While our brain may be illogical, figuring out a basic behavior is helpful, I think. Somehow, we seem to know when something is bright or dark and it doesn't necessary have to do with the zone where level of gray falls in.

Michael,

No, you got my question right. Somehow, our mind is picking up some queues in the print and figuring out the mood. I have prints that a part is only 1/6 of stop different from what I consider RIGHT for the scene. I still see that as WRONG. So our senses are quite sensitive. I'm trying to figure out what these queues are....

I have a scene where it was taken under a bright daylight. (in Mexico no less!) Somehow, when printed, it looks like it was taken in evening light. It's not bright enough. Yet, some part of the scene is only slightly above the base white. The print has a full tonal range within the scene.

Bill,

Change of contrast did enter my thought. But the scene already has plenty of contrast so I don't want it any higher. I don't want it any lower either so I am confident that the global contrast is right. That leaves local contrast..... Would higher contrast look "brighter?" I'm not sure. (probably NOT is my current thought)

I use Omega D2 so no technical issue concerning warming up.