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Image enhancement is the task of applying certain transformations to an input image such as to obtain a visually more pleasant, more detailed, or less noisy output image. The transformation usually requires interpretation and feedback from a human evaluator of the output result image. Therefore, image enhancement is considered a difficult task when attempting to automate the analysis process and eliminate the human intervention. This paper introduces a new automatic image enhancement technique driven by an evolutionary optimization process. We propose a novel objective criterion for enhancement, and attempt finding the best image according to the respective criterion. Due to the high complexity of the enhancement criterion proposed, we employ an evolutionary algorithm (EA) as a global search strategy for the best enhancement. We compared our method with other automatic enhancement techniques, like contrast stretching and histogram equalization. Results obtained, both in terms of subjective and objective evaluation, show the superiority of our method.