Sunday, September 2, 2012

Sun Glare While Driving - Photo Examples

Photographic examples of the effects of 
sun glare while driving.

Material re-printed from our web site at 
(all photos taken by Ralph Bouwmeester)

  •  These samples were taken with sun altitudes between 2 and 7 degrees. 
  •   In these photos, the camera automatically reduced the intensity of the sun's glare.  Actual intensities were much greater, to the point of causing eye watering.
  •    Note how difficult it is to see into the shadows (Figs 1 and 2).
  •    Note how quickly visibility can deteriorate (Fig 2).
  •    Note how road grade can change the effective height of the sun (Fig 3).
  •    Note what can NOT be seen when the sun is close to one's line of sight (Fig 4).

    FIG 1 - Bright sun / Dark shadows
    (Sun at about 7 degrees above horizon)

    Note darkness of shadows.  

    FIG 2 - Sudden change in visibility conditions
    (Sun at about 6.5 degrees above horizon)

    Note darkness of shadows.  School on left, crosswalk ahead, 
    and intersecting street on right.  
    Note how relatively good visibility can deteriorate in a matter of seconds 
    (4 seconds between photos in this example).

    FIG 3 - Sun appears lower due to climbing road grade
    (Sun at 3.5 degree altitude (apparent height is less))

    Note how apparent height of sun is reduced by climbing road grade.

    FIG 4 - Sun glare obscures important objects
    (Sun at about 2 degrees above horizon)

    Note what is NOT visible in this photo... approaching ambulance turning left....

    ...and a Stop Sign!!

    Cheers, Ralph

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