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A certificate helps validate you as a professional, whether you work in law enforcement or on a freelance basis. Some certification programs offer special areas of study, such as videography and forensic archaeology. Valerie Bolden-Barrett is a writer, editor and communication consultant specializing in best business practices, public policy, personal finance and career development.

Principles of Crime Scene Photography

She is a former senior editor of national business publications covering management and finance, employment law, human resources, career development, and workplace issues and trends. Skip to main content. Tip Get physically and mentally fit. Crime scene photography requires lots of crouching, stooping, bending and reaching to get detailed shots. And be emotionally ready to work in crime scenes that might be bloody or gruesome. Warning Prepare to be on call at all hours.

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Few forensic professionals have straight 9-to-5 jobs, because crimes occur at any time of the day or night. You might need to sacrifice a part of your personal life for your job. References 4 West Virginia Continuing Education: About the Author Valerie Bolden-Barrett is a writer, editor and communication consultant specializing in best business practices, public policy, personal finance and career development. Accessed 21 September How to Become a Crime Scene Photographer. Depending on which text editor you're pasting into, you might have to add the italics to the site name.

The overall photographs must be a fair and accurate representation of what is seen. Any change in color may misidentify an object for investigators and possibly jurors.

While the purpose of the overall photograph is to document the conditions of the scene and the relationship of objects, the medium range photograph serves to document the appearance of an object. In all photographs, a scale must be included, as well as a marker to indicate the identity of the object in question. Again, objects of medium-range photographs must be a fair and accurate representation of what is seen. Adjusting the photographic principles or lighting may allow the photographer to achieve this goal. Photograph 1 has too much light. It means that the photographer failed to catch proper light to describe object.

By adjusting the flash, photographer should adjust camera flash to capture the object. In general, the basic components of macro or evidentiary photography are as follows: If any evidentiary photographs are to be taken for use in a critical comparison examination at a later time, guidelines must be followed in accordance with the best practices of digital evidence.

The responding officer must also maintain a photo log if any photographic documentation is taken. The log should contain the date and time of the photograph, the subject matter, and any additional notes. These logs must be maintained within a case file or incident report, as they are a part of the examination record and discoverable material at trial. Photographers must understand principles of photography first.

When the photographers take the photographs itself, they must consider three components. The three components are ISO, Shutter speed and aperture. The International Organization for Standardization ISO is an international standard-setting body composed of representatives from various national standards organizations.

By adjusting ISO, the photographs can be shown differently in same environment. In dark environment, ISO makes light sensor of camera more sensitive. It helps photographers to meet proper light in dark or harsh condition. Among above two photographs, the photograph 2 is a proper representation because it shows clear objects with proper brightness. However, ISO has high possibility to make camera noise which is visual distortion. Too much dependence on ISO can distort the image.

For that reason, the photographers must understand ISO before using it. Shutter speed is the length of time when the film or digital sensor inside the camera is exposed to light. Object and image can be shown differently by shutter speed. Below are the examples. These two photographs are taken under same situation except for camera shutter speed. In above situation, slow shutter speed makes image more clear and bright because the low shutter speed takes more light than high shutter speed.

Crime Scene Photography Requirements of Criminal Investigative Analysis

However, the high shutter speed often is necessary for moving object. Above two photographs are taken under same situation except for camera shutter speed. In case of moving object, the low shutter speed is not proper to capture the object. It needs faster shutter speed to capture it. Shutter speed has pros and cons. For capturing a moving object, photographers must use a high shutter speed. However, the image can be very dark. Low shutter speed must be used when capturing a clear image or object under the harsh condition, but it is hard to capture the moving objects.

Aperture means that the extent of a sharpness of an image that is shown through the lens. So, it is one of really important things to photographers. High aperture High focus means hard sharpness like photograph1. Every Low aperture low focus means soft sharpness. The photograph 1 shows all objects very clearly because of the high aperture.

The photograph 2 image shows an object with right focus but rest of the objects are all blurred because of low aperture.


  • The Other Robin Hood?
  • Introduction.
  • Forensic photography - Wikipedia;
  • Crime Scene Photography: Capturing the Scene.
  • Crime Scene Photography: Principles!

External flash units are helpful tools when responding to a crime scene and for the proper documentation of evidence. The white balance of a photo flash unit is set to mimic daylight to ensure the proper color balance of the subject matter. The photographer must be mindful of the reflections that can occur due to the directionality of the flash and the position of the subject matter. To avoid flash reflections, as demonstrated below examples, the flash must either be removed from the camera body, creating an angle, or bounced off of the ceiling.

The tools required to properly document the crime scene include: The images must be clear and usually have scales. They serve to not only remind investigators of the scene, but also to provide a tangible image for the court to better enable them to understand what happened. The use of several views taken from different angles helps to minimise the problem of parallax. Overall images do not have scales and serve to show the general layout, such as the house where the murder is thought to have occurred.

Context images show evidence in context, like how the knife was next to the sofa. Close up images show fine detail of an artifact, such as a bloody fingerprint on the knife. Road traffic incident RTI photographs show the overall layout at the scene taken from many different angles, with close-ups of significant damage, or trace evidence such as tire marks at a traffic collision.

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As with crime scene photography, it is essential that the site is pristine and untouched as far as is possible. Some essential intervention, such as rescuing a trapped victim, must be recorded in the notes made at the time by the photographer, so that the authenticity of the photographs can be verified. As with all evidence a chain of custody must be maintained for crime scene photographs.

Regardless of how it is done any person who handles the evidence must be recorded. Secure Digital Forensic Imaging methods may be applied to help ensure against tampering and improper disclosure.

Warning!! Most Graphic Crime Scene Photos Ever

Crime or accident scene photographs can often be re-analysed in cold cases or when the images need to be enlarged to show critical details. Photographs made by film exposure usually contain much information which may be crucial long after the photograph was taken.

Crime Scene Photography

They can readily be digitised by scanning, and then enlarged to show the detail needed for new analysis. For example, controversy has raged for a number of years over the cause of the Tay Bridge disaster of when a half-mile section of the new bridge collapsed in a storm, taking an express train down into the estuary of the river Tay. At least 75 passengers and crew were killed in the disaster. The set of photographs taken a few days after the accident have been re-analysed in — by digitising them and enlarging the files to show critical details.

The originals were of very high resolution since a large plate camera was used with a small aperture , plus a small grain film.