It was very nice hearing from such an authority as Les McLean. Now and then I come across articles by you, always read them with great interest, and quite often pick up something useful for my hobby.
Yes, it has to be high contrast negs.
I’ve been fiddling around with a neg of ”the first day of spring” where people are sitting in the sun up against a white wall with coffe mugs in their hands (the coffee house inside hadn’t yet put out their ”summer furniture”), and there are also cobble stones and red brick walls in the shadows. For this picture I got more medium grey tones when starting with the soft exposure.
Come Saturday I’ll sneak into my minimal darkroom and practice what I’ve learnt on this and other high contrasty negs.