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How-to Guide: Lighting for Video


When recording a webcam video for your online course, it is important to practice good lighting techniques to produce the highest quality video possible. By the end of this guide you should be able to identify properly lit spaces to work in, or modify a space to properly light your video. If you need assistance modifying your lighting to record a video, contact the instructional technologist that you are working with during your course development process.


Find A Recording Space

One key concept to keep in mind when recording with your webcam is to try to find an evenly lit space and to keep your camera at eye level. This will prevent your video image from being too dark or too bright and ensure your facial expressions are visible to viewers. Recording with a light in front of you but behind the camera is one setup that tends to work well.

Adjust and Modify Light Sources

Observe how the illuminated objects look, paying attention to shadows (dark areas) and highlights (bright areas). If something in your video is distracting to you, it will likely be distracting to viewers. Add or remove light to correct for underexposed (too dark) or overexposed (too bright) images.

Learn More

Each of the links below demonstrates some additional helpful techniques for webcam video lighting.

You can login to this Lynda.com tutorial Creating a basic lighting setup in a home or office with your Northwestern NetID to learn how to adjust your recording environment. Lynda.com has a variety of web video tutorials that may suit your needs.

This video from Techsmith is a great example of how to adjust your recording settings to create great looking videos.

This video from Wistia shows some advanced techniques for webcam lighting.

This Skype article gives technique suggestions for using available light sources you might already have access to.

This article from Articulate has suggestions for do­-it­-yourself projects to improve webcam lighting conditions.

This Podcaster Studio article includes techniques and products for advanced users.