Crime Scene Photography

2nd Edition

Authors: Edward Robinson
Hardcover ISBN: 9780123757289
eBook ISBN: 9780123757296
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 3rd February 2010
Page Count: 720
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Crime Scene Photography, Second Edition, offers an introduction to the basic concepts of forensic picture-taking. It covers the basic crime scene scenario, providing important details to guide the student and professional through the process in a step-by-step manner. In addition to the photographic aspect, the handling and care of evidence and maintenance of the crime scene are also addressed.

The book begins by tracing the history of crime scene photography. It explains the cardinal rules of crime scene photography; the photographic variables related to exposure; and the three basic types of crime/accident scene photographs: overalls, midranges, and close-ups. This is followed by discussions on the use of digital imaging technologies and the legal issues related to photography. Each chapter begins with an outline of Learning Objective and Key Terms that will be used for the remainder of the text. Within the text are tips and rules-of-thumb that highlight important aspects of the chapter. The chapters conclude with a succinct Summary, Discussion Questions, Practical Exercises, and a comprehensive list of Further Readings.

This textbook is designed for photography students in an academic setting and practitioners working within various law enforcement agencies.

Key Features

  • Over 600 full color photographs
  • Two new chapters on 'The History of Forensic Photography,' and 'Digital Image Processing of Evidentiary Photography'
  • An essential reference for crime scene photography, including topics such as Composition, the Inverse Square Law, Court Cases affecting photography, Digital Image Processing, and Photogrammetry
  • Required reading by the Crime Scene Certification Board of the International Association for Identification (IAI) for all levels of certification


Students in forensic science programs, crime scene investigator/photographers, law enforcement training centers, police academies and local agencies. Forensic consultants and forensic scientists.

Table of Contents

Foreword to the Second Edition Foreword to the First Edition Acknowledgments Introduction Chapter 1 History of Forensic Imaging My Inspiration The Practical Value The History Summary Chapter 2 Composition and Cardinal Rules Use-Once (or, Use One Time) Camera versus a Professional Camera System Composition and Cardinal Rules Cardinal Rules of Crime Scene Photography Summary Chapter 3 Basic Exposure (Non-Flash) Concepts The Proper Exposure Triangle Shutter Speed as Motion Control Using Slow Shutter Speeds to Eliminate Rain and Snow Reciprocal Exposures The Reflective Light Meter “Normal” and “Non-Normal” Scenes Tools for Determining “Proper” Exposures with Tricky Scenes Bracketing The F/16 Sunny Day Rule Causes for Complete Rolls of Film with Exposure Errors Common Filters The Eye Cup Cover Summary Chapter 4 Focus, Depth of Field, and Lenses Focus Depth of Field Lenses Summary Chapter 5 Electronic Flash Guide Numbers Flash Sync Speeds Set the Flash for the Film Used (If Still Using a Film Camera) Manual Flash Mode The Inverse Square Law Automatic and Dedicated Flash Exposure Modes Built-in Flash Units Fill-in Flash Oblique Light, Both Flash and Non-Flash (Flashlight) Bounce Flash Painting with Light Summary Chapter 6 Crime Scene Photography Photo Documentation Forms Overall Photographs Midrange Photographs Close-Up Photographs The Photographic Documentation of Bodies and Wounds Summary Chapter 7 Ultraviolet, Infrared, and Fluorescence The Electromagnetic Spectrum (EMS) Ultraviolet Light (UV) Infrared Light (IR) on the Electromagnetic Spectrum Visible Light Fluorescence Summary Chapter 8 Photogrammetry Introduction to Photogrammetry Perspective Grid Photogrammetry


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© Academic Press 2010
Academic Press
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About the Author

Edward Robinson

Edward M. Robinson began his career in law enforcement in 1971, with the Arlington County (Virginia) Police Department (ACPD). After 25 years with the ACPD, Mr. Robinson created the Crime Scene Investigation concentration at The George Washington University for their Master of Forensic Science degree program, and continues there today.

Affiliations and Expertise

Associate Professor, Forensic Science Department, The George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA


"[The book] addresses a technically sensitive practice with great accuracy. The writing is concise and easy to understand... The content is well organized and, fittingly, uses ample photographs as examples of both correct and incorrect ways to employ various photographic techniques. Specific topics discussed range from filters, flash, and focus to evidentiary concerns and court presentations. An excellent table of contents and index make finding specific content a breeze…. The text is written primarily for a law enforcement audience. This solid text would serve nicely, however, for security professionals who may need to document accidents, potential hazards, crimes, or property loss. It is an excellent reference and would serve both a novice and experienced photographer."--Security Management Magazine