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WPI Technical Theatre Handbook: Washes
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For general purposes, it is desirable to provide what are called washes of light. Washes are general, unfocused light designed to evenly light a certain area of the stage. Typically several different washes are used to give each scene a different feel. Often several instruments are used that can be used for general purpose filling of dark spots and other effects.

Obtaining a usable dim wash is a task many lighting designers face. Many novice lighting designers think that a satisfactory dim wash can be obtained with only a few instruments. The truth of the matter is that it typically takes more instruments running at lower levels to produce a usable dim wash.

Fresnels and PAR cans are most frequently used for washes. Ellipsoidal instruments may also be used if they are shot from far enough away or defocused.

Steve Richardson 2000-07-06

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