by Ryan Abner, student journalist with Minarets Press
It’s only human nature to want to look our best, but sometimes it can be difficult to look nice on video calls. Webcams aren’t exactly flattering, but why is this? Phone cameras have almost reached a professional level, and yet when we sign in for our Webex or Zoom meetings, the camera quality is still, well, not desirable. Luckily, there are actually some small tricks and changes you make to improve your webcam quality and overall call experience.
While it’s comfortable to set a laptop on your lap or a coffee table, this puts the camera at an unflattering angle. It can make a huge difference to put the laptop on a table or surface that’s as close to eye level as possible, meaning it shouldn’t be taller than you either. This allows any light in the room to hit your face better without giving you the ‘raccoon eye effect,’ and it also improves how your posture looks in the camera. Additionally, this angle features you from the chest up rather than showing a big head head filling the frame.
Though lighting sounds daunting and expensive, all you really need is a lamp or a small light near you when you’re on your web meetings. It’s all too common for people’s faces to be darkly lit, yet the background is painfully bright. The culprit? Ceiling fan lights. Not only is the lighting jittery when the fan is on, but it also lights everything but you, the subject.. The best thing to do is turn that ceiling fan light off and turn on a lamp or light source that’s in front of you rather than above. Another tip is to get a lightbulb that shines white light rather than tungsten or yellow. White light is more flattering on your skin.
Ever notice that fuzzy static-like grain on some webcams? That’s actually not a product of the camera being cheap or old. While some grain can’t be fixed, the majority of it comes from your camera being hungry for light. When your camera doesn’t have enough light hitting its censor, it has to “boost” its lighting with a setting called ISO. The more ISO, the more grain.
Fixing this can be as simple as letting more natural light through a window or having multiple lights on in the room Just take care to not undo your initial lighting efforts from the second tip.
These tips, along with avoiding cluttered or distracting backgrounds, can help you move from looking like you were caught on a security camera to looking like a true professional.
Read the original article on Minarets Press: https://minaretspress4.wixsite.com/minaretspress/post/tips-from-a-media-kid-how-to-make-your-webcam-look-better