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The Globe Books 2013 gift guide: 5 stunning photography collections

Maddie on Things, by Theron Humphrey

Humans of New York

By Brandon Stanton

St. Martin's Press, 304 pages, $34.50

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He was a bond trader who lost his job and started a photographic census of his adopted hometown. But when he started talking to his subjects, the project changed. Now Brandon Stanton is something of a legend: a guy who interviews New Yorkers who catch his eye, netting stories that are touching, funny, raw, very … human.

Untold: The Stories Behind the Photographs

By Steve McCurry

Phaidon, 320 pages, $59.95

Photographer Steve McCurry is best known for his startling photo Afghan Girl, the most famous National Geographic cover of all time. His strength is portraiture, and his subjects come with stories – as do the shots themselves. He shares background information, journals, maps, what-have-you, in this comprehensive book.

Water

By Edward Burtynsky

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Steidl, 228 pages, $133.73

Known for his large-scale photographs of industry, Burtynsky turns his lens to aqueous landscapes. Rivers, oil spills, dams, wells, irrigation, all of it rendered beautiful and abstract: dryland farming in Spain resembles a Picasso masterpiece. Yet the underlying message is a cautionary one.

Genesis

By Sebastiao Salgado

Taschen, 520 pages, $79.99

He's the Beethoven of photojournalists: big name, epic, moody works, and it's hard to argue with his brand of genius. In Genesis, the Brazilian photographer traversed the globe in over 30 trips, attempting to find areas where modern society's impact could not yet be felt. The result is a collection of wild, haunting images.

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Maddie on Things

By Theron Humphrey

Chronicle Books, 160 pages, $18.95

There are few things more pleasing than a perfectly proportioned coonhound balancing on a skateboard. Theron Humphrey discovered this by accident; the internet affirmed it. The popularity of the website Maddie on Things eventually resulted in a bestselling book that shows off rescue dog Maddie's skills in a series of carefully composed Wegmanesque colour photos.

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