Parker County Today August 2017 - Page 29

H ad he been born in another century, Matthew Sánchez might have been an explorer, a Mungo Park or Richard Burton. His love of travel, curios- ity and sensitivity to the subtle beauty of the natural world fuels his passion for photography, for recording moments in time, and propel him into excursions around the globe. “I like capturing scenes, very natural scenes,” Sánchez said. “I’m not so much a portrait photographer. There are plenty of people who do that and who are probably better at it than me. I like landscapes or scenes with people just going about their business. When I do that, it’s like I get lost in a trance. It helps me relax.” Sánchez, born in Orange, California, grew up in Fort Worth and lived a couple of years in Weatherford where he did some work for a local media outlet. Asked how he became a shutterbug, he talked about mom. “I just picked up an old camera and started shooting on the old 35 mm film,” he said. “I actually borrowed mom’s camera and about fourteen years ago went to Europe and the Middle East and started shooting. I got that travel ‘bug’ and have been shooting ever since.” And the shots are compelling, loaded with color and bits of everyday life made to stand still for our artis- tic enjoyment: An Asian woman soaked by rain beams beneath her bamboo hat appointed with chartreuse tufts. She bends over her produce, every wet wrinkle in her clothing visible, rain drops frozen mid-fall. Simple joy in life. In another, Moroccan boys and their shadows chase a soccer ball across an aqueous beach reflecting a gold and lavender sky, the sun’s image brilliant in sky and wet sand. A moment of the boys’ antics and emotions is captured, chosen to live on in Sánchez’s image. In a third photo, the Taj Mahal looms large, bulbous and ornate before a group of women and children who appear lost in awe — all of them except the woman on the end who turned to see the photographer as he tripped the shutter. Sánchez’s compositions are colorful without being garish or oversaturated. The light is skillfully controlled as it enters his camera. He is a field man, preferring to be afoot in wild or exotic environs, taking his shots rather than ensconced behind a stodgy desk. He’d rather spend hours peering through the camera lens than staring at a computer screen while using high-dollar software to produce the photo the photographer could have taken in the field. “I actually enjoy digital editing a little bit, but I’m kind of leery of over-editing. That’s not to my taste. My edit- ing process is very short — I do a few tweaks to it, like dodging and burning,” he said. “But I enjoy sitting at the computer and having a cold beer while looking over the photos and seeing what I’m satisfied with and maybe what I can improve on. So I enjoy the whole process of modern photography. ” He stressed “modern” photography because he remem- bers as a kid starting out on 35mm film, and the expense associated with developing and printing pictures. “Like 27