8 The Proactive Use of Light in Forensic Photography

8.1 Overview

In previous chapters we have looked at the use of photography within a ‘scenes of crime environment’ and although very important, it is in the main ‘reactive’. That is to say the event has already happened. When we looked at the photography of finger, shoe and injury marks, we started to explore the use of specialist photography and alternative light sources (ALS) in a more proactive way.

In this chapter, I would like to develop this idea further and look at using a variety of ALS and photographic techniques to develop and capture other types of latent forensic evidence. Once you have an understanding of alternative forms of light and its possible applications, there is a wealth of latent forensic evidence all around us at crime scenes, waiting to be found.

It is argued by some that this work does not fall within the remit of the forensic photographer, but I would argue that who else within a scene is better equipped and trained to deal with light than us. Unfortunately, it is not possible to cover all the application of ALS within a book of this size. Although I hope that by covering the key applications, you will see that most forensic evidence can be enhanced in one way or another by the careful use of these techniques.

8.2 The detection of body fluids using an alternative light source

This is an area of work that allows a non-destructive search for body fluids to be carried out, which is particularly useful ...

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