Imagery is a preferred tool for environmental surveys within marine environments, particularly in deeper waters, as it is non-destructive compared to traditional sampling methods. However, underwater illumination effects limit its use by causing extremely varied and inconsistent image quality. Therefore, it is often necessary to pre-process images to improve visibility of image features and textures, and standardize their appearance. Tone mapping is a simple and effective technique to improve contrast and manipulate the brightness distributions of images. Ideally, such tone mapping would be automated, however we found that existing techniques are inferior when compared to custom manipulations by image annotators (biologists). Our own work begins with the observation that these user-defined tonal manipulations are quite variable, though on average, are fairly smooth, gentle waving operations. To predict user-defined tone maps we found it sufficed to approximate the brightness distributions of input and user adjusted images by Weibull distributions and then solve for the tone curve which matched these distributions from input to output. Experiments demonstrate that our Weibull Tone Mapping (WTM) method is strongly preferred over traditional automated tone mappers and weakly preferred over the users' own tonal adjustments.
- Contrast Limited Histogram Equalization
- Histogram Specification
- Tone Mapping
- Underwater Image Enhancement
- Weibull Distribution