I just got out of the darkroom with a half dozen film packs from a walk through the woods. It was mid day and the scene contrast was at least 12 stops from shadow detail to highlights. I did the first half in pyrocat-pc with a 30 min semi stand and some of the negatives have a density range that is quite unruly - not working on grade 2 and muddy on VC grade 1 or 0. So I thought I would try split D23 on the other half due to its compensating action. The new negatives are slightly better - not fantastically better. There is a thing I observe with ultra contrasty scenes; If you try to get all the highlights and shadows to print - it will look flat. Many of AA's prints that he pulled to get a handle on scene contrast look flat to me. I guess for me the bottom line is that I would rather have very contrasty prints that may have some highlight blow out and some difficult shadows than have the whole print seem flat just to get both ends on the paper. I much prefer making prints from scenes that are flat and pushing them to make them contrasty. The results always seem better. Hence - magic hour - that first and last hour of the day when contrast can be managed.