The staining properties of pyro developers are different from developer to developer, but the main idea is how blue sensitive contact papers react to the color of the stain, which then acts as a contrast enhancer.
It can sometimes mask grain as well, although while contact printing, grain isn't going to be an issue.

I wish you the best of luck in your endeavor, but it looks as though you're in good hands, so I will rest assured that you will be well taken very good care of. Remember to experiment; but don't stray with your materials too much. Consistency really is the ticket to amazing prints, and a constructive and critical thought process about pushing the boundaries and limits of what's available to you. You learn more by screwing up sometimes than if you get it right all the time.

- Thomas

Quote Originally Posted by DanielStone View Post
thanks ken, MAS and JGJBOWEN,

I really appreciate your answers! I just realized that this thread got out of hand, and I wanted to get it back on track .

what is the reasoning for using pyro developers? after a while, does the staining effect on the negs go away/fade? Do different variations of pyro (weston's formula, standard pyro, pyrocat hd, etc...)? what differs in them?

I've been using HC-110 and D-76 1:1 up until now for all my b/w film, what does the pyro do(besides staining, which helps keep highlights from blowing out?)

I'm a complete novice in all of this, as you might already can assume . But I'm eager to learn, and wanting to start creating some art!

blessings to all of you!

jg, MAS, and KenS, I've sent you all PM's regarding what you offered.