Crime Scene Photography

Crime Scene Photography

2nd Edition - December 8, 2009

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  • Author: Edward Robinson
  • eBook ISBN: 9780123757296
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780123757289
  • eBook ISBN: 9780123865304

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Crime Scene Photography, Second Edition, offers an introduction to the basic concepts of forensic picture-taking. The forensic photographer, or more specifically the crime scene photographer, must know how to create an acceptable image that is capable of withstanding challenges in court. The photographic theory and principles have to be well grounded in the physics of optics, the how-to recommendations have to work, and the end result must be admissible in court. Based on the author's years of experience in the field at both the Arlington County and Baltimore County Police Departments, this book blends the practical functions of crime scene processing with theories of photography to guide the student in acquiring the skills, knowledge, and ability to render reliable evidence. This text has been carefully constructed for ease of use and effectiveness in training and was class-tested by the author at George Washington University. Beginning August 2008, this book will be required reading by the IAI Crime Scene Certification Board for all levels of certification (through August 2011).

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

  • Chapter 1 History of Forensic Imaging

    My Inspiration

    The Practical Value

    The History


    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


    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


    The F/16 Sunny Day Rule

    Causes for Complete Rolls of Film with Exposure Errors

    Common Filters

    The Eye Cup Cover


    Chapter 4 Focus, Depth of Field, and Lenses


    Depth of Field



    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


    Chapter 6 Crime Scene Photography

    Photo Documentation Forms

    Overall Photographs

    Midrange Photographs

    Close-Up Photographs

    The Photographic Documentation of Bodies and Wounds


    Chapter 7 Ultraviolet, Infrared, and Fluorescence

    The Electromagnetic Spectrum (EMS)

    Ultraviolet Light (UV)

    Infrared Light (IR) on the Electromagnetic Spectrum

    Visible Light Fluorescence


    Chapter 8 Photogrammetry

    Introduction to Photogrammetry

    Perspective Grid Photogrammetry

    Perspective Disc Photogrammetry

    Natural Grid Photogrammetry

    Reverse Projection Photogrammetry

    Rhino Photogrammetry


    Chapter 9 Special Photography Situations

    Accident Photography

    Surveillance Photography

    Aerial Photography

    Underwater Photography


    Chapter 10 Digital Imaging Technologies

    In the Beginning

    Expose Yourself to Digital Imaging Concepts: Bits, Bytes, Pixels, and Dots

    Take a Picture! It Lasts Longer … Or Does It?

    Image S&M … Storage and Management of Your Digital Images


    Chapter 11 Digital Image Processing of Evidentiary Photography

    Best Practices and Guidelines

    General Guidelines and Requirements

    The Order of Enhancements

    Getting Started

    The Imaging Process (The Act Formerly Known as “Enhancement”)


    Chapter 12 Legal Issues Related to Photographs and Digital Images

    Criteria of Photographs and Digital Images as Evidence

    The Purpose of Crime Scene Photographs

    Photographs of Suspects and Evidence

    Legal Implications of Digital Imaging

    International Association for Identification (IAI) Resolution 97-9

    Case Law Citations Relevant to Film and Digital Images

    Canadian Cases

Product details

  • No. of pages: 720
  • Language: English
  • Copyright: © Academic Press 2010
  • Published: December 8, 2009
  • Imprint: Academic Press
  • eBook ISBN: 9780123757296
  • Hardcover ISBN: 9780123757289
  • eBook ISBN: 9780123865304

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

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