Greg Hopkins loves and lives history. He’s a builder of traditional hot rods, a leather crafter, perfume maker, and collodion wet plate photographer.
From 1851-1880, if you were a general, a poet, a proud family, an aristocrat, or anyone else who wanted to preserve their image, chances are that picture was captured using collodion wet plate photography.
Using a witches brew of nitrocellulose, alcohol, and ether, the photographer had to work quickly before the wet wash on the glass plate dried. It required a portable darkroom. And so a small tent would be transported to the sidelines of a wedding, the county fair or even battlefields to allow the artist to practice his craft.
A transplanted New Yorker, Hopkins and his wife now live in Dothan, Alabama, where they operate the East River Trading Company. They offer homemade everything: from soap to aprons. It is all part of his interest in the traditional values and history of the United States.
To Hopkins, much of what was once America has been lost. But he’s doing everything he can to preserve it. One picture at a time.