Forensic Uses of Digital Imaging  book cover
2nd Edition

Forensic Uses of Digital Imaging

ISBN 9781498733076
Published January 22, 2016 by CRC Press
268 Pages 341 Color Illustrations

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Book Description

The ability to work with, and retrieve images, is vital to forensic and criminal case work. During a five-decade-long career, author John C. Russ has taught methods for image processing and measurement to thousands of students. Forensic Uses of Digital Imaging, Second Edition distills his classroom and workshop material to present the information most relevant to forensic science.

Since the publication of the first edition, there have been many significant changes in technology that have revolutionized the ways digital images are used in forensic investigations. Fully updated, the second edition:

  • Covers the widespread advancements of digital imaging photography and processing
  • Discusses the increased power, storage capacity, and use of digital cameras, laptop computers, tablets, and cell phones in forensic science
  • Gives real-world examples to illustrate comparisons between different processing options
  • Includes hundreds of full-color images that demonstrate technologies and techniques
  • Addresses issues of admissibility of forensic investigation results under Frye and Daubert rules
  • Provides guidelines and suggestions for effectively presenting and explaining results

Forensic Uses of Digital Imaging, Second Edition explains concepts with minimal jargon, and the methods and tools described in this book can be implemented in a broad spectrum of available computer programs. By demonstrating how these methods can be applied to a variety of images, this book helps readers develop the ability to understand when and how specific techniques should be used. It will be of particular use in casework for practicing photography and imaging police and forensic professionals who need to verify and explain both interpretations and processes to legal professionals, judges, and juries.

Table of Contents

Digital Still and Video Cameras
Digital Cameras
Single-Chip Cameras
Spectral Response
Beyond the Visual
Spatial Resolution
Tonal Resolution
Camera Choices
File Formats and Compression
JPEG Compression
MPEG Compression
Microscope Images
Locard’s Principle
Other Sources of Digital Images
File Storage

Basic Image Processing and Enhancement
Calibrating Dimension
Color Spaces
Color Correction
Image Rectification
Adjusting Contrast and Brightness
Histogram Equalization
High-Bit-Depth Images
Reducing Image Noise
Neighborhood Convolutions
Median Filters
Nonuniform Illumination
Complex Backgrounds
Generating a Background
Morphological Filters
Sharpening Contrast
Second Derivatives

Advanced Processing Techniques
Reducing Random Noise
Bilateral and Anisotropic Diffusion Filters
Nonlocal Means Filter
Modified Median Filters
Morphological Filters
Increasing Edge Contrast
The Kuwahara Filter
Outlining Edges
Multiple Images
Principal Components Analysis
Fourier Transforms
Frequency Filters
Homomorphic Filter
Periodic Noise Removal
Deconvolution of Focus and Motion Blur
3D Imaging
The Wavelet Transform
Specialized Processing Methods

Comparison and Measurement
Side-by-Side Comparison
Matching Features or Dimensions
Facial Recognition
Biometric Measures
Foot- and Tire Prints
Reverse Projection
Dimensional Measurements
Stereo Pairs
Estimating Crowds
Object Measurements
Processing Thresholded Images
Combining Images
Measuring Position and Color
Measuring Size and Shape
Detecting Image Manipulation

Interpreting and Presenting Evidence
Image Displays
Explaining and Showing Procedures
Computer Graphics and Animations
Dynamic Models
Explaining Processing and Measurement
The Photoshop Issue
Probability and Bayes’ Rule
Evaluating Probabilities
Distinguishing Groups
Daubert Criteria
Error and Variability
Identifying Individuals
Explaining Uncertainty

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John C. Russ is emeritus professor in the Department of Materials Science and Technology, College of Engineering, North Carolina State University, Raleigh. Much of his research during his 50-year career has been concerned with the microstructure and surface topography of metals and ceramics. He currently consults with a variety of companies, provides expert testimony in criminal and civil cases, teaches workshops worldwide on image processing and analysis, and reviews publications and funding proposals. He is active in a number of professional societies, and has presented frequent invited lectures and workshops for them. He has also received the Ernst Abbe Memorial Award from the New York Microscopical Society for his contributions to the field of microscopy as a developer of computer-assisted microscopy and image analysis.


"This is the second edition of this book and it comprises five chapters covering equipment, processing, comparison and measurement, and the presentation of evidence. It covers the basics of all of these subject before progressing to more advanced techniques. The descriptions … and the examples given are clear and aid the reader in understanding the lesson. This book is a good overview of the technical side of forensic photography for those of us who have little experience … useful for those with more experience." – CSEye, November 2017, a publication of the Chartered Society of Forensic Sciences, UK

"Forensic Uses of Digital Imaging, Second Edition … is highly technical and the text does a good job of breaking this down to a more readily understandable level. It covers a number of topics … important for a forensic photographer to understand to be truly competent in today’s world of complex technology … not addressed in detail in other reference books."—Brian Kohlhepp, Detective Division, Ross Township Police Department, Pittsburgh, PA, USA; published in Forensic Science Review, January 2018