Quote Originally Posted by bvy View Post
Thanks everyone. I think it might be a lost cause using basic, traditional printing methods. Looking today, the split grade print looks flat also. The scan below was with a dialed in grade 3 filtration. The reporter's face was dodged a bit.


Not a crutch. I only use it as a scanning aid to gauge brightness and set white balance. I don't use it to make prints.

Attachment 59419
you need a shorter print time. Look at the face of the boy on the right. It is over printed.
print time is critical. always has been and always will be. getting the balance between contrast and print time is everything.
The problem you have is that everything on the negative is under exposed which in this case means the scale between black and what you want white in the print is too short for the paper. The only way you can expand that is to increase print contrast. But that requires adjusting print time too and in this case you need to shorten print time to get his face the right tone. But that will makes the whites too white so you will have to burn them in.
One technique is to flash the paper using just white light for a short time. This effectively fogs the paper but only to the point where an extra photon of light will start to show a hint of tone.
If you have a diffusion sheet in your filter set, place it under the lens and expose at f16 for 2 seconds prior to making your main exposure at grade 3. You may need to experiment with time for this but get it right and you won't need to do any burning or dodging of faces or whites providing your main exposure time is good.