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Measuring the Relationship between Perceived Image Contrast and Surround Illumination

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While an image's relative surround luminance increases from dark to light, the perceived contrast of the image will increase. For this reason, projected transparencies are made with higher physical contrast than reflection prints, which are intended to be viewed in an illuminated environment. Previous research shows that the surround effect is important for color appearance and device-independent imaging. An experiment was designed to investigate the effects of surround color and luminance on apparent image contrast. An LED illuminated lab was built to perform this experiment. Within the RGB 24-bit gamut of the LEDs, the surround color and luminance in this lab can be freely adjusted. The method of adjustment was used in this experiment. Results show general agreement with previous tone reproduction and lightness scaling research. However the surround effect on image contrast is not obvious for non-expert observers. Because the perceived image contrast not only depends on the image luminance but also upon image spatial structure and the observer's cognitive system, non-expert observers might not notice the contrast changes caused by the surround effect when the images have complicated spatial structure and ”flat” contrast.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2004

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  • CIC is the premier annual technical gathering for scientists, technologists, and engineers working in the areas of color science and systems, and their application to color imaging. Participants represent disciplines ranging from psychophysics, optical physics, image processing, color science to graphic arts, systems engineering, and hardware and software development. While a broad mix of professional interests is the hallmark of these conferences, the focus is color. CICs traditionally offer two days of short courses followed by three days of technical sessions that include three keynotes, an evening lecture, a vibrant interactive (poster) papers session, and workshops. An endearing symbol of the meeting is the Cactus Award, given each year to the author(s) of the best interactive paper; there are also Best Paper and Best Student Paper awards.

    Please note: for Purposes of its Digital Library content, IS&T defines Open Access as papers that will be downloadable in their entirety for free in perpetuity. Copyright restrictions on papers vary; see individual paper for details.

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