Visual Texture: An Illusion

The concept of visual texture has always intrigued me. As opposed to tactile texture, which you can touch and feel, visual texture is essentially the illusion of texture. In photography, that generally means photographing objects that have tactile texture in a way that highlights or emphasizes the textural qualities of the subject. 

©Lee Anne White

©Lee Anne White

Texture can be emphasized with side lighting and increased contrast. That said, the photograph above, shot in a Nova Scotia fishing village, was photographed under soft lighting conditions. Yet there is contrast between light and dark that helps to highlight the texture. Texture can be captured in both color and black-and-white photography, although I believe B&W photography, by its very nature, is especially suited to doing this.