Abstract

Outdoor images captured in bad-weather conditions usually have poor intensity contrast and color saturation since the light arriving at the camera is severely scattered or attenuated. The task of improving image quality in poor conditions remains a challenge. Existing methods of image quality improvement are usually effective for a small group of images but often fail to produce satisfactory results for a broader variety of images. In this paper, we propose an image enhancement method, which makes it applicable to enhance outdoor images by using content-adaptive contrast improvement as well as contrast-dependent saturation adjustment. The main contribution of this work is twofold: (1) we propose the content-adaptive histogram equalization based on the human visual system to improve the intensity contrast; and (2) we introduce a simple yet effective prior for adjusting the color saturation depending on the intensity contrast. The proposed method is tested with different kinds of images, compared with eight state-of-the-art methods: four enhancement methods and four haze removal methods. Experimental results show the proposed method can more effectively improve the visibility and preserve the naturalness of the images, as opposed to the compared methods.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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Corrections

9 December 2016: A correction was made to the pagination.


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