Advanced Crime Scene Photography

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ISBN 9781420087895
Cat# 87894



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ISBN 9781466561151
Cat# KE20652



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  • Shows the value of passion and creativity in crime scene photography
  • Demonstrates how to approach crime scene reconstruction through the photographic record
  • Provides instruction on specialized photography issues frequently found at crime scenes
  • Includes more than a hundred photographs as well as a six-page color insert


The first pieces of evidence viewed by jurors are oftentimes the photographs recorded by the crime scene investigator. Professional and accurate photographic documentation is critical for creating lasting first impressions in the minds of a jury. Solving a range of photographic dilemmas and challenges, Advanced Crime Scene Photography assists investigators in creating photographic evidence that is engaging, interesting, and informative, giving them greater credibility when testifying in court.

Beginning with a review of basic photography principles, the book seamlessly integrates this information with corresponding applications in crime scene photography. Mindful of cost-saving concerns in most law enforcement agencies, it provides useful tips on creating compelling photographic presentations on a limited budget using everyday items in lieu of expensive equipment. It demonstrates how to photograph images used in identification, including fingerprint, footwear, and tirewear impressions; tool and bite marks; and bloodstain patterns. It also explores specialized topics such as nighttime and low-light photography, flash photography, painting with light techniques, the photography of Luminol reactions, laser trajectories, and ultraviolet and infrared light photography.

Thinking outside of the box, analyzing photographic challenges, and determining the best way to record a particular composition are all keys to the successful capture of photographic images that will leave a lasting impression with the viewer. Advanced Crime Scene Photography helps photographers work through difficult compositions and capture truly outstanding pieces of photographic evidence.

Table of Contents

Review of Basic Photographic Concepts
Creating a Lasting Impression
Thinking Outside of the Box
Advanced Crime Scene Photography
Photography Equipment and Options
Digital Versus Film
Lens Filters and Attachments
Tripods and Other Camera Supports
Identification Markers
Electronic and Strobe Flash
Cable Releases
Lens Attachments
Hard Cases, Soft Cases, and Backpacks
Crime Scene Photography
Preparation and General Photography Tips
Capturing the Impossible Shot
Kodak’s Top Ten Tips for Better Photographs
Overall Crime Scene Photography
Panoramic View Compositions
Mid-Range or Relationship Photography
Depth of Field
Adding Artistic Flair
Close-Up Photography
Close-Focused Images Recorded at the Crime Scene
Close-Up Images Captured after Leaving the Scene of the Crime
Examination Quality Photographs
Fingerprint Photography
Footwear and Tirewear Impressions Photography
Two-Dimensional Impressions
Three-Dimensional Impressions
Digital Imaging and Examination Quality Photographs
Nighttime and Low-Light Photography
Attributes of Light
Reciprocity Failure
Working Low-Light and Nighttime Crime Scenes
Flash Photography
Guide Numbers
Flash Operation
Using Electronic Flash In Low-Light Conditions
Painting with Light
Types of Lighting
Bloodstain Photography
Complete Scene Documentation
Photographing Bloodstains on Difficult Surfaces
Electronic Flash and Bloodstain Evidence
Glass and Blood
The Magically Disappearing Bloodstain
Close Focusing
Luminol and Other Chemiluminescent Blood Reagents
Laser Levels and Bloodstain Documentation
Photography of Shooting Incidents
Documenting Crime Scenes
Rods, Strings, and Lasers
Ultraviolet and Infrared Photography
Ultraviolet Photography
Forgery and Document Alterations
Fibers and Other Trace Evidence
Gunpowder Residue
Semen, Blood, and Other Bodily Fluids
Bruises and Bite Marks
Fingerprint Enhancements
Osseous Matter
Infrared Photography
Forgery and Document Alterations
Tattoo Documentation
Bloodstain Documentation
Gunshot Residue

Author Bio(s)

Christopher D. Duncan is a senior police officer in Texas. He received his bachelor of arts degree in history from George Mason University and his master’s degree in criminology from the University of Houston. He has published numerous articles in various forensic journals and regularly conducts training at law enforcement agencies in and around Texas.

Editorial Reviews

Practical tips advised in such books must be tried (to know if they are really useful), and I did not refrain from trying many of these in my own practice. I was surprised to find the immediate improvement in the quality of my pictures. If you would like to become a better crime scene photographer and want to win more cases, this book is for you.
Anil Aggrawal's Internet Journal of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology, Volume 11, Number 2, July - December 2010

... a well-written, comprehensive, and excellently detailed book on the practicalities of crime scene photography.
—Max M. Houck, Ph.D., in Journal of Forensic Sciences