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Your eyes can’t even do this!

I’ve just gone all gooey over this article my good chum Simon Dunn pointed me to.

This is a single take ‘impossible’ shot using a 11-16mm lens moving from an extremely dark tunnel to full daylight.

Your eyes would blink and normally a camera would either white out, or suffer noise in the dark areas.

Why should this shot be impossible?

Digital cameras suffer from resolution vs light sensitivity. Higher resolution means breaking up the surface into smaller receptors – so the sensor gets less light. This gives negative film advantage because it has smoother, softer detail at high light frequency, simply because it can go on absorbing photons.

But not even negative film can handle going from dark to light like this. When you get round to editing it, either the tunnel would be too dark or outside too light. You’d have to change the exposure mid shot. Hard to do on a car bonnet.

But what RED have done is film using the same camera but with two sensors, as though the camera were on two exposures at once. Effectively it is merging two different shutter intervals – you get all the dark and light detail at once, thus giving you a huge range (or latitude) to play with. It is very very clever bit of kit.

If you are a interested, and I imagine you are, the best breakdown of the whole reason why this is so cool is here on the prolost blog.

If all this wasn’t skeptical enough consider this: it does make the light at the end of the tunnel a lot less mysterious, and that can only be a good thing.


Iszi Lawrence is an English comedian and paid doodler. Iszi helps run skeptics in the pub Oxford and performs throughout Europe. Listen to her free weekly podcast She has up to ten toes at any one time.

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