Tannaz Sepehri scoured the city on her bike in search of abstract surfaces. She sought out intricate features of flat facades and photographed each one at close range to create the illusion of a canvas painting.

Sepehri, a third-year photography student, consolidated her findings to create her first photobook, which was featured at the second-annual First Edition Photobook Show at the Ryerson Artspace.

The show, which opened Jan. 28 and runs until Feb. 8, showcased the work of third- and fourth-year students in the school of image arts. This year’s theme was photobooks.

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Visitors browse some of the students’ photobooks in the Ryerson Artspace at the Gladstone Hotel. (Bella Kim/Ryersonian Staff)

Photobooks are a compilation of photographs that work in tandem to depict an overall theme. The photos are bound together in the form of a book and is sometimes referred to as a coffee table book. 

This year’s exhibit featured over 60 photobooks — each in some way inspired by the concept of mapping, which refers to the documentation or graphing of something. All were up for sale.

Christopher Manson, a part-time photography professor at Ryerson, said that as students enter their third year in the program, they stop thinking about a photograph as a single image on a wall. Rather, they see one image as the potential of multiple images or how one image relates to another.

“There is a lot of potential with that. You can start making stories and statements. And they end up in a book,” said Manson. “The whole idea behind the show was to communicate and show these books and get them out to the public.”

Although all of the students were required to work off this theme, each one had completely different experiences and produced unique final products.

Sepehri said that many of the surfaces in her book were things she sees every day.

“For the most part, I just go around town on my bike. Anything that would catch my eye, I would photograph and move on,” said Sepehri.

Sepehri said that through this project, she was able to view images in many different ways — just as Manson said she would.

“The concrete wall looked grey, but on camera it was turquoise,” said Sepehri. “I got this quality of splattered paint brush strokes.”

This article was published in the print edition of the Ryersonian on Feb. 3, 2016.

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