This is a repost as I thought it may inspire some film usage!
As much as I love the ease of digital photography, believe me I REALLY love it, I still have an undying passion for black and white silver prints. During this semester I have been working only in film. I have been learning many darkroom and lab techniques that have been used for years and years.
The difference between digital and film photography is that with digital there is so much room for "faking it". If you don't really possess technical skills or knowledge of photography you can still take a great picture and if you can't you can always make it look great during post with photoshop or the like. With film photography you may be able to get a nice shot but you'd better be able to process that film and print it well or it will be very clear you don't know what you're doing.
Film photography is a craft. From the time you capture the image you are thinking about the light and the end result you want. You are planning the process time before you even capture the image. You plan how to print each image and try over and over to get the result you want. You dodge and burn and choose your filters and what paper to use. You time everything from your exposure to your developing to your final wash. I love the quiet time of print spotting to remove that lone piece of dust off the print...
This is the true meaning of the word Craft. Pouring one's heart into creating a piece of art that will never be made exactly the same again. It's a one of a kind. So when you see a black and white photograph, especially a masterfully printed image, take a moment to ponder everything the artist went through to bring that image to life.
I am, in no way, close to being a master printer. If I could have anything it would be to have the time to attempt to become one. Here are some images I created as a self portrait and later I may post a digital image of how I presented them as a sun-shaped clock of the 12 hours that fill my days.
Be true to your craft whatever it may be!