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Introduction to Crime Scene Photography - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780123865434, 9780123865441

Introduction to Crime Scene Photography

1st Edition

Author: Edward Robinson
Hardcover ISBN: 9780123865434
eBook ISBN: 9780123865441
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 13th August 2012
Page Count: 432
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Introduction to Crime Scene Photography acquaints the reader with the essentials of basic crime scene photography techniques. It looks at the concepts related to composition and relates them to the types of photographs captured by crime scene photographers. It explains how to capture images based on the exposure settings chosen to produce the effect desired. It considers the techniques used needed to control and maximize Depth of Field (DOF), and reviews how the different lenses will affect an image.

Organized into seven chapters, the book begins with an overview of crime scene photography and composition, including the three cardinal rules of good photography. It then proceeds with a discussion of the benefits of bounce flash and how to utilize this technique to properly compose the subject of interest. It also explains how to capture any image necessary at the crime scene by combining the concepts of composition, nonflash exposure, DOF, flash exposure, and the use of various types of lenses. In addition, the reader is introduced to various energy sources and filters, digital processing of evidentiary photography, and legal issues related to photographs and digital images. Examples and illustrations are provided throughout to demonstrate how the concepts examined tend to form a sort of symbiotic relationship.

This text will benefit scene investigators and photographers, forensic consultants, forensic scientists, undergraduate students in forensic and/or criminal justice programs, law enforcement professionals, and anyone who wants to acquire the skills needed to be a successful crime scene photographer.

Key Features

  • Contains over 350 high-quality 4-color images
  • Rules of Thumb are included to highlight key concepts


Undergraduate students in forensic and/or criminal justice programs, law enforcement training centers, police academies and local agencies. Crime scene investigators/photographers, forensic consultants, forensic scientists

Table of Contents




Chapter 1. An Overview of Crime Scene Photography and Composition

Learning Objectives

Photo Documentation Forms

Rule of Thumb 1-1

Rule of Thumb 1-2

Composition and Full Field of View Responsibility

Cardinal Rule I: Fill the Frame

Cardinal Rule II: Keep the Film Plane Parallel

Rule of Thumb 1-3

Rule of Thumb 1-4

Cardinal Rule III: Maximize the Depth of Field (DOF)

Chapter Summary

Suggested Readings

Chapter 2. Exposure

Learning Objectives

The Proper Exposure Triangle

Exposure Stops

Exposure Variables

Rule of Thumb 2-1

Rule of Thumb 2-2

Rule of Thumb 2-3

Rule of Thumb 2-4

Rule of Thumb 2-5

Reciprocal Exposures

Rule of Thumb 2-6

The Reflective Light Meter

Normal Versus Non-normal Scenes

Tools for Determining Proper Exposures with Tricky Scenes

Exposure Modes


The F/16 Sunny Day Rule

Common Filters

Chapter Summary

Suggested Readings

Chapter 3. Focus, Depth of Field, and Lenses

Learning Objectives


Rule of Thumb 3-1

Rule of Thumb 3-2

Depth of Field (DOF)

Rule of Thumb 3-3


Rule of Thumb 3-4

Chapter Summary

Suggested Readings

Chapter 4. Electronic Flash

Learning Objectives

Manual Flash Exposure Mode

Rule of Thumb 4-1

Rule of Thumb 4-2

Rule of Thumb 4-3

Automatic and Dedicated/TTL Flash Exposure Modes

Fill-In Flash

Rule of Thumb 4-2

Direct Light

Oblique Light: Hard and Soft Shadows

Bounce Flash

Rule of Thumb 4-4

Aperture Priority Mode for Large, Dimly Lit Scenes

Chapter Summary

Suggested Readings

Chapter 5. Energy Filters and Sensors

Learning Objectives

The Spectrum

UV/IR Cameras

Film and Other Camera Sensors

Light (Energy)




Chapter Summary

Suggested Reading

Chapter 6. Digital Processing of Evidentiary Photography

Learning Objectives

In the Beginning

That Really Bytes!

Do You Give a RIP? Raster Graphics versus Vector Graphics

The Speed of Light … I Mean Bits

Taking a Bite (Make that Byte) Out of Digital Imaging

Some Like Their Data RAW

Guidelines and Standards

Image Classifications

The Ball Is in Your Court





Case Law

What Goes in Must Come out … Sort of

Pixels, Dots, and Samples, Oh My

Can You See it Now?

Image Processing Guidelines

Supplemental Guidelines for Brush Tools (Burn and Dodge)


Suggested Reading

Chapter 7. Legal Issues Related to Photographs and Digital Images

Learning Objectives

Photographs and Digital Images as Evidence

A Fair and Accurate Representation of the Scene


Relevant and Material

Legal Implications of Digital Imaging

Chapter Summary

Suggested Readings




No. of pages:
© Academic Press 2013
13th August 2012
Academic Press
Hardcover ISBN:
eBook ISBN:

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 initiates the novice to all the essentials of basic crime scene photography techniques." --Evidence Technology Magazine, July-August 2013

Ratings and Reviews