I have a question. Some years ago, I met a photographer that utilizes a technique using VC paper in which he prepares three masks of a black and white negative in which he separates tonalities into highlight, midtone, and shadow values. He was then able to print each of the tonal ranges with differing contrast ranges through different filtration of the variable contrast materials. This allowed a reduction of highlight contrast for instance (where local contrast is usually highest), an increase in midtone local contrast (which is usually somewhat flatter then highlight contrast) and a drastic increase in shadow local contrast (which is usually lowest in contrast since it exists on the shoulder of the paper and the toe of the negative characteristic curve). The result of this technique is an open and incredibly beautiful print possessing of an inner light. I have seen prints by Ansel Adams, Bruce Burnbaum, John Sexton, and Howard Bond. This photographers prints were "head and shoulders" above any of these other fine photographers.

I began to try to create these masks the other evening since I have an enlarger that does allow "pin registration" of masks. The problem that I have is how am I going to be able to separate the differing tonalities other then through exposure? I was able to obtain only a shadow value mask using lith film and A&B developer. But the other masks have thusfar eluded me. If any of you have graphics technical knowledge, I imagine that the method is familiar to you. If so, I would appreciate any input or thoughts on how to go about this. Thanks for any help offered.