Handbook of Forensic Photography is the most-comprehensive, definitive reference for the use of photography in the capture and presentation of forensic evidence. The intent is to inform the reader about the most complete and up-to-date methods to capture and reproduce images that most accurately represent the evidence.
With the rise in importance of forensic science, crime and accident scene documentation has likewise increased in importance—not the least of which has been forensic photography. The need to use accepted practice and protocols to guarantee the authenticity of images for evidence documentation is paramount for using it in court. And as with any discipline, there is an art to the science of forensic photography.
Contributing authors from various backgrounds—each experts in their field—have provided numerous case examples, best practices, and recommendations for recognizing, recording, and preserving evidence using cameras and the latest digital image technology, including video and other imaging technologies. Chapters present such topics as videography, drone photography, underwater photography, crime scene photography, autopsy photographs, fire documentation, forensic odontology, and more. The book closes with coverage of courtroom displays, presenting imaging evidence and expert witness testimony in the courtroom.
Handbook of Forensic Photography is a must-have reference for experienced crime scene photographers, death and crime scene investigators, police, and forensic professionals—including medical examiners, odontologists, engineers, and forensic anthropologists—who frequently need to capture investigative photographs in the course of investigations.
Table of Contents
1. Forensic Photography: The Purpose. 2. Fair and Accurate Representation. 3. Development of Agency Standard Operating Procedures. 4. Getting Ready to Go. 4A. Using a Tripod. 4B. Mirrors and Go-Kits. 5. Visual Storytelling. 6. Digital Processing of Evidentiary Photography. 6A. Impression and Pattern Evidence. 7. Necessary Hardware: Operating, Holding, and Focusing. 7A. Light Metering for Exposure. 7B. High Dynamic Range (HDR). 8. Photography in Technical Investigations. 9. Three-Dimensional Photography and Its Applications. 10. Human Vision and Low-Light Photography. 10A. Existing Light Photography. 10B. Painting Evidence with Light. 10C. Dealing with Retroreflective Light. 11. Macrophotography. 12. Image Rectification and Angular Correction. 13. Firearms and Toolmarks. 13A. Bullet Trajectory Laser Photography. 14. Questioned Documents. 14A. Photography and Human Vision. 15. Clandestine or Surveillance Photography. 16. Videography. 17. Surveillance Videos Capture the Path of a Killer (Forensic Analysis). 18. Working the Field/Accident Scene. 19. Laser Scanning. 20. Large Scene Investigation. 21. Photographing Crime Scenes. 21A. Public and Private Scene Investigations: Fire, Crash, and Crime Scenes. 21B. Crime Scene Photogrammetry. 21C. Single-Photo Perpective Photogrammetry. 22. Aerial Coverage from Light Planes and Helicopters. 23. Drone Photography. 24. Inspection for Auditing Conditions. 25. Water and Underwater Photography. 26. Forensic Fire and Explosion Photography. 27. Injury Photography. 28. Documenting Findings in Interpersonal Violence. 29. Autopsy Photography. 30. Entomological Photograph Protocols. 31. Forensic Odontology. 32. Photography and Forensic Archaeology. 33. Forensic Anthropology and Photography. 33A. Forensic Facial Analysis. 33B. Forensic Age Progression. 33C. Forensic Facial Reconstruction and Postpartum Depiction. 34. Photography for Publication. 35. The Role of the Forensic Scientist as Expert Witness in Court. 36. Technology for Courtroom Displays and Demonstrative Presentations.and Expert Witness. 37. Teaching Forensic Photography in the 21st Century.
Sanford L. Weiss, BCEP, is the author of Forensic Photography: The Importance of Accuracy Published by Pearson-Prentice Hall (2008). Mr. Weiss is also an Evidence Photographer’s International Council (EPIC) Board Certified Forensic Evidence Photographer, a Competitive Intelligence Specialist, and was an Illinois State licensed private detective (#115-001807) and head of the Packer Detective Agency (#12002454). He holds a State of Illinois Certified Teacher rating (#1535733) for any and all photography related subjects. He worked for Packer Engineering, Inc., in Naperville, Illinois, from 1980 to 2009 for whom he documented the artifacts and scenes of hundreds of investigations and carried out complex human vision studies for almost 30 years. He also spent time performing Competitive Intelligence Analysis, being corporate librarian, then graphic artist, marketing specialist, and corporate historian. He is an expert in photo-lab management and all aspects of photographic chemical processing and was in charge of the Packer Engineering Photo Laboratory for over 17 years. Mr. Weiss has a B.S. degree in management from National Louis University. He has taught in many venues and on many levels for over 30 years, from government agencies to Universities. He is regularly published on forensic photography in national periodicals, including Evidence Technology Magazine. In 2003 Mr. Weiss received the R. C. Hakanson, Evidence Photographer of the Year Award from EPIC, in 2005 the Nikon Evidence Photographer of the Year Award, then in 2006 he was presented the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award in forensic photography from Nikon USA, one of the world’s leading companies in Professional Photographic Products and Technologies. When he began his career in forensic photography, he was a beginner and the options for learning the craft were limited. In his case the on the job training consisted of watching, talking, asking, and mostly concentrating on the problems he was tasked. He quickly learned there were similarities in all projects and experience was a great teacher. He learned, one must have a passion for figuring out how to most accurately document evidence photographically. To be successful in this work, any other person must have that passion, too. Since 2009 he has been the Principal of Sandy Weiss Forensic Photography Consulting. From 2010 to 2016 he taught accredited online courses in forensic Photography for the University of California Davis Extension Service.