Advanced Crime Scene Photography / Edition 1

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The first pieces of evidence viewed by jurors are oftentimes the photographs recorded by the crime scene investigator. Professional and accurate photographic documentation is critical for creating lasting first impressions in the minds of a jury. Solving a range of photographic dilemmas and challenges, Advanced Crime Scene Photography assists investigators in creating photographic evidence that is engaging, interesting, and informative, giving them greater credibility when testifying in court.

Beginning with a review of basic photography principles, the book seamlessly integrates this information with corresponding applications in crime scene photography. Mindful of cost-saving concerns in most law enforcement agencies, it provides useful tips on creating compelling photographic presentations on a limited budget using everyday items in lieu of expensive equipment. It demonstrates how to photograph images used in identification, including fingerprint, footwear, and tirewear impressions; tool and bite marks; and bloodstain patterns. It also explores specialized topics such as nighttime and low-light photography, flash photography, painting with light techniques, the photography of Luminol reactions, laser trajectories, and ultraviolet and infrared light photography.

Thinking outside of the box, analyzing photographic challenges, and determining the best way to record a particular composition are all keys to the successful capture of photographic images that will leave a lasting impression with the viewer. Advanced Crime Scene Photography helps photographers work through difficult compositions and capture truly outstanding pieces of photographic evidence.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Practical tips advised in such books must be tried (to know if they are really useful), and I did not refrain from trying many of these in my own practice. I was surprised to find the immediate improvement in the quality of my pictures. If you would like to become a better crime scene photographer and want to win more cases, this book is for you.
Anil Aggrawal's Internet Journal of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Volume 11, Number 2, July - December 2010

... a well-written, comprehensive, and excellently detailed book on the practicalities of crime scene photography.
—Max M. Houck, Ph.D., in Journal of Forensic Sciences

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781420087895
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 2/22/2010
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 339
  • Sales rank: 1,357,664
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Christopher D. Duncan is a senior police officer in Texas. He received his bachelor of arts degree in history from George Mason University and his master’s degree in criminology from the University of Houston. He has published numerous articles in various forensic journals and regularly conducts training at law enforcement agencies in and around Texas.

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Table of Contents

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xiii

About the Author xv

1 Introduction 1

Review of Basic Photographic Concepts 2

Creating a Lasting Impression 5

Thinking Outside of the Box 7

Advanced Crime Scene Photography 10

2 Photography Equipment and Options 13

Cameras 13

Digital Versus Film 17

Lenses 19

Lens Filters and Attachments 20

Tripods and Other Camera Supports 21

Identification Markers 24

Electronic and Strobe Flashes 27

Cable Releases 28

Lens Attachments 30

Hard Cases, Soft Cases, and Backpacks 31

Conclusion 31

Additional Reading 32

3 Crime Scene Photography 33

Preparation and General Photography Tips 33

Capturing the Impossible Shot 36

Kodak's Top Ten Tips for Better Photographs 40

Bracketing 51

Overall Crime Scene Photography 53

Panoramic View Compositions 55

Mid-Range of Relationship Photography 56

Depth of Field 57

Adding Artistic Flair 60

Close-Up Photography 61

Close-Focused Images Recorded at the Crime Scene 61

Close-Up Images Captured after Leaving the Crime Scene 66

Summary 71

Additional Reading 72

4 Examination Quality Photographs 73

Scales 74

Fingerprint Photography 78

Footwear and Tire Wear Impressions Photography 87

Two-Dimensional Impressions 88

Three-Dimensional Impressions 92

Digital Imaging and Examination Quality Photographs 98

Conclusion 101

Additional Reading 101

5 Nighttime and Low-Light Photography 103

Attributes of Light 104

Reciprocity Failure 116

Working Low-Light and Nighttime Crime Scenes 120

Summary 129

Additional Reading 129

6 Flash Photography 131

Guide Numbers 131

Flash Operation 137

Built-In or Pop-Up Flashes 140

Off-the-Camera Electronic Flash Photography 142

Benefits of Flash Photography 143

Detriments of Flash Photography 146

Using Electronic Flash in Low-Light Conditions 150

Directionality of Light from Electronic Flashes 154

Conclusion 162

Additional Reading 162

7 Painting-With-Light 163

Types of Lighting 164

Electronic Flashes 164

Flashlights 176

Small Flashlights for Small Subjects 185

Alternate Light Sources 187

Conclusion 189

Additional Reading 190

8 Bloodstain Photography 191

Complete Scene Documentation 191

Photographing Bloodstains on Difficult Surfaces 199

Electronic Flash and Bloodstain Evidence 202

Glass and Blood 205

The Magically Disappearing Bloodstain 207

Close Focusing 210

Luminol and Other Chemiluminescent Blood Reagents 213

Bloodstains and Colored Substratum 216

Laser Levels and Bloodstain Documentation 218

Conclusion 221

Additional Reading 221

9 Photography of Shooting Incidents 223

Documenting Crime Scenes 223

Rods, Strings, and Lasers 242

Trajectory Rods 242

Strings 247

Lasers 250

Daytime Laser Reconstruction 266

Conclusion 269

Additional Reading 270

10 Ultraviolet and Infrared Photography 271

Ultraviolet Photography 272

Forgery and Document Alterations 278

Fibers and Other Trace Evidence 280

Gunpower Residue 282

Semen, Blood, and Other Bodily Fluids 284

Bruises and Bite Marks 287

Fingerprint Enhancements 292

Osseous Matter 295

Infrared Photography 296

Forgery and Document Alterations 302

Tattoo Documentation 302

Bloodstain Documentation 304

Gunshot Residue 305

Conclusion 306

Additional Reading 308

Index 309

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