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Saturday, September 27, 2008

John McCain shows you a blacker Obama:

Watching the "Obama says McCain is right" ad that's embedded on the McCain campaign Debate Page, it sure seems like they deliberately reduced the brightness (throughout) because I never saw Obama look so black - compared to my viewing on television and, as seen in the bottom screen grap, compared to CNN's own web offering (button/item 2).

This darkening can actually be calibrated since there is a reference here - the blue background with lettering - which is without a doubt darker in the McCain ad. My software shows that applying a brightness correction of -40 (whatever that means, but it is substantial) to CNN's image gets you close to the McCain ad levels.

TECH NOTE: To be clear, these images are from McCain's website and CNN. No freelance YouTube videos were considered since there is no way to be sure how they were processed. But CNN's video is guaranteed solid, and the McCain camp's video (on YouTube) is their own.



6 comments

It seems equally probable that CNN increased the brightness either during their recording or during the broadcast, to achieve the opposite effect that you claim the McCain campaign is trying to achieve. Is Obama really that white in person?

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/27/2008 7:16 PM  

By virtue of his mother being approximately as white as the white house (i.e. totally white), yeah, he's "that white in person."

By Blogger J.Goodwin, at 9/28/2008 7:27 PM  

C'mon, how "white he is" in person depends on the lighting of the room, the colors he's wearing, how dilated your pupils are. And how he looks on a video depends on all of that along with camera, your monitor, and the software in between.

Since different cameras (and different eyes) can perceive the same scene as darker or lighter depending on their optical properties and point of view, "brightness" is really an arbitrary and subjective thing. It can't be compared from image to image unless you are absolutely sure those images were produced from the same camera in the same way. It's one of those things you're free to adjust in post-production until it looks "right," since otherwise the camera will often show something different than your eyes.

It would be one thing if they had just darkened him, leaving the rest of the image alone. But an overall brightness difference does not suggest evil plots to me. And I say that even as a founding member of the Obama fan club, with no love for John McCain.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/29/2008 7:05 AM  

Conservative boss wanted me to admit that Obama had extra brown color for the debate right after I read this post. Started to explain the irony going on in my head, and the fact that McCain paid$5,550 recently for some skin color; but my new thing is not to argue as nobody is changing their vote. All I said was - you know how they cake the make-up on them guys and changed the subject.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/29/2008 10:33 PM  

BTW - What the heck jibberish is the other anony talking about? Sounds like the person could be Palin's media and debate coach.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/29/2008 10:39 PM  

Going by these screenshots, the McCain ad also stretched the image horizontally.

This makes Obama's nose broader.

Jesus, remember the flap over Matt Mahurin's darkening of OJ on the TIME magazine cover?

Too much noise right now for this to take hold, I guess.

In other news, over at ThinkProgress I believe, a GOP county chair in NY had to resign after forwarding an Obama-is-the-Antichrist email.

We knew this would happen. Just wait until the last week before the election.

By Anonymous Emphyrio, at 9/30/2008 12:03 PM  

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