In this paper we propose a novel face detection approach. In general, lighting in images can have negative impact on the performance of face detection systems. Many current face detection systems are only reliable under controlled condition such as indoors under stable lighting conditions. So there is need to devise a solution to overcome illumination problems faced by face detection system. As one of the solution proposed approach firstly adopts a 'reference white' to realize light compensation; Then it realizes the detection of candidate face region using Ycbcr skin color model. The third, paper uses well known opening and closing morphological operations to exclude the impact of noise on color segmentation. Last Adaboost algorithm is improved and used to accurate face detection. The system uses java to achieve and is verified in self designed photo library, and is particularly suitable for illumination variations and complex background. © 2012 IEEE.