The Importance of the Light Source

The apparent texture of an object changes according to the direction and quality of the light and is also affected by the number of light sources. In diffused light, the texture of an object appears less well defined, although a wider area of texture is visible. In direct light, texture is well defined but confined to a smaller area.

When the light source is behind an object (back lighting), most of what we see is in shadow and therefore in diffused light, so apparent texture is minimized. The same is true when an object is seen in front lighting; texture is difficult to see then because the area of transition from light to shadow is also small.

The golf ball's texture is well defined in direct light but limited to a comparatively small area. In diffused light, the texture of the same ball is visible over a larger area.

In diffused light the texture of hair is visible over the whole head.

In this illustration the hair is in direct light; its texture is well defined but we see it only in a small area.

How does the quality of the light affect the texture of these avocados?

Texture is both visual and tactile. The leaf pattern of this tree forms a rough texture. Notice the greater apparent texture in the middle.

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