What Is Image Contrast and How to Adjust Contrast and Brightness

Last Updated on March 5, 2022 by Peter Wood

Just like Wikipedia says, Contrast is used to describe the difference in the color and brightness of the object in the same field of view. If you can identify the details in image contrast, then it has high contrast. As for pictures that are not clear, you can regard them as low contrast photos. Well, you can get a more detailed definition of image contrast in radiography here.

Adjust Image Contrast

Part 1: What Is Image Contrast You Should Know

Actually, the contrast in photography is the scale of difference between pure black and pure white. Contrast is everywhere. Without contrast, you cannot even take pictures. In most cases, when you take out your phone and take a selfie, you can get a medium contrast image. It is just what you can see in real life. If you want to make the object stand out, you can use light and shadow to increase or decrease contrast.

High Contrast

On sunny days, you can find that the world is more colorful. Sometimes you just have to look through half-closed eyes. How to produce high-contrast pictures? Well, the bright sunlight and hard shadows can help you a lot. The contrasty image can give you totally different feelings. A photo in higher contrast offers stronger and bolder colors. You can always find the key point in a high-contrast photo. To some degree, high-contrast images are eye-catching.

High Contrast Example

Low Contrast

Obviously, low contrast images are kind of flat or dull. There seems to be foggy or misty in front of your picture. The difference between dark and light is not clear. Photos in low contrast are not distinguishable. But it does not mean that low contrast photos are worthless. Since there is not a broad range of tones, you can get a soft feeling from the image in lower contrast. That’s the non-official low contrast photography definition.

Low Contrast Example

You can also get color contrast, tonal contrast, text contrast, and more for measuring contrast. Photographers can make a photo high contrast or low contrast to make the same photo totally different.

Part 2: How to Adjust Contrast to Make Photos More or Less Sensible

Professionals may adjust the image contrast ratio with Adobe Photoshop Contrast Checker. However, it is not easy to apply the image contrast enhancement. Photoshop is not a friendly tool for beginners, from the technical and financial aspects. When you need to get a powerful and easy-to-use contrast stretching editor, you can turn to WidsMob Retoucher to polish the photos.

It is a collection of basic image editing tools, including adjustment, portrait, de-noise, LOMO and film pack. Contrast adjustment is only a small part of the Adjustment section. You can make your photo sharp, moderate, or dull smoothly with a slider. There is no need to adjust the curve or something hassle. You can even look through the before/after window to get the direct comparison. The instant preview window can show you the effect quickly.

Here are the main features you can get from this photo editor.

  1. Adjust image contrast, saturation, brightness, temperature, and tint in clicks.
  2. Use skin smoothingor whitening to retouch portraits.
  3. Manage image luminance, chrominance, and sharpness.
  4. Apply funny photo effectswith color opacity, vignetting, and fisheye.
  5. Analog filmswith the most legendary film grains and color rendition profiles.
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Step 1: Free download WidsMob Retoucher on your Windows or Mac computer. Run the program after the installation. Drag and drop your pictures to the main interface.


Step 2: Choose one picture first. Click the Next button to access the built-in video editor. You will be in the default Adjustment section. That’s where the image contrast slider is.

Image Adjustment

Step 3: Move the slider under the Contrast option to edit contrast. You can use other filters to increase or decrease image contrast. Moreover, you can choose the Before/After option from the View list.

Before After Effects

Step 4: Use other tools to make your contrast photo more special. When you analog film effect, you can also get 4 contrast modes to enhance contrast or not.

Apply Low Contrast

Step 5: After the contrast enhancement and customization, it is time to finish your work. Click the Share button to share your contrast pictures to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, etc. You can also click the Save button to download the contrast image in JPEG or TIFF format.

Save Contrast Image

Part 3: Tips and Tricks about Contrast Photography Ideas

High contrast pictures are not always black and white. You can adjust the tones, shutter, color settings, and more in your camera. Don’t forget to use sunlight to create highlights and shadows. If the dark areas are composed of shades of gray mostly, then you can find that the color in your picture is muted. Think about it, the pictures taken on a foggy or rainy morning are typically low contrast images. Moreover, you can create color contrast photos like oil paintings. Just accentuate color characteristics to define the image contrast.


Everyone can be a professional. Even though you do not have expensive digital cameras or shooting equipment, you can still create contrast photography images by using the contrast editors here. Most popular image formats are supported here. You can increase or decrease contrast in a photo taken from your phone, computer, camera, or anything else. There are also many interesting photo effects.

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