And the magic happens when all these limitations free you as an artist.

It could give me nightmares, thinking about Gene Smith in a metaphysical breakdown, paralyzed over the choice between D-76 vs Supernol or something.

And never making the picture of Tomoko and her mother.[/QUOTE]

Yes to your comments. Probably the D76 2:1 worked out something like Ansco 47 or something.
He knew the importance of just getting an image on film, often, he wrote, saying to himself "Oh, Hell, I'll just print it." Tedium, sometimes patience, cussedness, and lots of ferricyanide to open up the shadows served him well. He had a strong committment to the message and, as you say, made everyday materials work for him.