writings on photography & other media
Don Snyder
Portfolio Ten


Portfolio Ten

NPF 548, Modern Movements / Issues in Photography, is offered annually as an upper-level elective course in the School of Image Arts at Ryerson University. 

For the past decade the course has been taught as an ideas workshop about contemporary photographic practice. New topics arise each year. For the 2008 iteration of the course, the class looked at the varied ways in which photography is reinventing itself while simultaneously revisiting its roots and traditions. Out of this investigation a number of themes emerged: new visions of the real, extended forms and image clusters, narrative and quasi-narrative statements, staged images and dramatic tableaux, an expanded range of image concepts and zones of practice, new image tools for investigation of the visible and the unseen worlds, and a new freedom in terms of subject, approach and range of personal expression. 

Class participants began to create work in response to issues explored during the course as early as 1997-98, and they also developed critical writing projects to contextualize the images they produced. In the spring of 1998, an experimental publication, Images and Ideas, was generated by class members, and the editorial team that produced this book went on to found Function, the School's annual showcase of student work. 

Portfolio One was the first in a series of limited-edition portfolios containing original work and artist statements; it was designed and produced in the fall of 1998. This established a tradition which has now taken on a new identity as a book project, while maintaining the idea of a portfolio approach and the production value of a custom-designed work. Each participant undertook a personal exploration and wrote an accompanying Artist Statement; the images and writing together represent the collective class response to topics discussed during the term.

The book is produced in a limited edition, one copy for each student and one copy to become part of the School's permanent collection in the Mira Godard Study Centre. All production work, including design, sequencing, text editing, digital pages and web layout, was done by class members. The work will be on display in the Image Arts Gallery at the start of the winter, 2009 term, and will also be available on the web at www.imagearts.ryerson.ca/portfolioten. In March of 2009, it will be presented in a workshop/panel discussion at the Society for Photographic Education’s annual Conference, the first such public showing in the project’s history.

January 2009

Course Materials

2010 Function and Image Arts: Origins and Change
2010 Portfolio Eleven
2009 Portfolio Ten
2008 Portfolio Nine
2004 Alphabetically by Title: Afterword
2004 Portfolio Seven
2003 Appendix
2003 Introduction - Function #5
2003 Portfolio Six
2001 Introduction - Function #3
2000 Introduction - Function #2
1999 Introduction - Function #1
1998 Images and Ideas
1985 Elite's Paces