Forensic Photography Used In Today’s Society

01002014_01_1520_15_26As the crowd pushes closer around the crime scene and yellow tape gets strung around the place of murder, theft or other forms of violence, little white chalk people get drawn around a corpse and its contortions there from the sidelines with a bag and lighting equipment comes the often unsung hero of our articles. He or she is an important part of every investigation, with their sharp eye for detail and the patience of job in the hustle and bustle that never fails to happen as the newest crime gets tagged, bagged and labeled. I am talking about the Forensics Photographer.

Aside from taking fingerprints, dusting the crime scene and bagging evidence carefully to bring to the forensics lab and later the Court room, photos are an important part of every crime investigation and later as evidence in Court.

Forensics Photography is a fantastic tool to collect and catalog data as well. Sometimes a sweep of the surroundings with the camera logs in images which would otherwise would have been overlooked or forgotten. The person in the third row of the onlookers. That broken piece of glass in the shadow. Our busy Patrol Officer might have not noticed it, but our camera lens has picked it up.

One of the most important things in Forensic Photography is the sharpness of the image. It has to be sharp as a well honed blade. Any fuzziness, pixilation or shake, and it is as useless to the Court and the Investigators as an eagle with pinkeye. The entire case rests on Forensic Photography and any flaw however slight, could cost a case to be lost.

Never, ever disturb the crime scene. The first round of photos has to be taken before anything has been touched, removed or altered. It is the freeze frame of the crime scene. The closest you will come to having been there during the crime. So make sure you plan the photo before you take it. Later if you must small adjustments, like the adding of a measuring tool to show distance is permissible, but not during the first go over.

Make sure you get a complete set of shots. Those should include a close-up, a mid-range and a wide-angle. The angle is very important as well. If you use the wrong point of view, you may easily undo the best shoot by misrepresenting the relationship of distance to the object etc. Remember, your photo has to show exactly what is set out before you.

You need to record everything in writing. Mark out specific items, but never mark on the photo itself. For that, it is wise to use an overlay that you can remove as is needed. Transparency paper is used for that purpose. Make sure your lighting and exposure is set correctly. There are a lot of extremely good literature available that can teach you how to set your exposure for which light, background and scenario. This helps take the perfect pictures needed.

Lastly but not least, photos can be messed up easily if your equipment is not in tip top shape. Make sure that your lens is clean at all times of dust. No smudges, etc. I know it seems to be a topic that should not even have to be mentioned, but often it is the small things we overlook. After all the entire point of forensic photography is to capture those small seemingly mute points that are often overlooked.

A suggest you make yourself a checklist and place even the most common sense items on your list. Batteries, lens cleaning equipment, tripod, removing the lens cap. When you think of it, write it down. You will be surprised sometimes how easily even the best professional forensic photographer can make a simple mistake that could have been prevented by a checklist. Remember the victim is counting on you too.

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Digital Photography: The New Way To Take Photographs

Showy-LadyslipperPhotography is an art. It takes practice, skill, and an eye for the unexpected. Not all people will take the time to study a landscape, wildlife, building, or other subject to find the hidden depth within, but when they do often they will find great meaning in the photo they take. Photographers spend their lives looking for new and different ways to shoot a subject. Digital photography is just one new way of taking a picture. There are many advantages for working with digital photography. Continue reading »

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Choosing A Subject In Photography

Bald EagleHow do you know what photos you will take? Are you going to a family reunion? Are you going out for a hike and hope to see some wildlife? There are many questions when it comes to photography. You will want to have a basis of photography techniques to provide the best photograph and once you learn those techniques the subject will be up to you. Most photographers whether they are professional or amateurs like you will have a medium they work with. It is the same with other artists; you have painters, sculptors, sketch artists, and much more. Photography is art and therefore requires an eye for the right photograph. Continue reading »

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Candid Photography, Taking Pictures Of Your Friend Without Their Attention

At a tram stopCandid photography is by definition taking pictures of people when they are unaware. Part of the fun in photography is catching your human subject’s off guard so that your pictures have more emotion. Photographers who work for magazines, like Time Life, have been able to get candid shots of their subjects. I think most of us can remember the black and white photographs of Africans and others giving rise to more emotion from the viewer. Taking candid shots may appear easy although there are few techniques in the photography world that will make the candid shot worth more than just a snap shot of friends. Continue reading »

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Fashion Photography – Strike a Pose!

DSC06651With the advent of online auctions and web-based product catalogs, fashion photography has come into a specialty of its own. A good fashion photograph reduces the need for an abundance of words to describe a piece – as the old saying goes “a photo is worth a thousand words”.

Displaying – First, displayed items should be clean and pressed. If the photograph shows wrinkles, it is often interpreted as either an inferior design or flawed sewing. Of course the newer crinkly-type material is the exception. Continue reading »

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Winter Photography

deerWinter photography can be frustrating. For instance, “Why do my winter photos come back with gray snow instead of white?” “How can I prevent it from happening again?” These are two questions many winter photographers ponder. Not only is gray snow a problem, so are winter compositions and equipment use in cold temperatures. Continue reading »

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