For doing blog style youtube videos, I get a headache if the soft boxes are pointing at me from next to the camera. I'm thinking that I could solve the problem by flooding the room with indirect lighting bouncing off the walls and ceiling. Is this practical? What kind of equipment would be best without spending a fortune?

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    Softboxes should be 45 degrees off axis and also above your eye level rather than at your eye level. The should be able to light up your face without you staring directly into them. Commented Feb 5, 2017 at 23:00

2 Answers 2


A bounce card might save your eyes some, e.g.

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Depending on your "studio" you could also just turn the lights away from the talent and towards a wall or the ceiling to bounce and diffuse the light off the surface.


Yes, Jim, that's a proven approach. You may find that if you illuminate the ceiling a little more intensely to one side and back a bit you can get a very pleasant subtle modeling on yout features. You can use the bounce technique to get video-worthy and natural looking soft lighting out of multiple hard sources like PARs or LEDs all pointed up.

If possible you may like to use a single small hard source as a "hair light," just a bit back of directly overhead, to help kick you out from your background. Getting controlled background lighting is another potential benefit of bounce lighting, especially if you're in a relatively small room.

And if your ceiling or wall is colored you'll want to look carefully at your color balance lest you pick up a tint. Something like Mr. Kennedy's white card may be required.

One other tip I've heard referred to as "the Ray Walston technique" after a TV actor who had notoriously sensitive eyes: Lighting-induced eye strain has more to do with contrast than with absolute intensity... so if the bright lights are hurting your eyes, rather than turn them down, turn the house lighting behind them behind them up!

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