I would suggest that Ralph is on the money when he suggests that high contrast is more than likely your problem.
I myself often use an orange filter for popping out clouds, or lightening brickwork, or cliff faces that are orange (sort of) coloured.
If I'm shooting people then I find a yellow/green filter can be very useful, but be wary of certain coloured clothing going very light sometimes.
Ralph's suggestion of reducing your film speed and development is sound. I myself, depending on the contrast of the day will rate my street film, which is Neopan 400, at 400 on a cloudy day, 320 for cloudy bright, 250 for fairly bright and 200 for really bright, which in Melbourne at 38º latitude in midsummer, is very contrasty. Much more contrast than in Germany, where I have spent considerable time shooting over the last 25 years on holidays.
Generally I find that I can almost always print within ½ a paper grade for most of my negatives. That is, I print virtually all negatives between grade 3 to grade 3½ on my colour head. Sometimes I find I am right in the middle on grade 3¼ very rarely do I need to go to grade 2¾.
With a bit of practice you will find what works for you, once there, you will know.
Last edited by Mick Fagan; 09-03-2009 at 06:22 AM. Click to view previous post history.