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Photobook Gift Guide: Part IV

We wrap up our photobook gift guide with a selection of wonderful titles all under $25. Read parts III and III.

Dangerous Women by Melissa Catanese -- $18
Dangerous Women is a love note to all the strong, beautiful and defiant women who came before us and existed in a time when the world at large expected them to fit into restrictive roles. Assembled by Melissa Catanese from the vernacular photographic collection of Peter J. Cohen, the book presents a series of vintage photographs of women being, well, bad-asses. Dancing, smoking cigarettes, shooting guns and arrows, dressed in men's clothing, the women shown in these early 20th century photographs pay no heed to social pressures of traditional femininity and are having a great time doing so. If that wasn't enough, each book also includes a 3x4.25 inch print of a photograph in the book making it both completely delightful and surprisingly only $18.

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The Question of Hope by Robert Adams -- $20
The Question of Hope is a new monograph from Robert Adams featuring two bodies of work that may perhaps at first seem unrelated. The first photographic series looks into the destruction of the landscape at the hands of mankind -- images of widespread and horrific deforestation, images resembling a war zone. They are followed by a series that is decidedly more tranquil -- photographs of the coast, ocean, sky and sand. The combination of these bodies of work speaks to Adams' dual fascination with the breathtaking and restorative beauty of the natural world, and our on-going failure to be proper caretakers of it, a dichotomy that charges the images with power and urgency. Copies from our first shipment of The Question of Hope are nearly sold out but more are already on the way, and it's an absolute steal at just $20.

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The Mushroom Picker by David Robinson -- $25
David Robinson's The Mushroom Picker is technically a children's storybook, but the eerie and psychedelically-colored photograms that make up its illustrations will appeal to all ages. Robinson's book tells the story of Penny Bun, a delectable wild mushroom who attempts to flea the forest before she is snatched up by the giant mushroom picker. The story is charming, but the real stars are Robinson's inventive images, created by arranging a variety of mushrooms on the surface of his enlarger. A night-time luminescent world made entirely out of fungi comes to life in the pages of this book, painted in light with beautifully rich hues. The book finishes with botanical information on its cast of mushroom characters for pickers who may find them irresistible.

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2014 Michael Kenna Wall Calendar -- $25
A yearly tradition for many photo-eye customers, the 2014 Michael Kenna wall calendar also makes a wonderful gift for nearly anyone on your shopping list. Publisher Nazreali Press brings the same care brought to Kenna monographs, printing the calendar on uncoated natural Japanese paper using "Daido black" ink, the thirteen-image 14x18 inch calendar provides enjoyment throughout the year. Images selected for this year's calendar are centered mostly in Asia, with photographs taken in Japan, China, South Korea and Thailand, and a few images from France and Easter Island.

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Driven Snow & Everyone I Never Knew by Andy Mattern -- $20 each
Because it's hard to pick just one, we finish with two small self-published books by Andy Mattern -- Driven Snow and Everyone I Never Knew. Each book focuses on an often overlooked but none the less visual staple of winter -- in Driven Snow, the misshapen, grime-encrusted clods of snow and ice that form in the wheel wells of cars, and in Everyone I Never Knew, the lost single gloves and mittens that turn up on side walks and snow banks. Mattern collected the snow clods in Driven Snow over the course of one of the snowiest winters on record. He presents its subjects with scientific-like precision, photographed on a white background with notations indicating dimensions, daily mean temperature and snow depth and noting that these images are reproduced at 17% scale.

The orphaned hand wear featured in Everyone I Never Knew are presented like portraits in a family album, each image reproduced in photo corners. Gloves and mittens appear freshly dropped and partially trampled, some having been placed on fence posts and in trees by a caring passer-by in hope of being reunited with their owner. Everyone I Never Knew captures the strange empathy we can feel for these items, and a bit of the silliness of how easily we anthropomorphize them. Everyone I Never Knew comes with a small print of one of the items lost in the winter snow. Each book is great on its own but they also make a lovely pair.

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Prefer a gift certificate? Purchase one in any amount here.