Collodion Negatives & Suction Cups

Forgot to mention that in the previous post; the last two shoots I did making clear glass ambrotypes I finally got around using a suction cup for pouring the plates. The clear glass is so thin (it’s leftover glass  from broken frames at work) that when pouring collodion on it while waiter-traying you’d notice the heat of the fingertips leaving clearly visible marks. You can of course use the cantilever method (hold the plate in a corner while pouring) but I find that to be a very uncomfortable manner and with a 4×5″ it leaves you with a relatively large stain in one corner. Suction cup is THE way to go! Anyway, thought I’d share 🙂


P.s. When developing I just use the waiter tray method; so far so good. Perhaps when I’ll change the developer and need a really extended development I’ll get back to using the suction cup because the heat of the fingers might come into play again.

6 responses

  1. The Silver Sunbeam

    I bought a suction cup for the inevitable day when I noticed heat spots on my ambrotypes. Luckily I haven’t needed to use it yet, but I think it’s handy to have around, just in case. I may be naturally cold-blooded 🙂

    September 26, 2013 at 08:18

    • Haha that might be it 🙂 With black glass I never had any issues as it’s pretty thick but the clear glass is only 1mm thick. I usually have cold hands except wheh handling that clear glass haha!

      September 26, 2013 at 12:17

  2. It’s recommended by some period literature as well to use them. I am worried I will not get them off, when I have to…

    December 6, 2013 at 19:20

    • True. The use of suction cups go back a long time. Haha, my worries too but up until now I never had any (catastrophic) issues removing the cup in time 🙂

      December 16, 2013 at 11:29

  3. SaRayda

    Would like to know where to buy this

    April 9, 2019 at 12:32

    • I can’t remember where I got those, sorry…But online they should not be hard to find

      April 15, 2019 at 08:24

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