Paul Melcher's selection
Sometimes photography is not about what is seen but more what is felt. It becomes a sensation, waves of emotions and a flow of thoughts. The best images haunt us long after we have gazed upon them not because we remember them, but because of the emotional trace they have left in us.
Because we are constantly bombarded with photographs, we tend to have a thick skin and most of them barely register on our psyche. Others are like candy sticks, a pleasure to view but quickly forgotten. The true images, those that we will never forget, remain in us as if we had lived them.
Modern science tells us that the way our brains retain information is by linking together a variety of otherwise useless elements. Smells, senses, sounds, impressions, feelings, music and of course visual. Separate, they mean nothing.Together, they are real.
Photography has always had the challenge to try and convey all these elements into one. An almost impossible tasks. How do you photograph sound ? Thanks to the internet, some of those barriers have been broken and it has found its third dimension. Multimedia has been around for a while. Mixing photography with text, video, music, interviews, it has brought the missing layers to an otherwise flat world. Not always with success. Often, the multimedias you see are made of poor to mediocre images, carefully packaged to make you swallow it without too much pain. Or they become the equivalent of tear jerking chick flicks, saturated to the point of nausea with melodramatic artifacts. Mostly used as a tool by NGO's and other crowdfunded organization, they have become the vehicle of choice for those that seek public funding to operate.
However, once and again, a talented photographer will use multimedia to enhance his/her message with brilliance. The images could very well stand by themselves, but they take a full entire dimension by the addition of additional information. God's Lake Narrow is one of those. Maybe because the project was created by a film maker, using photography from Scott Benesiinaabandan, a native of the region. Or maybe because it is a personal project, which has no other purpose than to inform. Regardless of the reason, the result is a powerful and engaging multimedia that takes photography far beyond its usual reach. This is the type that will haunt you long after you have finished viewing and that you might find yourself viewing over and over again.