Softening The Edge Of A Spotlight Beam,
While Keeping Intact Its Control And Intensity
“Like every designer, I use a lot of different Rosco colors and diffusers in my work . But without a doubt, if I had to choose one filter from the Rosco range, I would doubtless stick with the R132 (1/4 Hamburg Frost), a diffuser filter that is incredibly useful. There is no design that I make without using this filter.”
“When I want to control the light in a specific way I use profile (ellipsoidal) spotlights. Using the R132 filter allows me to focus the instruments sharp, which makes easier the use of shutters as well as optimize the output of the projected light”.
“As the beams of light are sharp, so easy to see, I can also focus the spotlights without needing complete darkness on stage. Once the focusing process is finished, I add the R132 filter to diffuse the beam’s outline in a subtle way, while keeping intact its control and intensity. This filter is completely compatible with the simultaneous use of any other Rosco gel because of its near 100% transmission which barely diminishes the intensity of the beam of light”.
“One of the many applications where I use ¼ Hamburg Frost is when using low side light for dance. I like to keep the light controlled away from the floor in order to, among other possibilities, color it without altering it with undesired blots or shadows. To do this, I shutter the beam of light off the floor. To avoid having the dancers’ legs look abruptly cut off by the shutter’s cut, I use the R132 to diffuse the beam just enough to soften it, but keeping all of the light above the floor. All light instruments will look the same, so the overall look will be smoother. In this way, I can maintain a stage bathed in a precious and intense blue, such as Rosco Supergel #79 (Bright blue) from the backlight, yet also keep the dancers side lit in any warm color from the wide Rosco range.“
Nicolas Fischtel (A.A.I.) studied lighting design at both the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and at Yale University’s School of Drama. He was Resident Lighting Designer and Technical Director of the Spanish National Dance Company. Since 1984, he has been Resident Lighting Designer at the Sanpol Theatre in Madrid. He has also designed for the San Francisco Ballet, Washington Ballet and many other companies around the world.
You can see more images and get ideas on how popular European designers use colour our Masters of Stage Lighting web page.