It's been almost a year since I first went into a darkroom and learned how to make my first prints. To this day I've always had the problem of never being able to make my 35mm enlargements (all I've ever worked with) look like they do on the contact sheet. Take tonight for example... I have a portrait of my brother on Plus-X developed in Rodinal 1:100, semi-stand development. The contact sheet looks for the most part, brilliant. There's an amazing glow to this particular portrait; there's a lot of shadow detail and the highlights are very beautiful on his cheek bones. So what happens when I try to enlarge this negative? I stop the lens down to f/5.6, put the timer on 5 seconds, pull out a small test strip and expose the entire strip once. After that I cover up a portion of the test strip with a piece of cardboard, expose yet again, reveal more of the strip, expose, so on and so fourth. In the end, there are a total of 4 "clicks". One end of the test strip has been exposed for 5 seconds and the opposite end has been exposed for 20 seconds. After proper development I turn on the lights and I find that in order to get those highlights that I see on the contact sheet I need to underexpose the paper quite a bit--to the point where it looks muddy, underdeveloped and not completely "there" for lack of a better term. I don't understand what I'm doing wrong here. My contact sheets are made using that sprocket method where you expose a test strip under the negative sleeves for however long and you determine how long you need to expose the entire sheet by looking at the 35mm sprocket holes. Where they turn completely black on the test strip is what you want to use for the contact sheet. Any advice?