Stories produced by St. Peter's Journalism Students
BY DYLAN SMITH
With advancements in photography, like being able to snap a photo from your smart phone and apply a filter that’s high quality and vibrant as it captures the colors just right, some photographers are determined to make sure the art of black and white photography is not lost, refusing to photograph in anything but black and white.
“I like colors, but black and white has so much more detail,” said Taty Lopez, a student at Saint Peter’s College, whose inspirations, as she describes, include science, Leonardo DaVinci, bones, Rene Magritte, spirituality, karma, metaphysics, the universe, zombies, and even roller derby. “It captures the detail that I want in my photos, and, to me, black and white photography is so beautiful.”
Such strong inspirations make her appearance no shock. Her sharp black bangs create a dynamic look to her face that resembles Winona Ryder’s character in Beetlejuice, while she’s often dressed in combinations of blacks and leather. Lopez thinks of herself as shy though, saying that she is not the first person to come up and speak to someone if she doesn’t know them, which she deals with, when taking photographs, by trying to know who she is shooting and shooting her friends’ bands. However, her photography inspired by a greater goal.
“In life, it’s always going to be black and white,” Lopez said. “It can’t just be color and happy always. I’m trying to show people it can’t just be color.”
Her introvert-like behavior could be due to the fact that Lopez has only lived in America for three years. She spent most of her life in Ecuador, while her father lived in the States for the past twelve. It wasn’t until Lopez’s father sent for her family that she moved to America. She originally found a passion in criminal justice, which she still plans to major in, but began to find photography as a way of expressing herself.
“I wanted to be a singer in a band, but since I was really bad at singing, my friend was a photographer and I kind of just got into it” said Lopez.
While she is making moves as a photographer, being a contributing photographer for the new magazine Athens: New Generation, she wants to enter a more scientific and criminal justice-related career.
“That’s how I got into it,” said Lopez, on how she wants to combine photography and criminal justice. “You watch those shows like CSI and think it’s easy, but it’s not. Those people are already at the top, while you have to work your way up from the bottom.”
During a photoshoot with Lopez, she seems calculated yet on-point. Being the model seems difficult for her, so she does what she knows best – she takes her camera out and starts to snap photos, allowing herself to be captured in her element. She asks questions to try and make sure the shoot is set up on the photographer’s terms, and not her’s, but she turns on her camera, holds the screen up to her face, and begins to shoot away. It seems she has forgotten that she, herself, is being photographed, as she takes photos outside of her school. The photos, of course, are taken in black and white.
“I like how it’s in black and white as you just don’t expect someone to try and capture everything in that way,” said Nathalie Staiger, a freshmen also at Saint Peter’s, who saw Lopez being interviewed and came up during the interview to ask to see some of her current photography.
She may not pursue photography as a full-time career, but Lopez says she has become a different person because of it.
“Photography has changed me a lot,” Lopez said. “You can see things in a whole new sense. You try to think the meaning of things. It helps you to grow as a person and to explore, to be more curious of things and to be more aware of your surroundings, so it has changed my life.”
More of Lopez’s photography can be seen at her official Facebook page, Taty Lopez – Pure Metal Photography, where she features her portfolio of portraits, music photography, and landscapes.. (https://www.facebook.com/Puremetalphotography?sk=info)