I used to make photos with paper. Yes, I am old school boy who skilled up darkroom materials and use to smell developer
and fixer fume. On paper, (too) high contrast is easy way to destroy good photo to mediocle or garbage.
Too high contrast renders nothing on highlight, so there is nothing else than paper base. so you don’t really feel it as ‘white’.
It feels like ‘lack of anything’.
Dark area is also problematic. It looks like someone spills black ink on top of paper, ugly blob without any details…
In film & paper days, white area should be rendered less white than paper base (saying bright grey…) and dark area
should preserve at least some details (dark grey instead of pitch black).
Then what is good contrast level on display monitor?
We review the most of photo with mmonitor in these days, do not print that much even with ink jet printer.
No mention dark room develop and print…
I made contrast adjustment habitually to reserve white and dark area to maintain details… but with monitor,
it lacks a punch or appeal I think. I found myself gradually increasing the contrast (and sharpen).
Of course for print work, I re-adjust contrast to fit into the medium…. No single solution to all.
I normally do this much contrast
Boost up to fit into monitor display