Use of Photographic Techniques in Forensic Science

Sources:A Closer Look On Forensic Science written by Archana Singh


A crime-Scene photographer which is also known as forensic photographer or an evidence photographer is a professional photographer who is skilled in the art of producing only the most exact, detailed photographs that photograph of entire crime scene and physical evidences from every angle. Different types of photographic techniques are used in forensic science such as ultraviolet, Infrared, Macro, Panoramic, Digital, Fluorescent, Multiple.

Crime scene photography play an important role in collection of evidences at the crime scene, as it documents the appearance and location of victims, fingerprints, footprints, bloodstain patterns, and other physical evidence and produces a permanent, visual record in front of court whenever asked for.

Forensic Photography is the fair and accurate recording of a scene or object, of legal interest, by a camera.

“For the police photographer, photographs are statements of what he or she saw at a Scene.

“Photography is a valuable tool for recording the crime scene and explaining the evidence to others.”

Guidelines For Photographing Crime Scene

Different Type of Photographic Techniques

  • Ultra Violet Photography
  • Fluorescence Photography
  • Infrared Photography
  • Macro photography
  • Digital Photography
  • Panoramic photography
  • Multiple Exposure

✔ Ultraviolet Photography

There are two distinct techniques of ultraviolet photography:
1. Reflected or direct method
2. Ultraviolet fluorescence method

Reflected or Direct Method

  • The reflected ultraviolet photographic technique records only ultraviolet radiation, in the region 320nm to 390nm, reflected from the subject.
  • All other radiation is prevented from reaching the film.
  • A source of ultraviolet is directed at the subject which will then reflect this radiation back into the camera.
  • Some materials that are black in visible Light reflect ultraviolet so effectively that they record as white using the reflected ultraviolet Technique.

✔ Fluorescent Photography

  • Requires, usually, tripod, remote shutter release, and barrier filter with standard 35mm camera.
  • Usually requires about 15-30 seconds time exposure with 35mm.
  • Orange 18 is good all around filter.
  • Consider digital camera with barrier filter for real time photos.

✔ Infrared Photography

  • Infrared techniques can be applied in the field or in a laboratory environment.
  • In some instances the only opportunity to document the evidence is in the field at the crime scene.

✔ Macro Photography

  • Macro photography is extreme close-up photography, usually of very small subjects, in which the size of the subject is greater than life size.
  • However in other uses it refers to a finished photograph of a subject at greater than life size.
  • A “true” macro photograph can be more practically defined as a photograph with a vertical subject height of 24 mm or less.

✔ Digital Photography

  • Digital photography is a form of photography that uses cameras containing arrays of electronic photo detectors to capture images focused by a lens, as opposed to an exposure on photographic film.
  • Digital cameras in the range of 8 to 14 megapixels can record the same level of fine details in a footwear impression as recorded on a 35mm negative.

✔ Panoramic Photography

  • Panoramic photography is a technique of photography, using specialized equipment or software, that captures images with elongated fields of view.
  • It is sometimes known as wide format photography.

✔ Multiple Exposure

  • In photography and cinematography, a multiple exposure is the superimposition of two or more exposures to create a single image.
  • Double exposure has a corresponding meaning in respect of two images.
  • The exposure values may or may not be identical to each other.

Know More About Crime Scene Photography in Detail; Read

“A Closer Look On Forensic Science”

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