Skip to main content

Distance Learning | School of Professional Studies | Northwestern University

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.

Additional Resources

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