->''"Well, I hope you like the color blue 'cause this movie sure does."''
-->-- '''WebVideo/{{Phelous}}''', ''Pulse (2006)'' [[https://youtu.be/5uQulL0bFDo?t=178 review]]

[[quoteright:350:[[Film/VickyCristinaBarcelona http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/vicky.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[-Creator/ScarlettJohansson looking a lovely shade of orange.-]]]

This trope applies to films, TV-series, video clips and graphics.

The director/director of photography/production designer thought it would be a good idea to do something fancy to the colors. This could be saturating the colors so everything looks more vivid than normal. More often than not, [[OrangeBlueContrast this means making skin appear orange-y and everything else teal]]. Another example would be shifting the entire color palette - making (almost) everything appear a certain color. Color wash is usually done in post-production on "naturally" shot footage but some directors use physical filters on the camera either as a stylistic choice or due to technical constraints of a particular shot.

Compare with tropes such as RealIsBrown, UnnaturallyBlueLighting and DeliberatelyMonochrome. The difference between those tropes and Color Wash is that (a) the film uses both or (b) uses another type of visual trick entirely, such as cranking up the saturation of the colors.

See also MoodLighting, [[PostProcessingVideoEffects Post Processing]], and ColorContrast. Often used to signal a {{flashback|Effects}}. OrangeBlueContrast is a common result.

Using lots of Color Wash can sometimes create a grating visual, but it can also be used to highlight important details or comment on a character's state of mind. Like any trope, [[TropesAreTools it depends on execution]].



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In the Toei first series anime of ''[[Anime/YuGiOhFirstAnimeSeries Yu-Gi-Oh!]]'', the palette seems to be made up entirely of super-saturated neons that do not go together.
* The infamously confusing anime ''Bounty Dog'' takes place on the moon, and everything is colored a shade of sickening yellow.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* This was a common criticism of the art in Creator/FrankMiller's ''ComicBook/BatmanTheDarkKnightReturns''.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* ''Disney/BrotherBear'' uses an orange wash to emphasize the setting of Native American Alaska.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/TheRing'' series is almost entirely bathed in green to give it is a [[SicklyGreenGlow sickly, ominous feeling.]]
* Creator/JamesCameron always uses a strong blue tint when scenes are supposed to be set at night. It allows the scene to be strongly lit so that the audience can see everything, but give the indication of darkness.
* The first film of ''[[Film/{{Twilight}} The Twilight Saga]]'': Because Forks is a dreary, rainy town, the director decided to desaturate the colors to bring this across. The point is that the colors are also very desaturated when Bella is in another place, such as California, meaning that (a) the director's explanation [[FridgeLogic does not make sense]] and (b) the whole movie looks bland and boring.
** Done again in the sequel, where everything seems washed with gold.
* Among the many, many reasons that the ''Film/BattlefieldEarth'' movie was awful was the blue filter over many of the shots. The movie also enjoys combining green and purple, using the same logic as movies that use orange and teal - the colors contrast, and putting them together causes them to "pop".
* In ''Franchise/TheMatrix'', the scenes in the normal world are tinted a cold blue; the scenes set in the Matrix itself are tinted a digital green, like an old monochrome computer screen. In fact, the green tint becomes more and more prominent as Smith takes over the Matrix. [[spoiler:The final scene, after Smith is defeated and the Matrix freed, [[RuleOfSymbolism is completely devoid of this tint]]]].
* ''Film/SpyGame'' uses different filters for each flashback segment. Vietnam is orange as hell, Berlin is kind of a cool blue, and Beirut is sort of a sandy yellow. This serves to easily delineate between the flashbacks and the central hub of the story.
* Creator/PeterJackson's ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'' uses digital colour grading, which becomes blatantly obvious at times. It's especially noticeable in day-for-night scenes, like with Merry and Pippin in Fangorn. There's even a scene in ''Return of the King'' where Pippin is searching for Merry, that appears as a daylight scene in the theatrical version but was regraded to night for the extended version. An interesting example occurs with several shots used more than once (Green Dragon Inn exterior, Boromir's last stand, a certain close-up of Elrond) in different movies: frame-by-frame comparison shows exactly the same imagery with drastically different colors.
* ''Film/OBrotherWhereArtThou'' plays with this a lot; they messed with the hue and saturation until everything was an intensely colorful brown, imitating the look of old-timey photos. [[UrExample Also, the first feature film to be entirely digital color corrected]].
** This was also done because dying yellow crops look better in a Depression-era film, whereas most of the greenery was verdant as Hawaii during filming.
* ''Film/VickyCristinaBarcelona'', source of our page image, is very golden-yellowy looking. Creator/WoodyAllen [[SignatureStyle likes warm colors]].
* The movie version of ''LightNovel/KamikazeGirls'' is really, really yellow.
* In ''Film/TheThirteenthFloor'', one character comments on how the colors are off [[InsideAComputerSystem in the computer simulation]].
* Used far too much in the made-for-TV film ''Jason and the Golden Fleece'', with desaturated colours and hard light.
* ''Film/{{Avalon}}'' has a ''very'' amber filter, to the point of monochrome [[spoiler:until the end, when it's removed to suggest that the main character is now in "the real world."]]
* The Moroder version of ''Film/{{Metropolis}}'' used color washes over the whole screen -- blue for scenes in the underground Worker's City, reddish tones for surface scenes, though there were some variations.
* The original ''Franchise/StarWars'' trilogy has a fairly consistent dark blue wash (very noticeable in scenes set on mostly-grey spaceships) in the DVD version that wasn't in any earlier version (compare the bonus disc, which has the original theatrical version without the blue wash).
* In the film adaptation of ''Theatre/SouthPacific'', everything appears heavily yellow because the film was filtered through a yellow sheet of cellophane in postproduction. This was overkill of what they wanted, which was to make the film "more yellow", and they hadn't actually intended it to ''be all'' yellow. They released it anyway.
* Creator/DavidFincher is a big fan of brown.
** A big part of this is his use of natural light, rather than artificial lighting. Creator/StanleyKubrick did this a lot on his later work (most prominently, ''Film/EyesWideShut'').
* In ''Film/TheBookOfEli'' the entire world is brownish, as though it's being seen through the sunglasses everyone's wearing.
* ''Film/SavingPrivateRyan'' looks fairly washed out due to cinematographer Creator/JanuszKaminski playing with the shutter speed of the cameras. This also made the images appear sharper and shakier, making it look more like documentary footage than a $70 million Hollywood production.
** Director David O Russell used a similar technique while filming ''Film/ThreeKings''. Except he went for a more high contrast/bleached look in an effort to try and reproduce "the odd color of the newspaper images of the Gulf War".
** Creator/StevenSpielberg and Kaminski have done this at least twice now - ''Film/MinorityReport'' has an icy hue to it, accomplished in the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bleach_bypass film processing stages]] of post-production.
* ''Film/ClerksII'', except for the [[BigLippedAlligatorMoment dance scene]].
** The film was originally intended to shot in black and white like the first one but producer Harvey Weinstein wanted the film open wide so director Creator/KevinSmith chose to desaturate the colors instead.
* In ''Film/IAmSam'', a blue filter is used in certain scenes, portraying bad times for Sam, like in court or in the hospital.
* The ''Film/HarryPotter'' films, the first installment is full of vivid colours, with plenty of warm reds and gold. Each of the films thereafter gets more and more desaturated until ''[[Film/HarryPotterAndTheDeathlyHallows Deathly Hallows]]'' is practically in B&W.
* ''Film/{{Ghostbusters 1984}}'' used a purple wash to give the film an eerie, paranormal feel.
* The theatre release of ''Film/{{Payback}}'' has a stark blue filter applied throughout the whole movie. The Director's Cut however doesn't have this (and changes the whole last third of the plot).
* ''Film/TheWrongGuy'' uses a bland mix of grey and blue-green in the early "corporate" scenes. After the boss is murdered and Nelson discovers his corpse, color begins to seep in, starting with the red blood. By the time Nelson meets Lynn, the palette is brighter and a broader spectrum.
* ''Film/TheRaid'' is very blue.
* For some reason the HollywoodDarkness in the ActionPrologue of ''Film/OnHerMajestysSecretService'' wasn't considered dark enough and it suddenly was given a dark blue color wash in the Ultimate edition DVD.
* ''Film/{{Kontroll}}'' is set in the Budapest Metro (underground railway), and most scenes have a green/yellow cast. When we see these scenes being filmed in the "making of" feature, they all have natural colour, and are brighter.
* ''Film/ManOfSteel'' has a dark bluish tint when Clark is out in the world, while Smallville scenes use yellowish lighting instead.
* Some of Creator/StevenSoderbergh's films:
** Many scenes in ''Film/SideEffects'' are tinted warm yellow, especially in the first half of the film.
** ''Film/{{Contagion}}'' varies from scene to scene, with green, yellow and blue being popular choices.
** ''Film/{{Traffic}}'' has different filters for different locales. In particular, Mexico was always awash in orange-yellow. The US had a blue filter.
** All the outdoor scenes in ''Film/MagicMike'' are really orange, really emphasizing the Florida setting and more sharply contrasting the nightclub scenes, which were all dark and neon-soaked.
* The color and lighting in the '70s scenes of ''Film/XMenDaysOfFuturePast'' deliberately invokes the feel of 40-year old movies.
* The 1960s film, ''Reflections in a Golden Eye'', directed by Creator/JohnHuston and starring Creator/MarlonBrando and Creator/ElizabethTaylor, was originally color tinted with a golden color. However, there were so many complaints from audiences that the film was pulled from distribution to reprocess the color back into a conventional pallet for rerelease.
* ''Yu Ming Is Ainm Dom'' uses a sickly yellow tint for the scenes set in China, and washed-out colours for the part in Dublin. The final scene, in a Gaeltacht, has no filters, making the colours seem bright, vibrant, and full of life.
* The film adaptation of ''Literature/DoloresClaiborne'' jumps back and forth between blue filters for the present day and orange filters for 20 years earlier.
* ''Film/{{Fury 2014}}'', set in Germany in April 1945, has a cold blue/grey tint.
* The director of the film of ''Theatre/FiddlerOnTheRoof'' wanted the film shot in earthy tones, and the director of photography noticed a woman wearing nylons in the exact shade of brown he wanted, so he asked for them right then and there. The film was shot with the nylon over the lens, and the weave of it can even be seen in parts of the film.
* The ''Film/{{Underworld}}'' franchise is almost entirely colored in shades of black, white and blue.
* ''Film/TheDayTheEarthCaughtFire:'' The opening and closing scenes are in yellow-tinted monochrome, the rest of the film is in standard black and white. The tinted scenes are in the story present, the untinted scenes are a long flashback leading up to the present.
* ''Film/{{Morgan}}:'' Most scenes have a cold [=grey/blue/green/overcast=] colour palette, with flashbacks in sunny natural colour.
* ''Film/NocturnalAnimals:'' Scenes in the present day tend to be cold and desaturated, flashbacks are natural, and the film within the film is more saturated and harshly lit.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/CSIMiami'': Because this spin-off is set in Miami, everything is drenched in orange. Whenever someone is walking outside in daylight, the ''sky'' is a vivid orange too.
** Related, ''Series/{{CSINY}}'' uses UnnaturallyBlueLighting (and the crossover with Miami has Horatio Caine bringing his orange light...).
** [[RuleOfThree Not to mention]], ''Series/{{CSI}}'' had a green tint.
*** Not so much. In earlier seasons, scenes set in daylight had a noticeable BlueOrangeContrast, while those taken indoors or at night had a more feasible blue tint.
* On ''Series/{{Skins}}'', scenes that take place outdoors have very saturated colours. This is often seen as very good cinematography.
* ''Series/{{Life on Mars|2006}}'' did this. The entire show was made to look older (took place in the 1970s) by washing everything with yellow during the coma/ whatchamacallit (and that lasted the entire show). The 2006 scenes were, in comparison, almost drained.
* ''Series/ColdCase'' uses this a lot. Scenes that take place in the present have only a slight blue tinge, or no color wash at all; those in the past, however, have a color wash that 'fits' the time. For instance, scenes in the 1970s have vivid, warm colours to contrast with the present.
* ''{{Series/Battlestar Galactica|2003}}'': scenes on lifeless planets tend to be very washed out. But the scenes on Kobol had implausibly vivid green foliage.
* ''Series/CharlieJade'' had a different colour wash depending on which dimension you were currently watching. Alpha was green, Beta was Blue and Gamma was red.
* ''Series/{{Jekyll}}'' plays with this to wonderful effect. When Tom Jackman is awake, colors are subdued by means of a subtle blue filter, while vivid colors mark Hyde being awake.
* Similar to ''Film/{{Traffic}}'', from season 2 onwards ''Series/BreakingBad'' would frequently visit orange-yellow-tint Mexico.
* In ''Series/{{House}}'', earlier episodes had an almost orange look to them, fading out to a very slight greenish tint for the rest of the series.
* ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' often filmed their New York settings in a blue or green light, while Texas, California and other outdoors settings in the show had a yellow or orange light.
* In ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'', the episode "My Way Home" features heavy colour saturation as a homage to ''Film/TheWizardOfOz''.
* The entirety of ''Series/{{Utopia}}'' is shot in vividly over-saturated colours.
* ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' consistently uses this for a relatively inexpensive method of giving their BBCQuarry planets an AlienSky and otherworldly atmosphere (and to distinguish them from the very similar quarries they visit all the time on Earth). The moon is blue, a volcanic planet is red, the post-nuclear RobotWar wasteland is yellow, etc.
* Like in the movie, ''Series/{{Limitless}} shows the perspective of NZT users in orange and yellow, while reality is more dull and blue.
* ''Series/TheDefenders2017'' has a habit of using color wash to reflect the thematic colors of its main protagonists: red for [[Series/Daredevil2015 Matt Murdock]], yellow for Series/LukeCage2016, green for [[Series/IronFist2017 Danny Rand]], and blue for Series/JessicaJones2015. This is especially predominant in the first episode, when the heroes are all running their own thing, and gradually the colors start to blend together as the heroes begin teaming up.

* The video for {{Music/Devo}}'s "Girl U Want" is ''very'' purple-and-green, to the point that there almost aren't any other colors. Even skin is mostly purple.
* Animated band Music/{{Savlonic}} exists in a world dominated by shades of red.
* In the [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d_8wYwvlmBE lyric video]] and full video for Music/PoetsOfTheFall's "[[https://youtu.be/xfvtPTvuFTA Drama for Life]]" colors shift between heavy washes of deep blue, purple and red.

* It's not uncommon for a Lighting Designer to implement one or two dominant colours in a play.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Singularity}}'' is overly fond of [[OrangeBlueContrast lighting everything with the color orange. Anything that isn't orange tends to be blue.]]
* ''VideoGame/VagrantStory'', like ''Singularity'', is fond of a yellowish-brown color for absolutely everything with occasional blue-lit areas (usually in the Undercity).
* ''VideoGame/BattlefieldThree'' is the bluest game in the history of gaming. [[HollywoodDarkness Even the night maps are blue and not black]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Prototype}}'' is one of the reddest games ever made; red menus, red monsters, red zombies, red pulsing hives and building, and red skies.
* The third ''{{VideoGame/Resistance}}'' does this (with a different color every stage), as a compromise between the RealIsBrown of the first game, and the brighter, more naturalistic colors of the second.
* ''VideoGame/DeusEx'' has a color scheme where the primary color on the palette to denote high technology is blue.
** ''VideoGame/DeusExHumanRevolution'' also has this, but yellow.
** Parodied in WebVideo/BroTeamPill's sponsored Gunnar Optiks video. When he's wearing them, the game on his screen is ''Deus Ex'', but tinted yellow. When he takes them off, it's vanilla ''Deus Ex Human Revolution''.
--->This isn't the right Deus... Shouldn't it be the other one?
* ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'''s Shadow Moses and a good deal of ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty'' are green-blue.
* In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess'', the Twilight Realm was initially designed as [[DeliberatelyMonochrome grayscale]] with some splashes of color. However, the design later changed to an incredibly hyper-saturated color scheme, with gold, brown, and magenta being the most prominent colors. Most have praised the new design, citing it as more original and evocative of a creepy, alien twilight world.
** Used to a lesser extent with normal-Hyrule, which had a faint yellowish tint to most things.
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' uses different color grading in different areas. The difference is sometimes very noticeable--for instance, Ghostlands looks very different when you're looking in from Zul'Aman than when you're inside and the darker color grade takes hold. It's sometimes so strong (particular with red colored areas like Durotar) that it takes a while for eyes to readjust to another color when changing zones.
* Used in ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoSanAndreas'' for an accentuated atmospheric sense. Since San Andreas was a really huge state, with contrasting environments, there's a Color Wash scheme that differs from place to place. [[UsefulNotes/LosAngeles Los Santos]] was orange-ish with heat hazes. [[UsefulNotes/SanFrancisco San Fierro]] had a [[UnnaturallyBlueLighting unnaturally teal lighting]] to convey a mild-to-cold atmosphere. [[VivaLasVegas Las Venturas]] went for a less blatant color scheme, but still conveying a hot weather with a dash of yellow. The countrysides had a pastel green/brown tint to them, and the deserts took it further with bright white/yellow skies that turned purple at night. All of this was much more pronounced in the [=PS2=] version, later versions like the PC one toned it down for a more sober less in-your-face look.
* Done to the second and third games of the ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIV'' trilogy, ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIVTheLostAndDamned'' and ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIVTheBalladOfGayTony'', respectively. ''Lost and Damned'', being DarkerAndEdgier, subtly shifts to desaturated, grimy tones, while the ''Ballad of Gay Tony'' is LighterAndSofter, preferring brighter, neon hues.
* The NES games on the Wii's UsefulNotes/VirtualConsole has a filter that not only darkens the screen, but it also darkens the colors. This was supposed to emulate how NES games would look on a TV set from the 1980s, but it makes the games look like someone put a gray film over the screen. Ports of the NES games plus emulators don't use this feature, which makes the games look brighter and more colorful by comparison.
* ''VideoGame/SuperMarioGalaxy'' uses colour tints on the cosmic comet missions. Red for the speed run missions, Yellow for the Fast Foe missions, Blue for the cosmic clone missions, white for the daredevil missions, and purple for the purple coin missions. The effect is subtle, but it's there.
* Almost everywhere in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'' has a [[Main/SicklyGreenGlow strong green tint]] (save for [[spoiler: the Tranquillity Lane simulation]], which is [[DeliberatelyMonochrome sepia-toned]]). If you remove the tint with a visual overhaul mod, you will see that a lot of textures had their saturation reduced to exaggerate the effect, making the Capital Wasteland look quite grey without it.
** The areas added by some of the DLC packs have their own color palettes. The industrial setting of ''The Pitt'' has a red-brown wash, whereas Alaska in ''Operation Anchorage'' is tinted a wintry blue. ''Point Lookout'' cranks the wash of the main game UpToEleven, and adds a thick green haze, likely to hide the lack of detail outside of the playable parts of the map.
* ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' has an orange-brown tint, in keeping with its desert and Western themes. It's arguably not as obvious as ''Fallout 3'''s green tint though, since the Mojave is, like most deserts, pretty brown to begin with.
** Some areas shift to a different tint when you enter them. For example, the recently nuked Camp Searchlight is ''very'' [[SicklyGreenGlow green]], and [[MeaningfulName Camp Forlorn Hope]] is a drab sepia, in keeping with its occupants' [[LosingTheTeamSpirit low morale]]. This sepia filter is seen in a few other places around the Colorado River, like the Deathclaw Promontory.
** The Sierra Madre resort in the ''Dead Money'' DLC uses a strong reddish-brown filter, which makes a lot of the outdoor scenery look either orange or purple.
** The ''Lonesome Road'' DLC's colour palette is like that of the main game, but cranked UpToEleven. The exceptions are the three nuclear blast sites (the Courier's Mile, and the two [[UnlockableContent optional]] [[PostEndGameContent post-endgame]] areas, Long 15 and Dry Wells), which have the same wash as Camp Searchlight.
* Creator/{{Bethesda}} deliberately averted this with ''VideoGame/Fallout4'' for the most part, likely due to the popularity of de-tinting mods for the previous two games. However, a sickly greenish-yellow wash was added to some heavily irradiated areas like the Glowing Sea, and during radiation storms. According to WordOfGod, this was done as a deliberate aesthetic CallBack to ''Fallout 3''.
** In addition to sharing a few plot elements, the ''Far Harbour'' DLC's setting has a very similar aesthetic to that of ''Point Lookout''. The exception to this is The Nucleus, which has the same colouration as the Glowing Sea in the base game.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIV'' has a slight gray tint that dulls out the colors of the whole game.
* ''VideoGame/RedFactionGuerrilla'' does this in a different color for each portion of Mars: Parker is slightly brownish red, Dust is vaguely blue-ish, Badlands is yellow, Oasis is green, the Free Fire Sector is grey and Eos is white.
* UsefulNotes/GameBoy games that were compatible with the UsefulNotes/SuperGameBoy tended to feature this due to the fact that the Game Boy could only display objects in 4 shades of gray, with the games being programmed to reflect this; while certain static areas of the screen could be given individual color palettes, mobile areas of play (such as stage backgrounds and characters) all used single, unified palettes, sometimes changing these palettes from stage to stage. Two notable examples of this were ''VideoGame/KirbysDreamLand2'' and ''VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue'', which used a different "tint" for the game depending on what world/area the player was in (a trait which was also present in the world selection map in ''[=KDL2=]''; hovering to a different world immediately changed the game's tint). Games that weren't compatible with the SGB could also use color washing thanks to the various palettes the player could create and/or choose from, with certain titles having default palettes pre-coded into the SGB's hardware. For example, ''VideoGame/{{Alleyway}}'' used a primarily lavender & yellow palette, ''VideoGame/KirbysDreamLand'' used a reddish-pink palette, and ''VideoGame/MetroidIIReturnOfSamus'' used a near-psychedelic red, green, and yellow palette.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''Webcomic/CucumberQuest'', [[http://cucumber.gigidigi.com/archive/page-197/ by the water scene, in blues.]]
* In ''Webcomic/FarOut'', the color palette is all tinted toward ruddy orange.
* This technique is used in the webcomic ''[[WebOriginal/{{KeitAi}} Keit-Ai]]'' in order to [[http://www.webtoons.com/en/challenge/keit-ai/list?title_no=36825 differentiate]] the two universes involved (the boy's universe is tinted blue and the girl's universe is tinted brown).
* Played with in an arc of ''Webcomic/NoNeedForBushido''. Scenes seen through the eyes of Yori (who at that point is under the effect of a powerful hallucinogenic drug), have duller colors and a sap tint, as opposed to the usually vivid visuals of the rest of the battle.
* A frequent technique used by [[http://tamberella.deviantart.com/gallery/ TamberElla]], often to set up a [[MoodLighting specific mood]]. This is taken to the extreme in their webcomic [[http://tamberella.deviantart.com/gallery/32753874?offset=0 Ink]] which is set in a world made of stain glass.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* If one person were to accurately see through another's eyes, this is what you could get, as everyone has their own balance of cones, which lights the world in a certain way. I.E. One person's blue looks slightly different than another's.
* The particles in the air during a red sandstorm can make everything appear, well - red.
* Volcanic ash can make the moon appear blue. This is why some people say that volcanic eruptions occur once in a blue moon.
* Differing weather and atmospheric conditions within an area in general can naturally create these. The added moisture of a good rain shower or a particularly humid day can enhance the light of the sunset to cover an entire city in golden orange or red while snow (fresh snow in particular) is so reflective that it'll oftentimes bathe the immediate area in whatever color the strongest ambient light source is at night.