Forensic Uses of Digital Imaging: 2nd Edition (Hardback) book cover

Forensic Uses of Digital Imaging

2nd Edition

By John C. Russ

CRC Press

268 pages | 341 Color Illus.

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pub: 2016-01-22
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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.


"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

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


About the Author

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.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / Criminal Law / General
LAW / Forensic Science