It is getting to the point where I’ve feel like I’ve done video-conferencing with more people in the last week than in the rest of my life. Probably not strictly true but I have certainly already exceeded my yearly average. One of my reflections is what a difference lighting makes.
I’ve just taken a couple of self portrait shots with PhotoBooth on my Mac. They aren’t brilliant photos but they show a couple of typical lighting set ups for video conferencing.
In the top one, I’ve got a directional light on the desk in front of me. It is pointed it at the light-coloured wall to one side of me so you get a balance of direct and reflected light. The detail isn’t perfectly crisp but, as a talking head in a video conference, this is a suitably clear result.
Underneath, I have illustrated the kind of thing that quite often happens in video conferences. I turned off the desk lamp and put the main light on. It is a fairly dim, energy saving bulb – probably not much less bright than the energy saving one in the lamp but much further away. It is also to my side – a little light reflects off the wall, so you can see the other side of my face, but there is little light at the front and my eyes become expressionless pits.
If you are doing a lot more online meetings at the moment and your video feed is more like my second example, consider positioning some sort of portable lamp closer and more in front of you and see what difference it makes.