The Three Types of Contrast

Light contrast, color contrast and texture contrast are the three types of of contrast. Light contrast can create a visual impact on the viewers and is the most common. Color contrast is the second most used and can make colors appear more saturated. Texture contrast is used the least out of the three but is powerful.

Content Map:

  1. Light contrast
  2. Color contrast
  3. Texture contrast

Light Contrast

Light contrast is the most common type of contrast. When light reflects off an object, we judge the brightest part of the image compared to the darkest. If an object is bright and we want to make it stand out, contrast can enhance this.

Color Contrast

Color contrast is the second most common. Technically, light can be seen as a color, so light contrast and color contrast are related. Color contrast is used to make colors appear more vibrant when an object’s hue contrasts with its surrounding colors.

Texture Contrast

Texture contrast is the least used, but can create a powerful visual effect. Texture contrast makes different textures stand out more. For example, putting a baby with smooth skin next to a rough background will make the skin appear softer than it really is.


Contrast works because we judge things based on how they compare to their surroundings. Use and experiment with color, texture and light contrast for powerful images.

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