How to look at the iSight camera when making videos


How to look at the iSight camera when making videos
Quick Mac Tip, 26 February 2011

On a Mac’s screen the built-in iSight camera’s in the wrong place. If you look at your friend on Skype, or at you when recording yourself, then you’re always looking down a bit from the camera. Rachel McAlpine of Contented shares a great way to help you actually look directly at the camera.

This guest Tip is written by Rachel McAlpine, Contented.com.

I’m doing some practice videos on my MacBook Air. Getting familiar with the cleverness of QuickTime Player 10.0. Finding out what kind of content is likely to work. Sorting out lighting, angles, and voice levels. (And secretly preparing to storm the world with video tips on writing web content and business English.)

Rachel McAlpine of Contented.com. Rachel McAlpine of Contented.com: I create short, exciting online courses for Contented.com. Topics: writing web content and international business English. Benefits: skills, confidence and career opportunities. Special offer if you’re quick!

Problem: lack of eye contact. It’s natural to fixate on our own moving image in the QuickTime window because this is a new and terrifiying experience. (Most people don’t watch themselves moving and talking!) Those dropped eyes are antisocial, unprofessional and kind of freaky.

A clever video setup, with a family photo just above the iSight camera.

A clever video setup, with a family photo just above the iSight camera.

Solution: I’ve propped a photo of my granddaughter above the camera lens. Now I look at her and talk to her instead of myself. She is very smart and far more attractive.

I reckon this photo will improve my videos in other ways too. It will make me more conscious of the audience and less conscious of my own shortcomings. I’ll probably be more spontaneous and conversational. I’ll be looking at a lively, argumentative person, so I’ll be forced to make myself clear.

Now I’ll come clean: Miraz came up with this idea over lunch as we were brainstorming. But hey, I did it first. Thanks Miraz!

Do you have a different Tip for looking at the camera in a video? Tell us in the Comments. Could you write a guest MacTip? If so, contact me.

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