Scott Wittenburg and Acrylic gel medium transfers

Scott Wittenburg talks about his work with Acrylic Gel Medium Transfers and shows some of his transfer prints.

Writer and photography / Scott Wittenburg

Amish Country, transfer by Scott Wittenburg
Amish Country, acrylic transfer by Scott Wittenburg

About Scott Wittenburg

Scott Wittenburg is a visual arts instructor living in Columbus, Ohio. His courses focus primarily on traditional film photography and alternative processes along with some digital imaging. Being “old school” by nature, Scott stresses the importance of learning photography from the “ground floor up” to his students, beginning with shooting, developing and printing black and white film. Besides teaching college level photography courses, Scott is an author and hosts a popular podcast on iTunes called “Photography 101,” which has over 12,000 subscribers worldwide.

“I really enjoy creating gel medium transfers on wood because of the distinctive textures that wood provides. The final product is always unique and one-of–a-kind.”

Abbey Road, transfer by Scott Wittenburg
Abbey Road, transfer by Scott Wittenburg

Acrylic gel medium transfers

Through the years I have pursued a number of alternative processes including salt prints, cyanotypes, Polaroid SX-70 Manipulations, image transfers and lifts, and pinhole photography. My most recent endeavor has been acrylic gel medium transfers. I am drawn to this process because of its versatility and often impressive results. Plus, this is a hands-on process that is really fun to do.

The process involves the transferring of an image printed out on laser paper to a medium such as wood via the application of acrylic gel medium. After the image is dry, the paper is completely removed by hand, leaving just the image adhered to the medium. The texture of the underlying medium is often visible in the lighter values of the photo.

One of my first gel medium transfers is entitled “Abbey Road.” My wife and I visited London a couple of years ago and we went to the famous Abbey Road crossing where the Beatles were photographed for their Abbey Road LP. Obviously, I didn’t shoot this photo but I paid a guy five pounds to capture myself and the wife crossing the road, which required stopping traffic! Because of the significance of this event (I am a huge Beatles fan), transferring this particular photo to wood was a labor of love.

“Amish Country” was my very first transfer. I used a black and white photo of an Amish buggy that I took several years ago. What I like most about this piece is the added color and texture the wood adds to an otherwise grayscale image.

To view a video from my podcast on how to create acrylic gel medium transfers, go here

See more work in Scott Wittenburg’s gallery.

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