Paper Example - Procedure for Photographing a Crime Scene

Paper Type:  Case study
Pages:  4
Wordcount:  982 Words
Date:  2021-09-02

1. Procedure Statement: The photography records enable the detectives to see the evidence as it was at the scene many days after the scene of crime no longer exists (Robinson, 2016). The main idea here is to produce a photograph that will hold the key to a certain case.

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2. Statement of Purpose: Crime scene photography helps bring the prosecutor to the actual event when handling a case. The purpose of photography is also to help individuals who were at the crime scene at the time it happened to recharge their memory as time passes and as well the other members of the public to understand the crime scene and the needed evidence (Fisher & Fisher, 2012). The objects of the crime such as a stolen bicycle are authenticated using the number on the frame while other items can use serial numbers. The photographs should also limit prejudice and be less gruesome (Robinson, 2016).

3. Terms and Definitions: Crime scene photography uses several terminologies

Chain of custody indicates the process of maintaining the evidence (Fisher & Fisher, 2012).

Contamination is the unwanted transfer of crime scene materials for example moving a car away from the place of the accident.

Evident quality photos are high quality and sizeable images that permit examination and comparison by a skilled forensic expert.

Ambient light denotes light that already exists in either indoor or outdoor setting without the photographers illumination.

Aperture refers to the opening in the camera that allows light in.

Shutter speed is how fast a camera captures an image.

Aspect ratio is the width to height ratio in photographic prints.

Camera angles refer to the various positions on which the photographer can place the camera.

Capturing is recording the image.

Color correction denotes enhancing the image colors while contrast refers to the difference in density or darkness of images.

Cropping is to remove parts of the image which are outside the area of focus.

4. Specific Responsibilities: The crime scene photographer has many responsibilities such as the protection of the crime scene, obtaining and using the right equipment, taking the safety precautions, take different photos, identify the photos, follow the chain of custody, store the photos, reconstruct the crime scene, and present the evidence at trial (Robinson, 2016).

Crime Scene Protection: It is very critical to secure the crime scene and restrict nonessential people from accessing the scene. The biggest problem that the crime scene technicians encounter is contamination of the scene by detectives, curious officers, and supervisors (Pepper, 2010). The relevant officers should demarcate the scene of the crime to avoid evidence contamination.

Equipment: the photographers kit varies but in most cases, they carry a camera, and obviously many cameras, filters, many lenses, electronic flashes, filters, close-up and mid-range shots, a gray card, a tripod, a light meter, and a measuring device (Robinson, 2016).

Safety Precautions: even when one does not know the actual reality of the crime scene, one should always have the right protective equipment. You should cover your eyes, hands, head, lungs, feet, and more so the whole body. Upon arrival at the crime scene one should inspect the area for any danger like presence of attackers, explosive devices before commencing on the process (Fisher & Fisher, 2012). Ensure you put nitril or latex gloves on the hands, a helmet on the head, and as well cover your boots with rubber and take a photograph of the shoes of every person at the crime scene.

Types of Photos: The three types of crime scene photographs are overview, intermediate, and the close up. Overview represents a wide angle of the crime scene, perhaps capturing the whole room. Intermediate covers the area that surrounds the evidence, while close up focuses on the evidence, weapons and other objects and the injuries (Robinson, 2016). Ensure that you maximize on the depth of the field. There is a need to consider aperture, white balance and shutter speed (fast speed) of the camera to have the best images.

Photo Identification: After taking the photographs, the photographer should label the photos appropriately to avoid any confusion in future (Pepper, 2010). You should ensure that you take the evidence before marking the crime scene and after so that the photos are identifiable to give sufficient evidence.

Chain of Custody: The chain of custody refers to a tracking document that starts with detailed notes of the scene documenting the place where the photographer collected the evidence. To give the photos to the next level authority, a series of steps are involved. First, one should take notes including the location, time and the date received or recovered, item description, items condition, and any item alterations (Robinson, 2016). Secondly, gather, preserve, label, and package evidence, then seal it, as well as an inventory list. Lastly, prepare the documentation for the chain of custody.

Storage of Photos: Keep the colored photos in their original format. Copying the same evidence to the administrative software is important to have as many backup copies as possible (Pepper, 2010). The format to preserve the photos can be JPEG. In any case, you should keep the password to the gadgets where you preserve the evidence to avoid contamination by others.

Reconstruction of the Crime Scene: in case a person messes up with the crime scene, reconstruction is possible (Robinson, 2016). The data compiled such as the location of the evidence, the possible movements, and the final place where the objects go through the computer providing three-dimensional videos which illustrate the occurrences at the crime scene.

Presentation at Trial: one can report the occurrence at the trial through a crime scene report or the laboratory examination report. The former reports the activities of the crime scene and the processing of the results while the latter analyzes evidence in a laboratory.


Fisher, B. A., & Fisher, D. R. (2012). Techniques of crime scene investigation. CRC Press.

Pepper, I. (2010). Crime Scene Investigation: Methods And Procedures: Methods and Procedures. McGraw-Hill Education (UK).

Robinson, E. M. (2016). Crime scene photography. Academic Press.

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