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Feb 15

Focusing Lights

This week I have learned about focusing lights.

Once lights have been hung, they must be focused so they can hit the stage in the correct way. To start the lights must be turned on so the lights can be seen since you can’t focus a light where you can’t see where it is hitting. First the light must be placed so it hits in the correct location. Whether its frontlight, backlight or sidelight, the lights are designed so the lights hit a certain place to create a certain effect. If the light is off where it was supposed to hit, then the effect will not happen. So first the light is shifted or moved slightly so it is correctly placed on the beam.

The pan must also be corrected. The pan nut is a little nut on the side that rotates around. If a light needs to be rotated more or less, the pan nut is loosened and the light can rotate. Then the tilt of the light will need to be fixed. Using the nob on the side of the light the tilt can be corrected. Tilting a light down more will create a more shadows down and tilting up will make more of a shadow behind the subject.

Once the light is correctly placed, the focus must be changed. The focus of the light effects how big the light is and whether the edges of the light is blurry or sharp. Blurry light helps blend together better, and sharp edges are good for specials or follow spots on people.

The last part of focusing lights is the gels and the patterns put in the lights. Gels change the color of the lights. Colors can help set the tone or the mood for the scene or can help something stand out. Patterns can help change the shape of the light.

Once one light is focused, we must move onto the next light until every light is focuses. For some lights they must be matched so they look the same and blend together well. It is best to focus one right after the other so they can match.

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