The Art of Virtual Performance Lighting: Do's and Don'ts

Performance Tips

Hey there, fellow online comedians! Today we’re sharing tips to help you nail the perfect lighting setup for your virtual performances. Whether you're a newbie or a veteran comic, proper lighting can make or break your online presence. So, let's dive into the do's and don'ts of online performance lighting to ensure you shine bright every time you hit that Plauzzable stage!




1. Prioritize Natural Light:

  Whenever possible, make use of natural light. Position yourself facing a window or a natural light source. Natural light provides a soft and flattering illumination that's easy on the eyes and adds a professional touch to your performance.  


2. Use Multiple Light Sources:

  Incorporate a combination of light sources to avoid harsh shadows and create a balanced lighting setup. Consider using a ring light  as a main light source, a simple table lamp as a secondary light to soften shadows, and another simple table lamp as a backlight to separate you from the background. 


3. Invest in Adjustable Lighting Equipment:

  Opt for adjustable LED lights with variable color temperature and intensity settings. This allows you to match the lighting to your environment and create the desired mood for your performance. Since your natural lighting from the window will diminish at night, opt for lamps that have multiple settings and a ring light with a dimmer switch.


4. Control Your Background Lighting:

  Ensure that your background isn't overly bright or distracting. Use backlighting or accent lights to highlight the background elements without stealing the show from you. More importantly, if your back lighting is too bright, it will cast creepy shadows onto your face. Remember how you look when you hold a flashlight underneath your chin? Yikes!


5. Experiment with Lighting Angles:  

  Test different lighting angles to find the most flattering one for your face and setup. Generally, a slightly angled light source (about 45 degrees) positioned slightly above your eye level works well to minimize shadows.  





1. Don’t Have Your Back To The Window:

Do not position yourself with a window behind you. Again, too much backlighting or only backlighting will make you appear creepy. Also, if you are using a virtual background, any backlight will make it appear ghostlike.  


2. Don’t Have Direct Overhead Lighting:

  Overhead lighting can cast unflattering shadows on your face and make you appear tired or washed out. It's best to have the light source positioned at an angle in front of you. Lighting such as this is one reason why supermarkets and big box stores aren’t ideal for singles meetups. Direct overhead lighting is the same “ewe” lights the bartender turns on to get those last few people out of the club at 3am.  


3. Don’t Use Harsh Lighting:

  Harsh, direct lighting can create intense shadows and highlight imperfections. Soft, diffused lighting is much more forgiving and pleasant to look at. It’s like creating your own Instagram filter in real life!


4. Don’t Mix Color Temperatures:

  Using lights with different color temperatures can lead to a messy and unprofessional look. Stick to lights that have consistent color temperature to maintain a cohesive appearance. So forget about mixing the fluorescent light in your mom’s kitchen with those Christmas lights you used to have hanging on the wall next to your concert posters.


5. Don't Ignore Your Webcam Settings:

  Your webcam's auto-adjustment might interfere with your lighting efforts. Manually adjust settings like exposure, white balance, and focus to ensure your camera captures your lighting setup accurately. Yes, this means you should test your lighting with your camera on!  


6. Don’t Clutter Your Background:

  Even with great lighting, a cluttered or messy background can distract your audience. Keep your performance area clean and uncluttered to maintain a professional appearance. People will notice that pile of dirty laundry, judge your magazine collection, and read your prescription bottles - just like they do when they use your bathroom.


Ready to step up your lighting game? Create a test show on Plauzzable and try it out. Experiment with your lighting and how you look on camera BEFORE your next performance.


Remember, virtual performances are all about creating a captivating and immersive experience for your audience. By following these do's and don'ts of virtual performance lighting, you'll be well on your way to wowing your viewers with your impeccable presence and outstanding talent. So, go ahead, light up that virtual stage, and let your brilliance shine through!



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