Over the course of the past year or two I’ve been making increasing use of video in my home office. Sometimes it’s in a professional context using dedicated hardware. Often it’s less formal, leveraging Google Hangouts or Jitsi Video Bridge. In all cases I’ve found a need to improve the lighting so that I can be well represented on the calls.
I wrote about this over a series of four posts. There may be more coming, too. I thought it useful to collect the series here in one pace for convenient reference.
Lighting for Video Calling and Conferencing in a Home Office
Here in the US the mobile carriers are finally getting something done with respect to rolling out HDVoice. T-Mobile has been offering HDVoice since January of 2013. As I’ve mentioned previously, I’ve been able to try this myself using a Nexus 5. They added a little sport to the game by launching VoLTE in Seattle earlier this month.
A C920 has been my primary webcam for the past year or more. I’ve been considering the purchase of a second. Given the sale pricing I could not resist. In fact, I ordered three different webcams, and to my surprise the Amazon order placed on Thursday, arrived on Sunday. That’s our first experience with their Sunday delivery.
How do I love thee? Let me count the upgrade cycles. I bought my first copy of ThumbsPlus in August of 2000 when v4.0 was released. For going on fourteen years it has been my preferred software for managing our library of digital images. There are other programs for managing graphic files, some even open source or freeware, but I still like ThumbsPlus. I am pleased to recommend it, and even more pleased to say that for a short time Cerious Software is offering ThumbsPlus 9 Standard free for personal use.
ThumbsPlus does a zillion things, most of them extremely well. It reads/writes/converts/edits dozens of types of raster images. It performs lossless rotations on JPEG files, batch renames files, prints contact sheets. I could go on, but I won’t. Suffice it to say that I use this software every day.
There’s only one thing that I’ve found that it doesn’t do as well as I’d like. It’s not as clean as Photoshop when it comes to scaling (resizing) images. As an image database and format convertor it’s not intended to displace Photoshop. In fact, I most often work with both applications open, using ThumbsPlus to find images, dragging them over into Photoshop for composition & editing.
Go. Now. Try this program. You can thank me later.