I doubt there’s one single book on Digital Image Processing that does not contain this image. The Lena photo can be found on countless scientific papers. Numerous algorithms have been tested using her photo. Lena is definitely a celebrity in the Image Processing community.
But, who is the mysterious Lena after all?!? She’s Lena Söderberg (b. 1951), a Swedish model who is also known by her maiden name Lena Sjööblom / Lenna Sjööblom. She appeared in the centerfold of the November 1972 issue of the Playboy magazine. In mid-1973, engineers at the Signal & Image Processing Institute (SIPI) were searching for good test images. Someone found a copy of the November 1972 issue of the Playboy magazine, and the engineers scanned the centerfold photo of Lena. Over the past decades, the Lena image has been the de facto standard for testing Image Processing algorithms. The mysterious Lena is considered the “First Lady of the Internet”, and an “Information Age Madonna”. Apart from Mona Lisa, no image has been studied harder.
In 1988, Lena Söderberg was pleasantly amused to find out what had happened to her picture. In 1997, she was a guest at the 50th annual Conference of the Society for Imaging Science and Technology, where she was busy signing autographs, posing for pictures, and giving a presentation about herself.
- original, uncompressed image of Lena (TIFF – 768 KB)
- the full Lena centerfold photo (Warning: contains nudity)