Forensic Photography

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Forensic Photography
Keith A. Milligan
English Composition II
Sarah Bowman
April 26, 2010

Forensic Photography
In today’s world, crime scene investigation has become a very intricate part of solving crimes. With all the television shows centered on crime scene investigators, as well as forensics, the whole country is infatuated with murders and crime scenes. However, just how many people know the details of an actual crime scene investigation? Does anyone know the tools used by the professionals? One intricate detail to investigating the scene of a crime is photography. Without the use of photos, a crime scene investigation may never get solved. Photography plays a very delicate part to the crime scene itself. Forensic photography is defined as the art of producing an accurate reproduction of an accident scene for the benefit of a court or to aid in the investigation. (“Forensic Photography,” 2009) One may assume the only equipment needed is a camera, however this is incorrect. What other equipment is needed? The amount of equipment is phenomenal, to say the least. Even the most basic list of equipment is quite lengthy. Not to mention, the price of this equipment can reach extraordinary amounts, which the photographer is responsible for. Although it is not uncommon for the specific police departments to have this equipment on hand for the photographer already, but an individual still may be responsible for obtaining their own equipment in other agencies. Of course, you need a camera, but what kind? Your basic camera begins with the 35mm, preferably from the manufacturers Canon, Nikon, or Olympus. The price of these cameras can range from $50.00-$600.00, new or used. You need numerous different types of lenses to compliment you camera. The normal lens for a 35mm camera is a 50mm lens, which has a price range of $140-$1000.00. Next, is the 28mm wide angle lens, as well as, the numerous accessories. These are just a few of the tools needed to get started. In 2002, the age of digital photography made its way to the United States. Digital photography has grown at such a rapid rate all over the world. There are all types of digital photographs being taken today. Whether it be a quick snap shot with the camera on a cell phone or webcam to send to family and friends, to the most intricate photos ever taken. The world had gone digital and its here to stay, with improvements coming almost daily. Technology does not get one wink of sleep. It is forever moving along with major advancements constantly. It is conceivable to think that the digital age would eliminate original photography methods, just as the worlds would think that compact discs would eliminate vinyl records, however neither has happened. Digital photography has taken the world of forensic science to a whole new level, as well as improved crime scene investigation tremendously. Although digital photography is making law enforcement jobs easier, it is not smiled upon greatly as of yet, but making great strides. Nagosky (2005) states that because no film development is needed for digital cameras and that amounts to decreased cost and time, as well as, instant access to the images and rapid transportability of pictures within a department or to an outside agency. One of the biggest problems within crime scene investigations and digital photos is the admissibility of said photos in court. Because of the fact that digital photos can be manipulated and tampered with, it makes the court question the authenticity of the photos. Even film-based photos can be manipulated as well. The general public even questions digital photos because the photos can be altered so easily over film-based photos. The number of software products available on the market to alter digital photos is growing. Software such as Photoshop by Adobe is the most popular. It allows a person to alter and change digital photos to however the person wants the photo. So many different features allow changing...
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