The 48 Hour Photo Diary

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One of 365 photos (one per day for the year 2002) by Byron Wolfe’s book “Everyday”

For this assignment, students are being asked to record one digital image per hour while awake over the course of 48 hours–at home, at school, with friends, and everywhere in between. Students must carry their cameras (or cell phone) with them everywhere they go. They may take one image each hour, so they must be selective and thoughtful about what they shoot. The image can be spontaneous and intuitive: close or wide; an object, person or landscape; straightforward or symbolic. The collection of images can be as varied as the student’s day.

Goal: Students will finish with an authentic visual diary of their daily life.

Essential Questions: What can photography show us about our lives? How can photographic images not only document who, what, where and when we are, but express our state of mind, wishes and concerns? How does reexamining the world around us through a lens change how we see it? What is the value of keeping your camera on you at all times–what opportunities present themselves when the photographer is ready? How can photography be used to mark and feel time, which in this project is both momentary (the click of a shutter), and protracted (images collected over time?)

Final Objective: Create a digital book or slideshow using Adobe Lightroom software showing the students’ images, in order.

Writing for your Blog Post:

  • When you create your gallery on your blog, caption each photo with the time and a title.
  • Two paragraphs, 3-5 sentences each.
  • For your first paragraph, write about what your diary shows about your life. You can describe these two days in your life, and any highlights depicted in the photos. What does the photo diary show us about you and your life, the differences between parts of your day, and what the photos show us about your mood and point of view, as well as your activities.
  • For your second paragraph, write your response to this project. What was it like carrying a camera with you for 48 hours? To take a photo every hour? To document your ordinary day? Did you notice more? What was it like to look through your world through a lens? What was it like for those around you to have you with your camera at all times? Finally, did you learn anything from this project?
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Another photo from Byron Wolfe’s book “Everyday”