Professional photographer Peter Duke released a short video in which he theorizes that there may have been some manipulation of the images of former White House counselor Stephen K. Bannon as revealed in CBS's “60 Minutes” interview that was released on Sunday. Duke stated at his YouTube page, “It seems like 60 minutes would like you to listen less and look more at Steve Bannon. By subtly tweaking the color of the video, they make him look like a bleary-eyed drunk. I show you how they did it.”

Duke noted that video producers can use techniques such as color correction and grading to make faces look either better or worse. By using stills taken from the interview conducted by CBS correspondent Charlie Rose, Duke sought to show how it was done.

“The first thing I noticed is that there were red circles around his eyes and his lips looked cherry red. And I also noticed that the curtains in the background looked really orange. Now I've met Steve Bannon, and I know what he looks like – he's Irish and uh, he does kind of have paper skin. But he doesn't have pronounced red circles around his eyes, that's not who he is in real life. So I started comparing the two shots of Steve Bannon and Charlie Rose to see what kind of differences I could find, and it was very interesting."

Duke noted differences in the color and saturation seen in the images of Rose and his background on the one hand, and Bannon and his background on the other hand. While the drapes behind Bannon were orange in hue, those very same drapes behind Rose were a golden yellow. Duke said that the blue in the white shirt worn by Rose had 13 more units behind neutral and into blue. This was done, Duke said, so that Rose’s makeup would look less “clownish.” 

By applying the same bluing to Bannon, Duke said that the red rims around Bannon’s eyes disappeared. Then, by applying to Rose the same orange effect seen in the shots of Bannon, a “clownship” hue was seen in the makeup on Rose. By grading the images equally, the two men appear to have have normal skin color.



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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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