4 Crime Scene Photography

4.1 Overview

There can be no doubt about the important role that forensic photography plays in today's investigations and legal system, whether you are working within the police or other affiliated agency. Yet, is the image we present or are presented with, really a reliable and accurate record for future reference? As we discussed in the opening chapters, never before has photography been so accessible, or so misunderstood, with anyone with a camera claiming to be a photographer. The issue is that owning a camera doesn't make you a forensic photographer; it just makes you a camera owner. So what is it that sets us apart from any other camera owner? To me there are two main considerations, first the attention to detail in the composition and second the technical delivery and understanding of those images.

In the first few chapters we looked briefly at the key technical skills we require to undertake our task. In this chapter I want to bring the knowledge and skills together in the crime scene. The concepts and ideas given below are for guidance, and your own force or agency will have its own standard operating procedures. For example, in some forces, large numbers of images are taken at postmortems, in others very few. The important thing to remember is we are the eyes of the investigating officers, prosecutors and defence teams, judges and juries, who will never attend that scene. We are in effect recording an event in pictorial form, allowing that ...

Get Forensic Photography: A Practitioner's Guide now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.