TEXT AND PHOTOS BY MANUELA THAMES AND BECKY SCHAUER
The specifics of the controversy over the Dakota Access Pipeline dominated news cycles last fall, but now we bring you reflections from behind the scenes at Standing Rock where our contributors learned much from their Native American hosts. Regardless of your position toward the pipeline, we hope you’ll listen and learn universal lessons along with Becky and Manuela.
My first photo class, my professor taught me that a good black and white photograph has a pure black, a pure white, and every grey in between—a mantra I now repeat to my students. Just like with a cause that rallies people to the streets, a photograph is exposed with different variations of light in order to become a successful image. A good photo needs contrast. Without contrast, the image is flat, boring, and unmemorable. But too much contrast sacrifices image quality with loss of details and information.