The conventional method of studying mass transport in membranes by spot photobleaching and then following the recovery of fluorescence has disadvantages. Among them, the need for a high density of fluorescent molecules, the measurement of the beam profile, and a knowledge of the photobleaching processes are of a crucial importance. The application of a planar fringe pattern of light both for the bleaching and the monitoring of the fluorescent molecules solves these three major difficulties. Brownian diffusion coefficients and flow velocities can be measured independently and are averaged over the whole fringe pattern volume. These transport coefficients are explored over the wide range of experimentally accessible distances (from an interfringe spacing 0.5-50 micron). The quantification of the mobile and immobile components is further simplified by scanning the fringe pattern and detecting only a modulated fluorescence recovery signal. The fringe pattern photobleaching method is particularly adapted to the measurements of diffusion coefficients and flow velocity of membrane components, as well as of cytoplasmic proteins. The theoretical results and the test experiments with fluorescent bovine serum albumin are described.