Quote Originally Posted by Shawn Dougherty View Post
That's the truth. I wish I could go back in time and have a little talk with myself about just sticking with the process I started with (which was working) and learn it in and out, following standard practices that worked for many people for years... At least I have learned a thing or two along the way and (thank god) have become a better printer in that time as well. Printing is definitely where it's at.
I too think that the printing stage is truly where the magic happens. Of course the photograph has to be an interesting one to begin with, I'm not trying to rob the moment of framing the shot of its importance; I do think that is important obviously, but more of a base requirement and a foundation for producing the print. I love mulling over a test print in the darkroom, drawing up little 'print maps' to add or remove tone/contrast in areas where I feel it's needed, attempting to bring forward what I think is important with the photograph.
Every time I go into the darkroom I feel like I learn something of value, and become a slightly better printer with each session. Some negatives are better than others and print themselves almost, while others are much more of a challenge. To create something consistent from both good and mediocre negatives is a very interesting ride.