I have a portrait negative of extremely high contrast that I am trying to make a satisfying print from (using VC paper), and I would like some advice on technique. First, the negative: It is an unusual lighting situation wherein the sitter was lit from about 7-o'clock (behind her left shoulder in other words) with a honeycombed strobe, and spill from this light was reflected back into the shadowed side of her face. So her left jaw, temple, cheek, hair, and the left side of her nose are brightly lit, and the rest of her face is lit by a lower-contrast reflected light. A print exposure of G2, f5.6, 40s is about right for the shadowed side of her face but of course at this exposure the lit side is white and textureless; rather ghastly looking. A print exposure of G2, f5.6, 90s brings in a hint of texture in the lit side of her face but of course leaves the shadowed side looking dark and macabre. Of course I am well aware that burning in is a potential solution to this situation, but the area that I would burn is highly irregular in shape, and quite small on the print (5x7in print from a 6x7cm negative). My options as I see it are: * Create an elaborate burning mask for the lit side of her face, and hope that an accurate-enough mask and careful burning does not create a dark halos around the burned area. Perhaps burn in at low contrast to minimize this problem. * Pre or Post-flashing. From Barnbaum's technique manual, it seems that flashing is less preferable to burning in with a low contrast filter, but does this apply to highly irregularly shaped burns? * I have never tried SLIMT for print contrast reduction, but the more I think about it this is beginning to look like a poster-child application for this technique. Does this technique maintain local contrast in the midtones and shadows? The only reason I think this negative is worth the effort is that the sitter seems to love it: the bizarre lighting actually compensates for a very crooked nose. Any thoughts on the best approach for printing this negative (or more precisely, 5 copies of this negative)? Thanks, --Philip.