Being a "straight print" kind of a man I would try to tweak it using a paper and developer combination:
For my money I would go for a baryta paper (Kentmere Fineprint is my flavour of the week) and to my eyes, MCM Winchester Original might be the way to go, after developing to finality give it a warm water soak for say four minutes with no agitation, then a round of gold-toning, or the slightest touch of selenium.
By the way, the background highlights shows distracting bokeh characteristics, I am not sure if I would want to dye them out but then I don't suffer from things like that!
I need to ask what film you're using. IMO, the quality of the neg is the most important part. If you have a good neg, the rest is much easier. It's hard to judge the technical quality of a photo here on my computer screen, but I like the composition.
I'm a fan of traditional emulsions, Tri-X, APX 100, etc., and I am NOT a fan of T-grain films. I've never had good results from the T-grains and I've souped them in everything from Ethol 90 to D-23. The T-grains certainly have fine grain, but as I tell my students, if you were to hang one of your photos at an exhibit, grain you see from 6 inches away, tonality, lighting and composition scream at you from across the room.
I used t-grained film because it is finer grain, but I went back to trad films because T-grains just don't have the punch, the snap.
I've seen some nice work done with T-grain films, but always wonder how the image would look if done on a trad film.
That's what works for me and it may not work for you. Just my $.02
Well, this one looks just right to me. I didn't even notice that the shirt in the lower left corner was a bit hot. The kid's face just drew me right in. What a ham! Looking at it a bit closer, you might want to burn the background on the right side a bit, but not much more than an extra 1/3 stop exposure.
I was playing with your scan over the weekend, and I think a straight print in a warmtone paper would look fine.
I'd try to print using a #1.5 or 2 filter, and print to match the skin tonality of the girl. Then dodge/burn the corners
Mama took my APX away.....
Nicole, don't listen to those guys, they're just trying to patronise you :-)...
If there's a neg that you cannot print in a satisfactory way, there is only one solution to the problem: Leave it aside for a few months (years, maybe) and then try once more (your way, not another guy's way) to print it. You'll see that the distance in time will have given you the chance to look at the prints you'll do in a different way, permitting you to "see" things more clearly and understand better what is needed for you to do with your neg.
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