Steven, by all means I'm not new to film and printing but for reasons beyond my control I had to take shortcuts while keeping my hobby alive. Years ago scanning film and posting images came at a time when I could not afford a darkroom so my focus was to make best possible begatives in order to still have something acceptable to post in this forum. I don't feel sorry because I learned a lot about controlling my exposure testing film and film development. Then I was able to slowly build a darkroom in my basement, equipment was dumped by people switching to DX and everyting became affordable. I started making straight prints from my negatives. Despite the fact that my negatives were good I could never produce a print that I like, one that stands out.
After making a quick couple of prints last night and not getting what I wanted, I thought I'd ask this question:
What is the single (or few) techniques in darkroom printing that you feel you mastered, that took your print making to the next level ?
My prints last night needed some dodging and burning for sure, to make them "better", but they're a bit complicated for my current skill level, so I'm thinking its something I have to work on. Then I read about split grade printing, well maybe that's something I should try out, and then there's a device you can buy (Heiland ?) for this technique....
Interested in hearing about your eureka moments !