Gray and color image contrast enhancement by the curvelet transform

Jean L. Starck, Fionn Murtagh, Emmanuel J. Candès, David L. Donoho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

503 Citations (Scopus)


We present in this paper a new method for contrast enhancement based on the curvelet transform. The curvelet transform represents edges better than wavelets, and is therefore well-suited for multiscale edge enhancement. We compare this approach with enhancement based on the wavelet transform, and the Multiscale Retinex. In a range of examples, we use edge detection and segmentation, among other processing applications, to provide for quantitative comparative evaluation. Our findings are that curvelet based enhancement out-performs other enhancement methods on noisy images, but on noiseless or near noiseless images curvelet based enhancement is not remarkably better than wavelet based enhancement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)706-717
Number of pages12
JournalIEEE Transactions on Image Processing
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2003
Externally publishedYes


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