Paul Melcher's selection
Drop everything you are doing, you are taking a spaceship. Not the kind that goes up for a few minutes and brings you back down. No, you are talking the Major Tom kind, destination Mars.
You have not much time to pack and the agency, in its infinite kindness, let’s you take one photograph. Only one. Choose carefully because it could be the only one you stare at for a very long time. You might even need it to explain earth to some wandering martian.
Think you know which one to take ? OK. Now look at what 100 photographers from around the world ( mostly photojournalists) have chosen.
The result is quite telling. A majority seem to take family pictures, like a trucker going on the road. Otherwise pick from their own portfolio, probably satisfied with their own work, and finally the last group will take classics, Eugene Smith being the top pick.
O ya, there are two that picked an image of the earth. A souvenir !
What is interesting here is how the mind works. Choices here are mostly emotional, thus the family pictures. Emotional too is the choice of their seemingly favorite pictures taken from their own work. Probably because it brings them back to a place and time of reassurance. But others have chosen highly disturbing images ( mummified faces kissing). Will they really want to stare at it for 100 years of solitude ?