Here’s another idea that I have come up with while I was reading a book on photographic exposure:
We all know that camera sensors are not capable of handling high contrast scenes. Our eyes though are very complex sensors that are capable of adjusting automatically and simultaneously even if there are extreme differences in light intensity in a single “frame”.
Here is my proposal: We use photochromic filters between the lens and the sensor.
Photochromic glass is very commonly used in prescription eye glasses. A popular brand is called Transitions. I wear them. In direct sunlight photochromic lenses turn dark and automatically return to their perfectly transparent state under the shade.
We can probably use this technology in photography. If the contrast is very high, areas of the frame that are bright are automatically darkened proportional to the intensity of light. Areas that are dark remain fully transparent.
This photochromic filter should be optional because there are times when you do want a high contrast shot such as in silhouettes. I would propose that there will be increasing levels of dymanic range control. Maybe have several layers of this thin filters that can be lowered just like mirrors in SLR cameras. I don’t know yet how to implement this.
Yes, it’s a crazy idea.