Abstract This paper presents a novel approach for the enhancement of high dynamic range color images using fuzzy logic and modified Artificial Ant Colony System techniques. Two thresholds, the lower and the upper are defined to provide an estimate of the underexposed, mixed-exposed and overexposed regions in the image. The red, green and blue (RGB) color space is converted into Hue Saturation and Value (HSV) color space so as to preserve the chromatic information. Gaussian MFs suitable for the underexposed and overexposed regions of the image are used for the fuzzification. Parametric sigmoid functions are used for enhancing the luminance components of under and over-exposed regions. Mixed-exposed regions are left untouched throughout the process. An objective function comprising of Shannon entropy function as the information factor and visual appeal indicator is optimized using Artificial Ant Colony System to ascertain the parameters needed for the enhancement of a particular image. Visual appeal is preferred over the consideration of entropy so as to make the image human-eye-friendly. Separate power law operators are used for the saturation adjustment so as to restore the lost information. On comparison, this approach is found to be better than the bacterial foraging (BF)-based approach .