Hello,

Start with a sharp negative. All the darkroom work in the world won't sharpen a blurry negative. Unsharp masking when working in color is better thought of as contrast reducing unless you are going to go through multiple steps to get a negative mask (or develop the mask as a postive, but doing that well is quite a challenge). The reason is that high contrast color paper is not dramatically different from normal contrast. In B&W you can use an unsharp mask to bring up shadow detail and then print witha high contrast filter to make the photo appear sharper. Of course, you can use an use an unsharp mask to dodge the shadows while priting the highlights darker than normal This might give you a sharper look with the right image.

My suggestion is to start with a tripod. ;>)

Good luck,

Neal Wydra