A combined achromatic and chromatic contrast metric for digital images and video is presented in this paper. Our work is aimed at tuning any parametric rendering algorithm in an automated way by computing how much details an observer perceives in a rendered scene. The contrast metric is based on contrast analysis in spatial domain of image sub-bands constructed by pyramidal decomposition of the image. The proposed contrast metric is the sum of the perceptual contrast of every pixel in the image at different detail levels corresponding to different viewing distances. The novel metric shows high correlation with subjective experiments. Important applications involve optimal parameter set of any image rendering and contrast enhancement technique or auto exposure of an image capturing device.