LIGHTING AND SOUND

Vector handdrawn equipment for a vlogging. Blogger man making records with smartphone and ring light

Many of us have been dragging our feet in the Zoom/Teams/WebEx world, hoping it would pass. Our clients, from physicians to CEOs, have expressed an aversion to speaking or trying to connect through a camera. (Tip. Imagine the lens is a supportive friend or colleague.) Well, as a coach on “Dancing with the Stars” once said, “Suck it up, princess.” This is our world. So, let’s get our gear and on-camera skills tuned up and professional.

Lighting: Deborah once directed the actress Angela Lansbury. Her husband Peter was on set to make sure the lighting flattered Angela. Be equally cognizant of your lighting. Ring Lights lessen shadows and evenly diffuse the light on your face, which can reduce wrinkles and blemishes, or mask a poor night’s sleep.

Even if your face is smooth as an apple, you will look better with a ring light. Although there are multiple color options; always use amber for the most flattering and warm light, regardless of your skin tone. Recommended: Best-rated Emart 10” with tripod; $26. Or a clip-on (desk or shelf) MOVO VGC-3, $26.

Sound: We are big fans of the Logitech webcam for virtual training because it carries both HD sound and video. In addition to enhancing your look and sound, the webcam is placed on top of your monitor or laptop for better framing. There are many brands, but buy one with an HDMI connector.

If you’re using your computer’s audio, never crank it up to 100% which can cause distortion. 75% is sufficient. And please, turn off all other system sounds and speakers. But the best way to eliminate background noise, children, animals and even keyboard clicks is to download the free app Krisp: www.krisp.ai. Krisp runs in the background so you don’t have to turn it on or off.

Lighting and sound are major items in every film and television budget. Today, your cost is minimal, but the results are major. Take a page from the performer’s playbook and be camera-ready.

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