A method for contrast enhancement is proposed. The algorithm is based on a local and image-dependent exponential correction. The technique aims to correct images that simultaneously present overexposed and underexposed regions. To prevent halo artifacts, the bilateral filter is used as the mask of the exponential correction. Depending on the characteristics of the image (piloted by histogram analysis), an automated parameter-tuning step is introduced, followed by stretching, clipping, and saturation preserving treatments. Comparisons with other contrast enhancement techniques are presented. The Mean Opinion Score (MOS) experiment on grayscale images gives the greatest preference score for our algorithm.