Imread is a very simple libray. It has three functions
For actually using these images for anything, checkout computer vision & image processing packages:
This grew out of frustration at current image loading solutions in Python, in either my packages [mahotas] or packages from others [scikits.image, for example].
The relationship with numpy is very contained and this could be easily repurposed to load images in other frameworks, even other programming languages.
To install on debian/ubuntu:
sudo apt-get install libpng12-dev libtiff4-dev libwebp-dev
To install on Mac:
sudo port install libpng tiff webp