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
*Includes a Companion Web site hosting images from the volume as well as an Instructor Web site with key words, lecture slides, test bank and supplemental 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

Acknowledgments Introduction Chapter 1 An Overview of Crime Scene Photography and Composition     Photo Documentation Forms     Composition and Full Field of View Responsibility     Chapter Summary Chapter 2 Exposure     The Proper Exposure Triangle     Exposure Stops     Exposure Variables     Reciprocal Exposures     The Reflective Light Meter     Normal Versus Nonnormal Scenes     Tools for Determining Proper Exposures with Tricky Scenes     Exposure Modes     Bracketing     The F/16 Sunny Day Rule     Common Filters     Chapter Summary Chapter 3 Focus, Depth of Field, and Lenses     Focus     Depth of Field (DOF)     Lenses     Chapter Summary Chapter 4 Electronic Flash     Manual Flash Exposure Mode     Automatic and Dedicated/TTL Flash Exposure Modes     Fill-In Flash     Direct Light     Oblique Light: Hard and Soft Shadows     Bounce Flash     Aperture Priority Mode for Large, Dimly Lit Scenes     Chapter Summary Chapter 5 Energy Filters and Sensors Ultraviolet/Visible/Near Infrared     The Spectrum     UV/IR Cameras     Film and Other Camera Sensors     Light (Energy)     Filters     Reflectance     Luminescence     Chapter Summary Chapter 6 Digital Processing of Evidentiary Photography     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     Reliability     Reproducibility     Security     Discovery     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)     Summary Chapter 7 Legal Issues Related to Photographs and Digital Images     Photographs and Digital Images as Evidence     A


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