We propose an algorithm for the detection of facial regions within input images. The characteristics of this algorithm are (1) a vast number of Gabor-type features (196,800) in various orientations, and with various frequencies and central positions, which are used as feature candidates in representing the patterns of an image, and (2) an information maximization principle, which is used to select several hundred features that are suitable for the detection of faces from among these candidates. Using only the selected features in face detection leads to reduced computational cost and is also expected to reduce generalization error. We applied the system, after training, to 42 input images with complex backgrounds (Test Set A from the Carnegie Mellon University face data set). The result was a high detection rate of 87.0%, with only six false detections. We compared the result with other published face detection algorithms.