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We propose a new approach for image segmentation that is based on low-level features for color and texture. It is aimed at segmentation of natural scenes, in which the color and texture of each segment does not typically exhibit uniform statistical characteristics. The proposed approach combines knowledge of human perception with an understanding of signal characteristics in order to segment natural scenes into perceptually/semantically uniform regions. The proposed approach is based on two types of spatially adaptive low-level features. The first describes the local color composition in terms of spatially adaptive dominant colors, and the second describes the spatial characteristics of the grayscale component of the texture. Together, they provide a simple and effective characterization of texture that the proposed algorithm uses to obtain robust and, at the same time, accurate and precise segmentations. The resulting segmentations convey semantic information that can be used for content-based retrieval. The performance of the proposed algorithms is demonstrated in the domain of photographic images, including low-resolution, degraded, and compressed images.