When correcting photos it is often important in which order you perform certain correction steps. Applying the same correction steps in a different order may produce a less good result.
It is best to apply ContrastMaster after ColorWasher, because ContrastMaster may amplify color casts. However, if you adjust the contrast in ColorWasher, ContrastMaster may not be able to work 100% effective. So in ColorWasher better set the Contrast, Shadows and Highlights sliders to zero. If it is necessary to perform any contrast adjustments in ColorWasher, please only reduce the contrast but do not increase it.
Although ContrastMaster also brightens up shadows, it works better on brighter images. ContrastMaster does not brighen deep shadows as effectively as LightMachine. So if an image is quite dark or bright and needs strong brightness and shadow/highlight corrections, it is better to apply LightMachine before ContrastMaster. Better set the the Contrast, Amplify and Local Contrast sliders in LightMachine to zero, otherwise ContrastMaster may not be able to work as effectively. However, if a contrast adjutsment is necessary in LightMachine to make the shadow/highlight correction look better, do not hesitate to apply it.
If the image is not too dark or bright, you can also use LightMachine after ContrastMaster, which is probably more convenient. Another possibility would be to apply a shadow/highlight correction with LightMachine, then run ContrastMaster and finally use LightMachine's Virtual Studio mode for some selective effects.
It is better to apply B/W Styler after ContrastMaster, otherwise you will have to make sure that some contrast features in B/W Styler are deactivated, which is less convenient. If you nevertheless want to apply B/W Styler before ContrastMaster, please do not use the controls on the General tab sheet in Expert Mode (except the Brighten slider), the Paper Grade feature and only the first two sliders in Development mode in B/W Styler. With "do not use" I mean that you should keep them at their default setting or zero.
Using ContrastMaster before FocalBlade is recommended. If you only apply light sharpening with FocalBlade before using ContrastMaster, there should not be any problem.
It is wise to apply ContrastMaster at a certain step, because it will allow you to avoid some problems and better adjust the ContrastMaster effect. ContrastMaster can amplify color casts and its effect can be better judged on brighter images.
So it is best to apply ContrastMaster to an image that was color corrected and was brightness and shadow/highlight adjusted. It is also good to correct lens vignetting in a photo before using ContrastMaster, because a strong ContrastMaster effect will amplify it. You will get a smoother effect if you apply ContrastMaster before an image was sized down, but the rendering will also take longer.
Please do not adjust the contrast of an image in a strong manner before running ContrastMaster, otherwise ContrastMaster may not work 100% effective. In Photoshop do not use the white and black slider thumbs of the Levels tool, do not create a S-shaped curve in the Curve tool or use the Contrast slider of the Brightness/Contrast tool before running ContrastMaster. In Camera RAW keep the Contrast and Clarity sliders set to zero and do not use the Tone Curve tool.
It is always good to run a noise reduction tool on a bad quality image before or after applying ContrastMaster. This will keep ContrastMaster from making noise even more visible or reduce the noise that was made visible by ContrastMaster.
Better apply stronger sharpening after running ContrastMaster. But doing some light sharpening before applying ContrastMaster should cause no big problems.