Here's a weird one from last night in the darkroom. I decided to print a photo of a nephew standing in front of a shingled seaside shed. He was grinning and holding a net "American Gothic" style, to give you the idea. The seaside sun was shining across at just the right angle so l knew I had a bright and cheerful portrait in the making. Well, the lad is a brown as a berry and the shed was of course silvery grey - you can guess the rest of the story. The black and white print is, in a word, grey and grey. The boy's skin has exactly the same value as the shed. Even his blue shirt fell on the same value! The only things that keep the print from looking like a washed-out gray card are his teeth and black hair. I would not have thought it possible to make such a flat print from a sunny scene.
Tonight I will go back in and burn the shed with a vengeance, to see if I can get the subject to pop out of the background. I may also try to print on hard paper so that the all the fleshtones come up and I can burn the shed a bit less.