Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I think that we have differing terms to describe the same effect. I can see that your terminology is more accurate in description.

"Mesocontrast is the interesting one. To me, that's where the print "lives" - or dies as the case might be. By "mesocontrast" I mean contrast over areas too small to be controlled by burning, and too large to be influenced by film development.

To control the mesocontrast I change the paper grade, paper developer, developing times etcetera. I suppose that masking will be the most precise way to do this, but as I said I haven't tried this yet."

In my description in the original post I combined the effect that you describe with "micro and meso" into the my terminology "microcontrast". I do recognize that pyro developers and film choice do effect the camera negative in ways that paper and paper developers do not address.

The use of masks does affect the mesocontrast in ways that film and film developers do not address. Additionally the use of masks addresses the other end of the paper scale from that accomplished through flashing the paper. My experience has indicated that paper and paper developers do not address the mesocontrast as effectively as does masking in my experience.

I would be interested in your experience with masking should you desire to try it. Thanks again for your well thought out and written response.