Broth­ers share love of na­ture through pictures

Young pho­tog­ra­phers ap­pre­ci­ate na­ture through art

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By SARA NEW­MAN snew­man@somd­news.com

Wad­ing in a swamp for hours may not sound like an ideal way to spend an af­ter­noon, but for broth­ers Matthew and Aaron Gen­try of Wal­dorf, it’s the best place to be to cap­ture shots of their fa­vorite an­i­mals.

“We’ll stay in the marsh for hours waiting for an ea­gle to take off or to get the right shot,” Matthew, 12, said of the fa­vorite pas­time he and his brother share: pho­tog­ra­phy.

The pair fre­quent spots in their neigh­bor­hood and their grand­par­ents’ farm in ad­di­tion to Nan­je­moy and Mat­ta­woman Creek to pho­to­graph ea­gles, hum­ming­birds and var­i­ous wa­ter­birds. They’ve also trav­eled to the Grand Canyon and Zion Na­tional Park in Utah to cap­ture pho­to­graphs of wildlife and nat­u­ral land­scapes.

Re­cently, the charis­matic pair sold some of their work at Art­sFest, an an­nual event in La Plata, earn­ing around $400 which was split be­tween the two of them and their father, Jonathan Gen­try, to re­im­burse the cost of print­ing ma­te­ri­als. But the pair say they see pho­tog­ra­phy as more of a hobby than a money source.

“I like tak­ing pictures be­cause I get to be out­side and spend time with my dad and my brother and it’s some­thing dif­fer­ent than sit­ting around in the house all day,” Matthew said.

Matthew and Aaron picked up their pho­tog­ra­phy skills from watch­ing their father, who owns a pho­tog­ra­phy and videog­ra­pher busi­ness called Po­tomac Me­dia. The boys say they ac­tively started tak­ing their own pho­tos when they were around 7 years old, but have al­ways been in­volved in the process.

“I’ve been tak­ing pictures ever since I can re­mem­ber,” Matthew said. “We learned a lot from Dad as far as the tech­ni­cal side of it. Light­ing and shut­ter speed and aper­ture and things like that. We’ve also helped him shoot a few wed­dings.”

When they’re not out in the marshes and parks, the boys take pictures at home us­ing bird feed­ers on their deck to at­tract avian guests. Two re­peat vis­i­tors have been dubbed Ru­fus and Bob by Aaron. The broth­ers use Canon cam­eras with a va­ri­ety of lenses to cap­ture their shots. They also use their father’s home stu­dio and work­shop where they can edit and print their pho­tos.

As Je­ho­vah’s Wit­nesses, Jonathan said pho­tog­ra­phy al­lows the boys to stay con­nected to na­ture and God’s cre­ation.

“We have a be­lief in a cre­ator and, with that be­ing said, I think it helps us stay con­nected to na­ture in­stead of staying in­side and play­ing video games all day,” Jonathan said.

Me­lanie Gen­try, the boys’ mother, agreed, say­ing pho­tog­ra­phy al­lows Matthew and Aaron to “show their cre­ative side.”

In ad­di­tion to their pho­tog­ra­phy, Aaron, an in­com­ing fourth grader at Wil­liam A. Diggs El­e­men­tary School, also en­joys paint­ing. Matthew, a home­school stu­dent, plays gui­tar.

“At the heart of it, they seem happy that they’re able to get out and en­joy their life,” Jonathan said of his sons. “This could be some­thing that keeps our fam­ily close to­gether and it’s fun.”

Matthew, 12, and Aaron, 9, Gen­try take pictures of birds at their Wal­dorf home. The pair have a col­lec­tion of pho­to­graphs they’ve taken

STAFF PHO­TOS BY SARA NEW­MAN

Matthew and Aaron Gen­try of Wal­dorf use Canon cam­eras with a va­ri­ety of lenses for their pho­tog­ra­phy. The broth­ers sold some of their pho­to­graphs at Art­sFest in La Plata in June.

Aaron Gen­try shows some pictures he has taken of his fa­vorite an­i­mal: hum­ming­birds. Aaron, along with his brother Matthew, has a col­lec­tion of pho­to­graphs he has taken and sold at arts festivals.

Matthew Gen­try dis­plays pho­tos he took of an ea­gle and a ram on var­i­ous pho­tog­ra­phy trips. Matthew, along with his brother Aaron, have sold a col­lec­tion of pho­to­graphs at arts festivals.

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