Forensic Photography

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A series of footwear marks are found in soil and the chosen method of recovery is photography. Using the recommended procedure, delivered in Week 3, give technical descriptions of, for example, Depth of Field, Perspective error, Resolution etc.

Crime scene photography is focused on taking accurate images of crime scenes and criminal evidence, so that these images can be used in a criminal investigation, and in the potential prosecution for criminal activities. People have been taking photographs of crime scenes ever since the first camera was invented because it was realised that still images could be a useful tool in the process of a criminal investigation. Modern photography of a crime scene is intended to provide a detailed, accurate and truthful image of the scene and to accurately document both the crime scene itself and the ensuing criminal investigation. Crime scene photographers are the first people allowed into a scene of crime, this is to try and maintain the crime scene and provide as truthful image as possible. Crime scene photographers start by taking overall scene shots and then move into smaller areas and then take specific shots of potentially important evidence such as footwear marks. The images taken by a crime scene photographer must contain evidence markers and scales, and rulers when necessary to retain relevance to the investigation. Police officers may use images from crime scene photography to be able to reconstruct a crime scene. The photos may also be used in interrogation and in courtrooms to provide both the judge and the jury with evidence of what the scene looked like and of important features of a crime scene, for example a knife. It is also a lot easier and safer to show the knife, which could be a murder weapon, as an image to the courtroom along with the correct documentation in which the evidence pathway and handling of the evidence document, rather than bringing the actual evidence package into the courtroom. Digital cameras have massively expanded the field of photography in a criminal investigation; this is because they allow photographers to shoot images extensively, allowing them to capture every possible detail on a small media card rather than rolls and rolls of film. However this could also provide problems because it could lead to a photographer or even an investigator flicking through hundreds, or thousands of images of a single crime scene. Although this method provides better probability that a potentially important image may not be missed because of a crime scene photographer being conservative with the camera and amount of film used. When entering a crime scene the photographer will take images from a long range that show the overall crime scene, mid-range photographs will be taken that show a closer view of a certain area; and close range photographs will concentrate on a particular area or object such as a footwear mark or impression. Crime scene photography is a non-destructive method of recovery of a footwear mark. Photography of a footwear mark should always be the first method of recovery by a crime scene investigator before any other recovery methods are used. Most close range photographs will be captured at less than actual size; this will mean a rigid scale will need to be included. When enlargements are made to an image to examine certain aspects of that image, they can be enlarged to a natural size only by referring to that scale. This means that the enlargement is sized so that for example 1mm on the scale in the enlarged photograph equals one actual millimetre. A camera which would produce an image which is the natural size image (a 1:1 photograph) is not practical to be present at a crime scene, the use of a practical scale in the photograph is absolutely essential so the photograph can be accurately enlarged. The scale used should ideally extend the full length of the impression, it should be positioned evenly and on the same plane as the impressed...
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