I still remember my dad showing me how to make a print when I was about six or seven years old, and picking it up twenty years later, still remembering the basic method. Then I started to experiment with using different contrast filters, and after doing that for a while I realized that I had been developing my negatives to a much too low contrast, so I started working on film exposure and film development.
Along the way I made the mistake of experimenting with way too many films and developers, just because I didn't know any better. Once I settled on a film and developer combination, and started to learn how to use it, everything started to make sense. Then I learned how to standardize on a single printing paper, because if I wanted to eke the most performance out of it, it was way better if the negatives were geared to printing on that single paper.
On and on it goes. Every time I go into the darkroom to print I learn something new, and I do believe we will always learn, improve, and remain humble and open to new methods, techniques, and philosophies that will help us improve and advance our art into something amazing.
Get ready for an incredible ride!