Hi Cliveh,

I hope you were able to find clarity from the excellent suggestions in this thread.

I find my clarity by using single graded papers. It is a clear decision for me whether the negative will require a Grade 2 or Grade 3 paper. You could apply this concept to MultiGrade papers by "deciding" to use certain grade filters.

The rest of my decisions are time. I find clarity in time decisions by using one-third f/stop printing increments for my test strips.

I don't expect the print to look good on one exposure. Different subject areas look better on certain patches of the test strip. That's how I determine burn and dodge times.

I will choose odd times when I see a subject is too dark on one test patch and too light on the adjacent one. I try not to demand finer tone changes than I can control given my normal process variations. If in doubt, I burn blacks longer and dodge whites more. I can tell under safelight if my highlights are muddied, so I will reprint immediately if I see that.

I have decided not to incorporate the finer print controls of split-grade printing or masking at this time. But I believe those techniques can deliver significant quality improvement and encourage you to explore them if you wish.