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Photobooks Under $30

In an effort to give prominence to some of the great little photobooks on the shelves at photo-eye, I've been writing about photobooks under $30 for the last few months. The first, second and third installments of this series can be found on the photo-eye Blog with some titles still available. This installment highlights three softbound photobooks under $30: The Evolution of Ivanpah Solar documents the construction of the largest concentrated solar thermal plant in the world, Contact Sheet #169 surveys the poignant nude self-portraiture of Chinese photographer Shen Wei and Tales of Tono explores life and culture in the Northern Japanese countryside.

Jamey Stillings – The Evolution of Ivanpah Solar
The Evolution of Ivanpah Solar – Jamey Stillings – $9.95
A stunning visual documentation of the world's largest concentrated solar thermal plant currently under construction in the Mojave Desert, CA – the project follows the evolution of its construction, beginning in 2010 and scheduled for completion in 2013. Aerial photographs emphasize scale in this vast desert landscape. At only a little over 5x8inches, this petite softbound book effectively illustrates the expansive Ivanpah Solar project and hints at the limitless possibilities of sustainable energy production.

Shen Wei – Contact Sheet Number 169
Contact Sheet #169 – Shen Wei – $16 signed
This issue of Contact Sheet highlights the work of Chinese photographer Shen Wei, who has created a compelling body of work comprised exclusively of nude self-portraits. Sexuality and the nude form are highly contentious subjects in his native China, but in this work, he asserts himself, his identity and sexuality in raw and emotive portraits. He often is found in undisturbed landscapes but is also photographed in interiors, urban and suburban environments. His work explores the intrinsic desire to find a place for oneself in the world, in relation to our environment, ourselves, and others.

Daido Moriyama – Tales of Tono
Tales of Tono – Daido Moriyama – $24.95
Tales of Tono is a remarkable monograph from prolific photographer Daido Moriyama. Continuing his long-standing tradition of grainy black-and-white photographs taken in his native Japan, Tales of Tono borrows its name from Japanese folk legends and contains carefully selected diptychs within each page spread. This compact book also comes with a thoughtful text from Moriyama about his practice. Despite its size, it packs a powerful selection of images, making it a must-have for Moriyama fans.
--Erin Azouz