For all the technical stuff I'd recommend reading Michael Smith's old threads, both here and on the LFF. You'll get excellent answers to most technical (and aesthetic) questions from those. It seems like there are folks in your area that are into contact prints and LF, so that's an invaluable resource too. I'd especially recommend looking at some well-executed prints, such as Paula's near you, to get a good sense of what they can look like, and what you're aiming for.