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Irfanview : Auto adjust colors

I refuse to use any computer without first installing a copy of IrfanView on it. This light weight multi-format image viewer and converter has become ubiquitous amongst my circle of tech geeks - we can no longer imagine life without it. One of the specific features that I love is "Auto adjust colors".

Consider the following images. The images in the left windows are the originals and the images in the right windows are obtained by applying the "Auto adjust colors".

As you can see, "Auto adjust colors" tweaks the various parameters of the image and brings out the details which remained unseen earlier. One of the major operation that "Auto adjust colors" does is Histogram stretching. Look at the screenshot below to get a better idea of what that is all about:

Histogram Stretching
Here are the original images for reference.

All in all, using this nifty feature of IrfanView makes me feel like I am performing some macho image forensics - like they show on crime series on TV.

PS: I noticed that while uploading images to this blog, blogger/Picasa Web also perform some color enhancements of their own to the images. Due to this the difference between the before and after images embedded above are not as much as what I can see when I open the image files directly on my computer.