Crime scene photography
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Crime Scene Photography. Crime Scene Photography. Testimonial evidence is faulty. Admissions of guilt are not iron clad. Jurors are influenced by what they can see and experience in the courtroom.

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Crime Scene Photography

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Crime scene photography

Crime Scene Photography


Crime scene photography1

Crime Scene Photography

  • Testimonial evidence is faulty.

  • Admissions of guilt are not iron clad.

  • Jurors are influenced by what they can see and experience in the courtroom.

  • Photographs of the crime scene and evidence is a powerful tool in bringing the jury to the crime scene.


Getting the evidence into court

Getting the Evidence into Court

  • In order to be effective your evidence must be admitted into court evidence.

  • The following guidelines must be followed.

    • Do not disturb the scene

    • Get a complete set of pictures

    • Pay attention to camera angles

    • Record all data


Rule 1 do not disturb the scene

Rule #1 Do NOT Disturb the Scene

  • This is the cardinal rule of crime scene photography

  • Both later investigators and jurors need to see the scene as it was when the police arrived

  • Leave scales and labels out of your first series of pictures

  • After the scene has been photographed in its original state, you shoot a second series of evidence pictures.


Rule 2 complete set of pictures

Rule #2 Complete Set of Pictures

  • You must move around the scene to see everything - So must the camera

  • Generally speaking, each important object in the scene should appear in at least three pictures

  • The overview should cover the entire scene to bring out the relationships between the objects. The mid range shot shows and important object and its immediate surroundings. Finally, each close-up shows a key detail clearly.


Rule 3 pay attention to angles

Rule #3 Pay Attention to Angles

  • Relationships of size and distance may be distorted by the wrong viewpoint

  • Shoot most pictures with the camera at eye level. This is the height from which people normally see things and that makes it easier to judge perspective.

  • Ask yourself questions such as:

    • Does this picture reveal the true position of the witness to the crime?

    • Does the picture distort what I am shooting?

    • Am I shooting from the perspective of an observer.


Rule 4 record all data

Rule #4 Record all Data

  • Make a sketch of where each picture was shot

  • Write the details of each shot

    • Location, date, time, photographer, camera settings

  • Some court systems put more emphasis on print film

  • Label all pictures and negatives.


Taking the pictures

Taking the Pictures

  • A crime scene photographer has command of the art of photography.

  • All pictures must be

    • Sharp

    • Focused

    • Properly exposed

    • Framed properly

    • Have proper lighting


Lighting the critical element

Lighting- The Critical Element

  • Lighting is critical in photography

  • The direction from which the light comes determines where shadows fall

  • Sometimes these shadows completely obscure details in the picture

  • On the other hand, shadows may reveal details which would otherwise be invisible

  • Let’s look at 3 types of natural light; back, side, and front lighting


Back lighting

Back Lighting

  • The light source is behind the object

  • A light directly behind the subject creates a silhouette

  • Furthermore, any light shining directly into the lens can cause a “flare” and/or a “halo” effect.

  • This has little value in crime scene photography


Side lighting

Side Lighting

  • Side lighting puts shadows on the unlit side of the subject

  • This may be very good or very bad, depending on the situation

  • These shadows are often essential to bring out the fine texture that is found in a cloth sample, a footprint or a tool mark

  • On the other hand, when you shoot into a subject, the shadows obscure important interior details


Front lighting

Front Lighting

  • The light source is behind you and the object being photographed

  • This is essentially shadow less. It, therefore, gives the best representation of most crime scenes

  • When you do not have a specific need for shadows in a scene, you will normally be wise to light it from the front


Not enough light

Not Enough Light?

  • Exposure times can be altered to brighten photographs

  • Longer exposure times required a tripod and no movement of the camera

  • Alternate light sources

    • Ultraviolet

    • Infrared

    • fluorescent


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