One of the key issues of face recognition is to extract the features of face images. In this paper, we propose a novel method, named two-dimensional discriminant neighborhood preserving embedding (2DDNPE), for image feature extraction and face recognition. 2DDNPE benefits from four techniques, i.e., neighborhood preserving embedding (NPE), locality preserving projection (LPP), image based projection and Fisher criterion. Firstly, NPE and LPP are two popular manifold learning techniques which can optimally preserve the local geometry structures of the original samples from different angles. Secondly, image based projection enables us to directly extract the optimal projection vectors from twodimensional image matrices rather than vectors, which avoids the small sample size problem as well as reserves useful structural information embedded in the original images. Finally, the Fisher criterion applied in 2DDNPE can boost face recognition rates by minimizing the within-class distance, while maximizing the between-class distance. To evaluate the performance of 2DDNPE, several experiments are conducted on the ORL and Yale face datasets. The results corroborate that 2DDNPE outperforms the existing 1D feature extraction methods, such as NPE, LPP, LDA and PCA across all experiments with respect to recognition rate and training time. 2DDNPE also delivers consistently promising results compared with other competing 2D methods such as 2DNPP, 2DLPP, 2DLDA and 2DPCA.