So I did my first contrast reduction mask. Without the reduction mask Fuji CA paper was just too contrasty, blowing out the sky almost completely and rendering the upper-left tree into complete darkness. a 300 dpi scan of this image with the contrast reduction mask can be found here. My very first try (and a failure) can be found here.
I exposed Ilford FP4+ 4x5 film under the enlarger with white light (0,0,0) on my Omega dichroic II's "low" setting for 1 second. I exposed 5 negatives from f 5.6 to F22 to see the effect and after some prints with a few of them I liked the F22 shot the most. They were tray developed in D76 1:1 for 9 minutes (about iso 50 according to ilford's documentation).
I feel quite liberated now that I know how to do masking and while the registration wasn't perfect it's not as intimidating as I thought it was. The only serious trouble I'm having is dust exposing into the contrast mask. I used a rocket blower like crazy on every single surface (colour negative, b&w negative, plexi glass for weight) but dust was exposed into every single reduction mask I made.
Any advice on how to control the dust?