Quote Originally Posted by JMcLaug351
Thank you victor for your informative post. I've been thinking along these lines for some time now. It was the "micro contrast" thing that I had not heard about before this. It helped to clear up some of my ideas. I've started to taylor my film development times to local contrast rather than over all contrast. Controlling the overall contrast by minimizing agitation and higher dilution developers. I've found that this method gives the less exposed areas time to fully develop and separate fully. My negatives now have a life and fullness they never had before. (in the prints, of course!)
I have also began working on local contrast in the negative as opposed to overall contrast. This, in my estimation, is what gives a print a "glow" or "life".

The difficulty that I see in pursuing this course of action is that one can not effect greater local contrast without at the same time increasing overall contrast. Therein lies the conundrum. ie. in increasing local contrast the overall contrast will oftentimes exceed the scale of the materials one uses.

The means that I see to control overall contrast fall basically into two categories. The first being flashing of the paper and second is masking of the negative. The first course compresses highlight values downward. Whereas masking compresses shadow values upward.