Lighting Tips for WebCam Videos

If you have good window light in your home or office, you probably don’t need to add any extra or artificial lighting. But you should do some tests before shooting a whole bunch of videos.

This lesson shows you direct comparison between using window light and LED lighting

In this video I show you the difference in quality of the light between north facing window light and a small LED light. You will also notice there is a difference in colour. North facing windows (or South facing if you live down-under) will usually give soft light. If it’s a cloudy day, or the sun is filtered, you can use any window. For better control, try to avoid direct sunlight.

webcam lighting

More Tips

If you wear glasses: To minimize glare, make sure your glasses are not facing the light source directly. You can position your light higher than your glasses or on the sides of your face (and a bit higher up) at about 25 to 45 degrees to your face. Side lighting will give you shadows on the side of you. High up lighting, will put the shadows behind you.

If you’re using window light, put your body at an angle to the brightest window, instead of sitting directly in front of that window. That is as simple as swiveling in your chair a bit. And try to keep your head slightly down, by lowering your camera — just a bit — not too much or you’ll get a double chin.

Soften the LED light: If you “bounce” the light off a white card or reflector, it will soften the light. BUT you need a bit more space to do this in. Get some white foam core or styrofoam from a hardware store. Size should be in the range of 3 foot square (1 M) or a rectangle that is approximately 3 foot by 6 foot. You can rig up the larger piece to stand up by itself. Point the light right at the white panel and it will bounce back onto yourself.




Inexpensive Lighting Gear for webcam videos

small LED lighting

  • This is a good starter kit (pictured above) that has two LED lights and a 75″ light stand.  You don’t necessarily need the stands. You can clamp these lights to a bookshelf or even a tripod.
  • According to the description this light can be used with a DC power supply, and a rechargeable battery, which is not included.
  • And here’s the same kit with two LEDs and two stands. If you are working in really low light, and you have the space, you might want to use two lights.
  • Want a bigger LED light? Check out this one! It also requires that you purchase a separate light stand, whereas the other is a kit.

Nootle Lighting clamp

 

bookshelf lighting clamp

  • The Nootle Quick Release clamp in my video is made by Grifiti.com and available from the manufacturer or on amazon.com.
  • And this is a great little clamp for mounting your lights on a bookshelf. Great if you don’t have space for a light stand. This can also be used for your webcam!
  • I also use the Grifiti Universal Tablet mount for holding my iPad to my tripod. It works with the Nootle Quick Release clamp too. You can use this for a teleprompter set up. You just won’t have the big mirror contraption. I have a blog post about my teleprompter setup.
  • AND if you are using your cell Phone to record your videos, you might like this handy mount.

For Canadian readers: I have ordered items directly from Grifiti.com to a Canadian shipping address, and the items arrived quickly and were of really good quality. I didn’t have to pay any extra duty, taxes or brokerage fees, which is sometimes a problem for Canadians when they order from International websites.

Check out all the blog posts in this mini course:

  1. Making Connections
  2. Your Biggest Fear
  3. How to Look Younger on YouTube – without getting plastic surgery
  4. Webcam Setup and Capture tips using  Quicktime Player
  5. Lighting Tips for Webcam Videos
  6. Zoom your webcam or get close?
  7. Get better colour from your webcam

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