What is micro contrast?

What is micro contrast?

Tutorial exploring the differences between contrast and micro contrast, and how the latter may be used to improve image quality.

Contrast, simply defined, is the distance between bright and dark tonal values in an image. The greater their perceived distance, the richer and deeper an image appears.

But there's a second form of contrast known as micro contrast. As its name implies, this is targeted contrast applied to tonal values within the image as opposed to normal contrast (eg, the Contrast slider in Lightroom) which applies contrast globally. Micro contrast tools in Lightroom include Clarity, Dehaze, Texture and Sharpening.

Which ones should you use? What are the pros and cons of each?  In the video embedded below I take a close look at each one to better understand their functionality and how they can be used most effectively.

Using micro contrast to improve image quality