Okay, I'm reading "Post Exposure" by Ctien! Available free for the moment BTW.

Page 41 discusses two curves and how they affect the print.

I'm actually a big fan of long straight line curves because it makes shooting really easy and provides great separation.

Much exposure advice seems to push us toward the middle of our characteristic curves to improve separation in higher and lower tones.

Ctien got me thinking about how I might use placement and the film's shoulder to avoid burning and or the toe conversely to avoid dodging or even both with minus development or some such thing to shorten the straight line.

I have some shots that I remember where I think this "just happened" in a high contrast scene, where it just fell onto the paper with reasonable details in the clouds.

Open to any thoughts you might have on this.