A Little About Me

My father was the single most important influence in my life. We were both born at the end of October in the first year of a new decade and we each used our middle names. He gave me my first camera when I was two and taught me to see the world differently—to see people, objects, and places in context and juxtaposition. He also taught me to play chess around the same time.

We had only nine years together so it’s just as well he started me early. He taught me to swim, ride a bike, shoot a rifle, and go hunting with a camera and sketch pad. He made sure I understood the natural world and the value of equalizers, but that’s another story. We did botanical sketches of leaves, trees, and plants and when we were finished, I knew the names of every one of them. 

My father built a river ecosystem in a huge aquarium in the basement with one mishap—one of the glass walls had a slight imperfection that broke when it was filled with water. Luckily we had floor drains. We had aquariums filled with assorted tropical fish, separate hospital tanks, nurseries, and a tiny little autopsy kit for unfortunate fish. He also built a weather station in the backyard that was very accurate. It was not dull at our house. 

The darkroom was in the kitchen on weekends and it was like magic watching the photos we had taken during the week come to life in the tray. It’s been a lifetime since then. Now, as I look over the photos we took, the magic is returning. This site is for the two of us, and for all the fathers and daughters building beautiful memories. And for my grandson, who one day may have a daughter of his own.

It’s a collection of photographs and sketches by both of us. Some are from an adult perspective and some are taken through the eyes of a child and it isn’t always easy to discern which is which. That’s the part I love most. He taught me to keep the child inside alive and well for a lifetime and he did the same. And SilverGenes? It’s the silver halide found in film from generation to generation.

I hope you enjoy our father and daughter perspectives.

Mary Alexandra Lucas & James Alexander Lucas

Photos: Top left & bottom, me with my camera. Top right, my dad.

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