A NEW COLOR CORRECTION METHOD FOR UNDERWATER IMAGING
Keywords: Underwater Imaging, Color Correction, Ruderman space, Computational Color Constancy
Abstract. Recovering correct or at least realistic colors of underwater scenes is a very challenging issue for imaging techniques, since illumination conditions in a refractive and turbid medium as the sea are seriously altered. The need to correct colors of underwater images or videos is an important task required in all image-based applications like 3D imaging, navigation, documentation, etc. Many imaging enhancement methods have been proposed in literature for these purposes. The advantage of these methods is that they do not require the knowledge of the medium physical parameters while some image adjustments can be performed manually (as histogram stretching) or automatically by algorithms based on some criteria as suggested from computational color constancy methods. One of the most popular criterion is based on gray-world hypothesis, which assumes that the average of the captured image should be gray. An interesting application of this assumption is performed in the Ruderman opponent color space lαβ, used in a previous work for hue correction of images captured under colored light sources, which allows to separate the luminance component of the scene from its chromatic components. In this work, we present the first proposal for color correction of underwater images by using lαβ color space. In particular, the chromatic components are changed moving their distributions around the white point (white balancing) and histogram cutoff and stretching of the luminance component is performed to improve image contrast. The experimental results demonstrate the effectiveness of this method under gray-world assumption and supposing uniform illumination of the scene. Moreover, due to its low computational cost it is suitable for real-time implementation.