Quote Originally Posted by MattKing View Post
I do agree that it is important to get some experience with "standard" printing, but I think learning about split grade printing is good for beginners, because of one particular consequence of split grade printing.

I find that if you understand how the two (or three) different emulsions in variable contrast papers respond to the filters, you will be a better printer. And split grade printing forces you to think about that.
I disagree. I think people need to learn the basics about how variable contrast papers "see" filtered light before splitting their base exposure into a hard and soft. Otherwise they're just guessing at a more complex gimmick. The confusion in virtually every "split-grade" thread posted by inexperienced printers is evidence of this. Ilford has a very good on-line publication about filtration and contrast control with variable contrast papers. It is also worth reminding everyone "split-grade" is nothing more than a specific case of multiple grade or variable contrast printing.