How I Brightened My Skype Video Calls

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These pictures have not been altered – they are photos taken directly from the screen.

Now that we have a Stay-at-Home order, some of us may may need to have a video call at some point. The big question I had was how to make it look good? How do I brighten Skype video call? I have never had a video call before and when I was asked to do a Stay-at-Home Birthday Party segment for WBAL, I knew that there was no way it would look as good as it does at the TV studio.  I have a very visual segment so it was important to me that my designs were visible and the colors were vibrant.

Since my segment was early in the morning and my studio is in the basement, natural light was not an option. I have two photography lights set up and a ring light. I record my YouTube videos in the same space so I thought it would be perfect. The room was illuminated beautifully, my crafts were displayed and I was ready to go. I thought it was going to be perfect. I was so wrong. To me it looked terrible.

Skype Too Dark

It was so dark and not colorful at all. When I got a request for two more TV segments the following week, I was determined to solve my problem. The first was stuck at home crafts at FOX 5 DC and the second was how to make no-sew masks at WBAL.

First I had to come to terms that a built-in computer webcam is definitely not as good as a smart phone or a DSLR camera. After a lot of trial and error, troubleshooting and research, this was my result. Although it is not perfect, it was much better than it was before. I am a little washed out but it is much better than my first attempt when it was too dark.

Skype Much Brighter

Then I started tested camera location. I realized that if the camera was eye level, or slightly above, it looked better so I put the computer on a box. When it was below eye level, it cast shadows under my face. I also centered myself in the screen. I also put a white board on the table where I sat so it would brighten up my face.

I played around with the Skype settings. I raised the Brightness and Gain.  When you are in Skype click Settings, Audio Video, Webcam Settings and this window will appear. Adjust the properties until you are happy. If you don’t like them, you can always go back to the default settings.

That was it! I still need to make more adjustments, but it was much better. I would love any suggestions for a better Skype video call.


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