I've got a question relating to getting at detail in the dense areas of negatives when using direct optical processes compared to scanning.

I haven't done any contact printing for a few years now (due to lack of dark room for doing that) and have mainly been scanning my film to then output in that area.

I'm also away from "home" right now so I don't have access to my older negs to examine this myself from my own work.

However, I don't recall finding any of my black and white negatives became problematic in printing them how I liked when setting exposure for the shadows and letting the highlights fall where they fell.

Now, certainly last time I was contact printing I was photographing in much "softer" light ranges than I am now. So I'm wondering if I continue this way will I be having any trouble with printing some of these in the future?

By dense, I mean stuff like I've talked about on my blog here. Certainly that's not any image I'm likely to want to print, but the principle is what I'm interested in.

This image (for example)
seems to have blown out a little around the forehead of the fox. What I'm not sure is if this is as a result of my poor attention to detail in scanning (about 5 years ago) or something else. I don't recall if there was any detail in the contact print (as I've not got any of them with me at the moment either.

Thanks for your time

The area I'm wanting to