Traditional "wet" darkrooms have always been, and still are, the best place for beginning photographers to learn basic techniques for nurturing and producing elegant tonalities in black and white photography. It provides a direct hands on experience for the photographer when he can see the immediate results in the trays of chemistry after making his decisions for exposing and developing his images. The necessary changes and modifications in exposure and development that may be required to meet the ultimate objectives for the image can then be more clearly reached and observed through further adjustments of the chemical process.
As photographers continue with their studies, they will have an opportunity to learn a number of techniques for controlling print tonalities, besides the customary dodging and burning, including contrast reduction masks, dodge and burn masks, chemistry modifications, and many other techniques.
The time in the darkroom is an intense process, much like the alchemical processes of old, where the ultimate goal was a combination of both product and change in the alchemist and, in this case, the Black and White darkroom artist.
In this age of technology, where we are constantly staring at monitors, work in the darkroom with a hands-on-process can be a pleasant relief for many people.