Improve your video calls quick tip #2

Did you know that the lighting of your face when making a video call can be dependent on the colour of your shirt/blouse?

When you run an online training session, you can quickly see who has taken time to think about where the light is coming from. Ideally, you want light falling ‘into’ your face from the front/side – such as from a window, lamp or even your computer screen (if it’s big enough). If you rely on top light, you’ll end up with some very unflattering shadows – and hopefully it goes without saying that the light, usually a window, should never be behind you as your face will be just a shadow of its former self..

So what’s all this about the colour of your clothing? Your webcam automatically balances the exposure of the overall image. This means that if there are dark areas, such as your shirt, it will increase the overall exposure of the image to try to compensate. The more dark areas, the more compensation. In turn, this means any lighter areas in the image start to be over exposed, or ‘blown out’. I see this all the time: foreheads, noses, cheek bones – all with either no skin tone, or just bright white.

So why not spend a few minutes practising with your chosen video conferencing software and see how to balance natural light, electric lighting and the colour of your clothes. This all makes for a better experience for everyone.


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