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Ten Great Photo Books For Last-Minute Gifts (And Then Some)

10 From 2010: Books For The Photophile

The shopping clock is ticking. So here are a few suggestions to help you on your last-minute run to Barnes & Noble ... or for your overnight-shipping splurge on Amazon. The Picture Show presents just a few books that have been featured on the blog in the past year -- books that would make great gifts for your photography-loving loved ones -- and then some.

  • 1. For The Serious Photo-Lover: Rodney Smith's 'The End'

    Although not the easiest book to read casually, Rodney Smith's The End is just about as impressive as coffee table books get. In fact, it might completely dwarf your coffee table. At about $800 a pop, this book is for the serious photo-lover.

    See an excerpted gallery of photos.

  • 2. For The Traveler: John Margolies' "Roadside America"

    Roadside America by John Margolies (Taschen, 2010) hide caption

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    Roadside America by John Margolies (Taschen, 2010)

    Roadside America by photographer John Margolies explores the changing face of America's roadsides. It's a survey of oddities -- jumbo bananas, wacky billboard language, neon lights -- that he has been documenting for the past 30 years, over the course of 100,000 miles on the road.

    See more photos here.

    Related: Lee Friedlander's America By Car.

  • 3. For The Foodie: Photos Of Nordic Cuisine

    Noma: Time And Place In Nordic Cuisine by Chef Rene Redzepi Phaidon Press, 2010 hide caption

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    Phaidon Press, 2010

    World famous chef Rene Redzepi released a cookbook this year, whose value, above all, is visual. Although the recipes are nearly impossible to re-create, the imagery alone will transport you to the salty shores of Scandinavia. "Use it as an inspiration," Redzepi told NPR's Melissa Block in an interview earlier this year. "Look at the beautiful pictures; see how food comes together."

    See more photos.

    Related: What I Eat: Around The World In 80 Diets.

  • 4. For The Tree-Hugger: Beautiful Bark

    The orange-red bark of a madrone evergreen tree, found on the west coast of North America, peels away on mature wood. Beneath is a smooth, green layer. Cedric Pollet/ hide caption

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    Cedric Pollet/

    Photographer Cedric Pollet has an obscure passion for tree bark. But spend enough time with his photos and you too might become a bark believer.

    See an excerpt from his book.

  • 5. For The Politico-Historian: Presidential Photographers

    The President's Photographer: Fifty Years Inside the Oval Office, National Geographic Books, November 2010 hide caption

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    A new National Geographic book, The President's Photographer: Fifty Years Inside the Oval Office, anthologizes some of the presidency's most iconic and intimate moments. Lyndon B. Johnson takes the oath of office on Air Force One after Kennedy's assassination. Betty Ford dances on the Cabinet Room table on one of her last nights in the White House. President Obama lets a young boy feel his hair.

    See a preview.

  • 6. For The Photo Student: 'The Great Life Photographers'

    The Great Life Photographers Time Inc. hide caption

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    Time Inc.

    The paperback edition of Life's 2004 visual encyclopedia was released in October and contains 600 pages of Life's best photography.

    See more photos from the book here.

  • 7. For The Humorous Geek: 'Suburban Knights'

    Suburban Knights by E.F. Kitchen hide caption

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    For members of the Society for Creative Anachronism, re-enactment is serious business. And for E.F. Kitchen, so is photography. She uses a large-format camera to photograph the Middle Ages and the Renaissance re-staged. Part of the charm of this book is its layout, design and text.

    Preview it here.

  • 8. For The Entomology Enthusiast: This Is the Bee's Knees

    From the book Bee Rose-Lynn Fisher hide caption

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    Rose-Lynn Fisher

    From the book Bee

    Rose-Lynn Fisher

    Literally. Rose-Lynn Fisher's book Bee shows the insects as seen through an electron microscope. A great gift for little boys, bug lovers and science nerds the world over.

    See more here.

  • 9. For The Child (Or The Child At Heart): Playing With Food, And The Moon

    Broccoli Forest from Food Landscapes, Abrams, 2010 hide caption

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    Photographer Carl Warner loves to play with his food. His universe consists of broccoli head trees, cauliflower clouds and coconut haystacks. His new book, Food Landscapes, is a wonderful food fantasy.

    See it here.

    Related: Playing With The Moon.

  • 10. For The Music Lover: Herman Leonard's 'Jazz'

    Herman Leonard's Jazz Atlantic hide caption

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    The renowned, recently deceased photographer Herman Leonard left behind a new book, simply called Jazz, which showcases his sharply focused, high-contrast black-and-white pictures -- many never-before published.

    See more here.

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