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Driver Finds Out that Tunnels too Are Dark and Full of Terrors

The human eye has a much greater dynamic range than the optical sensor in your telephone's camera, your car's dashcam or even that DSLR you spent a few thousand dollars on.
Driver Finds Out that Tunnels too Are Dark and Full of Terrors 4 photos
Driver Finds Out that Tunnels too Are Dark and Full of TerrorsDriver Finds Out that Tunnels too Are Dark and Full of TerrorsDriver Finds Out that Tunnels too Are Dark and Full of Terrors
What that means is that your camera can't capture details on both highly lit and very dark surfaces from a single exposure. That's why it's hard to make a correct exposure on a sunny day without either burning some portions of the image or losing all details due to underexposure in others.

Our eyes, on the other hand, are much more versatile. But this versatility comes at a cost: they need a short period of time to adjust from one lighting condition to another, which is something we've all experienced at night when we switched off the lights and headed to the bedroom, only to stumble upon the cat.

However, this is very rarely an issue, and since we learn about it at a young age, it's something we can prevent and always be wary of. That might be harder to do at night when the glare from the oncoming cars can pose a problem, but people who know they have an issue with that usually try to avoid driving at night.

But it's not just at night that we need to worry about it. A bright, sunny day, especially in the winter when the scenery is covered in snow and relects even more light, can have our eyes set on the shortest exposure setting, so to speak. That means going through an underpass or a tunnel can be a bit of a gamble as it's impossible to see what's lurking in there.

The reason why I insisted on the whole dynamic range thing and the differences between artificial sensors and our own eyes can be seen in this video. At one point, the footage seems to show the back of the truck on the left lane was visible even before the driver entered the tunnel, which means he must have been able to spot it as well.

That piece of information should have rung the alarm in his head, prompting him to reduce the speed and be more cautious, but he took a leap of faith instead and charged in. Like the red eyes of a cave-dwelling monster, the brake lights of the stopped cars started to pop up, but it was too late. The crash was inevitable, and we can only hope that at least after that happened, somebody went out of the tunnel to warn any other car that might have been approaching.



 
 
 
 
 

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