Lighting Focus

You have designed the most stunning lighting rig that is going to blow the audience out of their seats. You have it rigged, patched and coloured. Now all that good work can disappear out the window if you do not pay attention to the focus. I don’t just mean a basic focus, but spending time getting it just so. Knowing what the lights are capable of is also an inherently important part of the focus. If you know what the lanterns are capable of then you will be able to use then in the correct positions to get the most out of them. The focus process i so important the giving your lighting design that final touch. Don’t just pay attention to what is doing on ther person or object that the light is pointed at, pay attention to where the edge of the light is, what are the shadows doing. will the edges of the light fall in the wrong place and give rise to ugly shadows of peoples faces. Are the shutters trimmed nicely to lines in the set or edges of scenery. Can you hide the colour firnging of the dodgy profile you are using, can the filament shadow be seen? Does the overlaps between lanterns blend nicely. Don’t always look at lanterns in isolation, bring up other lanterns to see what the result looks like. It is a great idea to see what a group of lights are doing together en-masse. Get someone else to look at the focus to see if they can see anything that looks ugly.

Now if you have used the wrong light for the job you are going to find that it is going to be difficult the get the result that you want. So when designing a lighting rig be careful in the choice of equipment that you use and what you are using it for. There will be times when you don’t have a great range of equipment to use, so you will have problems. So get to know your lighting equipment.

When you thing about it there is a lot to think about when you come to focus the lighting rig. It is worthwhile to spend a reasonable amount of time in getting it right. A poorly focussed rig will work against the production.

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