Quote Originally Posted by RalphLambrecht View Post
Me too, as long as it is not an excuse to avoid learning and understanding, which eliminates so many unnecessary problems. Let's not confuse serendipity with creativity.
I agree, of course. One must learn what matters and what does not.

~~~

When I started b&w, I obsessed over every millidram of each chemical, the temps, vacuuming my bottles etc. Over time I started to sort the technical issues into things that matter a lot, things that matter, and things that don't matter at all... and started to spend time on the former. The whole process then became far more enjoyable.

FWIW I can offer an analogy to sculling, which I used to teach quite regularly. A beginner reluctantly gets into that little scull, has a death grip on the oars and every little ripple throws them into a mad panic. 99% of the coaching boils down to convincing them that the scull wants to stay upright, the water wants to carry them on, and any instability in the rig comes from them and their nervous reactions. So too photography: it's easy to sort out what matters and what doesn't, and if one has an attitude of fretting over the things that ultimately don't matter, then the whole process is less enjoyable. Some people have a remarkable ability to find problems where none exist.

So again, all I am saying is: there are a whole lot of variables at play in the whole process. Perhaps too many to count. If one obsesses over each and every one then one simply won't have time to clear your head and think as freely and creatively as one could.

One could of course say that you might have extra base fog from some minor light leak in your darkroom. But "might" isn't good enough, if you think it's an issue then check it out, it'll take no more than a few minutes to develop a test strip and see. I am not saying take it on faith, I am saying you know damn well how to find out if it matters, so just do it and move on.