Genovese tries to compensate for the various problems that can crop up when inexpensive cameras are used. Since they can't fine tune pictures individually(*) they use a computer and a negative scanner to color-balance the image.

Very nice except for two problems: since the photos are being printed from scans they are much lower resolution than they would if the print were made directly from the negative, and sometimes increasing the saturation of color can make things that are supposed to be bland look very wrong.

Red handed! In this particular case you can see that Claire's blanket is completely washed out and her hands are very red. I checked, neither is true in the negative (well, in the negative her hand's would look cyan, but you know what I mean). Since everyone who sees the photo mentions her hands, I wanted to correct this.

First selected the hand and copied it to a new layer. I selected an area of hand and blurred it as much as possible with the Gaussian blur filter, put the cursor over the blurred area, and noted how much of each color there was using the info palette. This was tricky since I then had to undo the blurring. Then did the same thing for an area of her arm.

What I got was hand: 161 red, 61 green, 70 blue, arm: 200 red, 135 green, 126 blue. I didn't want to adjust the red since the hands should be a little more red than the arm. So I hid every layer but the hand layer and selected the hand with the lasso tool.

Bad graft Using Image|Adjust|Curves, I changed the channel to green, placed a dot on the curve and dragged it until the input read 61 and output was 135. I then selected the blue channel and set the input for 70 and the output to 126. This resulted in a much better looking hand.

Well, except now she has that nasty line on her arm. That's why I selected the hand, the background would have done that too if I didn't. Unfortunately there is no sharp line between hand and arm for me to select, so I have to gradually merge the two images.

To do that I created a mask for the hand layer and selected the gradiant tool. Making sure the default colors were active and the mask was selected I dragged a line from where the red started in her hand to the lower edge of the selected hand area.

This creates a smooth transition between the two layers and the edge is completely invisible.

Nice hand. All that was left after that was to fix the washed out blanket. Unfortunately, the "processing" managed to completely remove any vestiges of shadow in that area, so I didn't have much to work with. There was a tiny bit of shadow in the red channel, so I selected the blanket and copied the red channel onto the green channel to darken it a bit.

So that's what I did. Not so horrible, was it?

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(*)Actually, they do have to look at each photo anyway since the FBI requires that all photo processing plants inform them whenever they come across a picture of what appears to be a crime. Remember, if you need to photograph your crimes, make sure you have your own darkroom. Go back.