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How to upgrade your at-home videoconference setup: Lighting edition

In this instalment of our ongoing series around making the most of your at-home video setup, were going to focus on one of the most important, but least well understood or implemented parts of the equation: Lighting. While it isnt actually something that requires a lot of training, expertise or even equipment to get right, its probably the number one culprit for subpar video quality on most conference calls and it can mean the difference between looking like someone who knows what they talk about, and someone who might not inspire too much confidence on seminars, speaking gigs and remote broadcast appearances.

Basics


You can make a very big improvement in your lighting with just a little work, and without spending any money. The secret is all in being aware of your surroundings and optimizing your camera placement relative to any light sources that might be present. Consider not only any ceiling lights or lamps in your room, but also natural light sources like windows.
Ideally, you should position yourself so that the source of brightest light is positioned behind your camera (and above it, if possible). You should also make sure that there arent any strong competing light sources behind you that might blow out the image. If you have a large window and its daytime, face the window with your back to a wall, for instance. And if you have a moveable light or a overhead lamp, either move it so its behind and above your computer facing you, or move yourself if possible to achieve the same effect with a fixed position light fixture, like a ceiling pendant.
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