Byron Wolfe (Chico, CA), Selections from Everyday: A Yearlong Photo Diary, June 2002 – June 2003, 48 framed photographs with text (12 from each season), Archival inkjet prints, 8 ¾ x 8 ¾ inches, Courtesy of the artist and Etherton Gallery, Tucson, AZ
Every day between my thirty-fifth and thirty-sixth birthdays, I tried to make at least one completely new and compelling photograph. The idea was to create a narrative that was attentive to place, change, and the meandering pace and flow of life. For practical reasons (family, job, sleep), the pictures emerged from my daily activities. I used a digital camera and worked quickly, usually generating scores of photographs in a matter of minutes. Each night before going to bed, I chose a single image and often wrote an accompanying caption.
I chose my birthday as a starting point, mostly because the date falls in the summer, which was the best time for me to establish a healthy working routine. Plus, that date is more about marking personal time than the other, arbitrary, days of the year running from January to December.
As time passed, I learned to pay attention to things I'd not previously considered important. But what was most surprising—and reassuring—was learning that the paths I was following were anything but new. I was comforted by the reminder that for centuries, some of the most serious creative work has come from the most ordinary things: children, pets, fruit trees, seasons, and the passage of time.