Thanks for your advice, everyone. I realize it is something that will take years of careful attention and patience, and while my post came off a bit eager, I was simply trying to figure out the right direction to go in order to some day arrive there. The lack of shortcuts is one thing I love about film so much.

Quote Originally Posted by andrew.roos View Post
Oh, and don't underexpose unless you like grain and muddy shadows, or intend to print the shadows as solid black.
Everyone has been telling me to overexpose, but from what I can tell it looks washed out. For instance, in this photo I used an iPhone light meter app (I realize it's crude, but it's all I have at the moment) and set the EV compensation to 2 stops under. I then metered off the sky, which should have underexposed the image even more, if I'm not mistaken. Upon scanning it (unaltered), the image was still too bright for my tastes, and I had to drop the brightness maybe 1 stop-worth to get it looking like this:

My understanding up until this point was to underexpose the negative to get dramatic contrast, then print without altering it. It seems my concept of the photographic process was wrong. So the negative is for capturing the most tonal information, with adjustments to be made in the darkroom, correct? Rather than doing everything "in camera," so to speak...

Quote Originally Posted by StoneNYC View Post
Where did you find this example? Have you tried to ask the photographer?

Are you sure it's even a film image and not a digital one?
The photographer is Hengki Koentjoro, who shoots with a Hasselblad. I have not tried to ask him; it's always the simplest and most direct solutions we seem to overlook, eh?