The intensity at a point in an image is the product of the reflectance at the corresponding object point and the intensity of illumination at that point. We are able to perceive lightness, a quantity closely correlated with reflectance. How then do we eliminate the component due to illumination from the image on our retina? The two components of image intensity differ in their spatial distribution. A method is presented here which takes advantage of this to compute lightness from image intensity in a layered, parallel fashion.