How do you back yours?

I was recycling some picture frames at the studio today and noticed that one of my early whole plate ambrotypes looked a little weird around the edges so I took it out of the frame. Well I say I took it out, it almost fell out when I removed the back board.

Leaving this frame behind…

It did fit tightly into a window mount and taped from the back into place. As you can see the paint has given way and remained to the tape.

Now mounting clear glass collodion plates is a little more of a challenge than tinypes. In the past I was partial to painting the back of the plates. I’ve only once painted the collodion side of a plate and if this is anything to go by I’m glad that was only the once.

This was automative black spray paint onto the clear glass side of the plate, so the varnished emulsion side is facing out. I actually quite like it!

For the past few years I have backed my plates with exposed and well fixed/washed fibre based photo paper. That works so much better.