An electro-optical system and method are disclosed for modulating the intensity of light rays propagating towards an optical element, such as an eye, a lens or aperture stop in a camera station, a camera station in a machine vision system, or other image detection device. The electro-optical system comprises an electro-optical element having a optically transparent surface having electrically addressable pixels. Each pixel has a light transmittance which is controllable by a controller that is operably associated with a computer system. An image acquisition device, such as a camera station, acquires an image of a spatial scene within the field of view of the optical element. The computer system processes the image to determine which pixels are to be addressed and actively driven in order to modulate (i.e. decrease) the intensity of incident light rays propagating through the determined pixels, towards the optical element. Illustrated uses for the present invention include glare and spatial noise reduction in the automotive, navigational, robotic and recreational arts.