I am a color photographer, and I am on a never ending quest to find new tools an d methods that will allow me to control contrast (primarily contrast compression ) for color materials. I looked to B&W as a guide for investigating new solutio ns. For example I have been very sucessful using contracted development (N-1, N- 1.5) for color negative film to compress and darken the highlights. I have also been very successful using pre-exposures to lighten and enhance the detail in t he shadows. A big frustration with color papers is that you cannot get them in d ifferent contrasts like you can b&w papers.
Recently I read about flashing color paper to darken and enhance detail to the h ighlights. This technique is equivalent to pre-exposure for film. For sure, I i ntend to start experimenting with this method. However, this got me to thinking about how I model film and paper materials. I have always viewed them as separ ate parts of the process for making the final print. Color paper and film were just different and had very little in common. One was done in the field and the other was done in the darkroom. Flashing has made me rethink this assumption. Suppose we were to think of film and paper as the same, that is, they both use a light sensitive emulsion except they reside on different backing material. If you think of film and paper in this manner then the next question that begs to b e answered is... can I control the contrast of the paper by altering the develop ment times in the same manner as we apply contracted and expanded development to film!! That is, we expose the paper for the highlight and then control the sh adows by altering the development times of the paper (whether its color or b&w p aper).
Can anyone address this thought either in theory or practice?