone or even metal you can customize your art to fit any design or room and also give a completely new look or feel to your photograph. It also provides incredible opportunities as you think about installing your photos in unique places, with varying looks and feels. By applying the same image to different surfaces, you can make a room feel truly unique and custom tailored. Check out the video below for a full description of how Lindsay approached this challenge.

Lindsay was interested in transferring her image to stone which required a relatively flat surface and no polish or finish. The image itself has to be a laser printed (not an ink jet). Other pertinent items are a pair of scissors, a paintbrush, a washcloth, a container of water and a transfer medium (like Mod Podge).

Start by cleaning off the stone with a cloth to remove any unwanted debris. Then cut out the edges of the image to avoid extra paper when doing your sealing. You’ll then use the paintbrush to apply the transfer material to the stone itself as well as to the image side of the image you want to transfer.

At this point, you will apply the image to the stone where you want it to lay and remove all air bubbles by pressing the image against the stone firmly (think squeegeeing the image onto the stone). In order for the transfer to be clean – it has to be fully dry, so either let it dry overnight or if you want to expedite the process, you can use a hairdryer.

Once fully dried, you’ll use a damp washcloth to press moisture to the back of the dried image, which will slowly start to lift up the paper, and leave the ink behind on the stone. Once that has dried, you’ll want to seal the image by once again using either the transfer material or varnish.

Let it dry one final time, and your finished product is now ready for display.

Printing on Alternative Surfaces

Printing on Alternative Surfaces

Printing on Alternative Surfaces

Printing on Alternative Surfaces

Printing on Alternative Surfaces

And now it’s your turn to get creative. Make sure to share your work with the community with #CreativePhotoChallenge and join our Facebook group here.

Want more? Get on-demand access to all 10 free Creative Photo Challenges.


Not time to go analog? Learn how to replicate this look during our annual Photoshop Week 2019 online conference. Registration is open now!


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