Hey Aggie, don't worry about it. Lots of us don't have a densitometer. We do have eyes and we do know what we like when we see it (usually). What the guys are saying in a nutshell is that doing something a different way will give you a different look. Sometimes subtle, sometimes not. Look at the work of other people, good and bad. Decide for yourself what it is you like or don't like. Occasionally copy what they do and how they do it, it is a great learning tool. Make mistakes. Some people get all involved with measurements and numbers. They are looking for ways to get a handle on things so they can predict the results and decide how to get there. Many of them are established pros who just can't afford to waste time and materials. They need some way to get consistently excellent results every time, often under horrible conditions, a fixed budget, and within ridiculously short deadlines. Sometimes numbers are just a way to pin down something you already can see, or already "know" but can't quite put your finger on. Do like I do. Let them do all the research, and then take what you want from it. My best advice at least in the beginning, is to keep it simple. Pick a film you like, for whatever reason. Get to know that film, what it can or can't do. Do the same for developers and papers if you are into printing. Once you are comfortable with that, then branch out.