My printing until recently amounted to what others have indicated.

More recently, however, I have taken to printing at a contrast grade 1/2 to 1 grade higher then what the negative would normally be printed. I then do a test strip that provides me the shadow tonal values that I want and preflash the paper to compress the overall contrast range. This provides greater local contrast in the print and makes the print "glow".

The alternative to this is to prepare shadow value masks from lith film. In that method, I do a test strip to determine my highlight tonal scale then I mask the negative in the first exposure to hold shadow values back and then burn them down to the appropriate value in a second exposure using the second mask of the set.

Both methods work to provide greater local contrast while compressing overall contrast. Which is better? That depends on the subject matter and the presentation that the photographer wants. Sometimes a print needs greater highlight separation at the loss of some of the shadow separation and sometimes a print needs greater shadow separation at the loss of some highlight separation. The use of these two methods will allow the photographer the choice of which presentation to use.

There is no doubt that these methods will give greater print vibrancy due to greater local contrast.