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International School of Asia and the Pacific

Subject: Forensic Photography




ARISTOTLE - Famous Greek philosopher who

invented the first pinhole camera that was known later
as camera obscura literally translated as darkened
mathematician and physicist who discovered and
proved that the strongest light is white light; he
defended his theory by allowing a white light to pass
through a prism thus refracting and diffracting the light
into its component parts
1839 - Birth year of photography; the year when the
science of photography became a public knowledge.
heliograpic drawings (contact-print image of
engravings or other line copy on glass, paper or metal
coated with a bitumen varnish that hardens when
painter and theater designer, who continued the
efforts of Niepce to perfect a photographic process; in
1839, he was successful enough to have his invention
purchased by the French government and made
DAGUERREOTYPE - description of the first
photographs that were scientifically produced
immediately after the birth of photography
demonstration on a photographic technique to the
Royal Society of London; the English scientist who
pointed out the basis of modern photography
JOHN F. W. HERSCHEL - coined the word
photography (then introduced the terms negative and
positive in the following year) and pointed out that
images can be made permanent by dissolving away
unexposed silver compounds with a solution of
hyposulfite of soda (hypo or sodium thiosulfate),
which he had discovered in 1819
WILLIAM ABNEY discovered the use of
hydroquinone as a developing agent in 1880
EDWIN LAND - introduced in 1947 the polaroid
process (1-step photography) with a self-processing
black-and-white film that yields a positive print by the
diffusion transfer reversal method


A. Definitions
As an art, it simply means the art of taking pictures.
As a science, it is the study concerning the production
of images by the combined action of:

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light on sensitive surfaces (films and

photographic papers);
a mechanical device (camera); and
development and printing).

Photography is the technology geared towards the

reproduction of images by using the action of light on
a sensitive surface (photographic film) with the help of
an image-forming device (camera) and the chemical
process (developing and printing) involved therein.
Photography is a process or method of using light to
produce identical image of an object that can be
preserved permanently by employing:
1. camera to regulate, absorb, and filter (RAF)
light; and
2. film (any sensitized material) to record the
The term photography was derived from two Greek
words: phos (light) and graphien (to draw). Literally,
photography means "to draw with light". In
photography, the light writes when it strikes tiny
crystals of light-sensitive chemical compounds (i.e.
silver halide) in the film emulsion thereby causing very
subtle change in the crystals. Thus, photography is
the production of visible images by using the action of
light upon a sensitive surface.
Police Photography is the study of the general
techniques of photographing the crime scene,
physical evidences, and other circumstances that can
be used for law enforcement purposes. It is a field
that focuses on the practical application of
photography in police work (law enforcement
Forensic Photography is that field covering the legal
application of photography in criminal jurisprudence
and criminal investigation. It is that branch of forensic
science, , dealing with the:
1. Study of the fundamental but pragmatic
principles of photography;
2. Application
enforcement; and
3. Preparation of photographic evidences
needed by prosecutors and courts of law.
B. Main significance of photography in police work
Photograph of the crime scene is a factual record of
an incident because it captures place, time and event
in a single photograph or in a series of shots. A
photograph is capable of catching and preserving
event of a crime.
Photographs allow police investigators to understand
the elements of a crime under investigation; clarifying


International School of Asia and the Pacific

Subject: Forensic Photography
and revealing what is not immediately seen and
understood during the initial investigation of the crime

Photograph provides a permanent record of the facts

discovered at the crime scene. They record facts for
future references; they provide necessary information
needed in crime scene reconstruction and logical
analysis of the crime.
C. Fields of Photography Significant in Police Work

Photomicrography - involves the process of

photographing minute objects when magnified by
means of the microscope and enlarged 10 times
(10x) or larger

Photomacrography - involves the process of

photographing objects that are directly enlarged
at the negatives and magnified up to 9X only

Infra-red Photography - the technique of

photographing or recording unseen objects by
means of infra-red light and infra-red film;
example is the practice of photographing charred
or burnt materials & overwritten texts

Ultraviolet Photography - the technique of

photographing unseen objects by the use of ultraviolet light and filters; example is the process of
photographing overwritten text and marked

X-ray Photography - X-ray photography involves

the process of photographing or recording
internal structure of the human body

Invisible radiation with wavelength shorter than 400 mu:

1. Ultraviolet rays
2. X-rays
3. Gamma rays
4. Cosmic rays
Invisible radiation with wavelength longer than 700 mu:
1. Infrared rays
2. Radio waves
3. Hertzian waves
4. Long electrical oscillations
Invisible radiation conveniently used in
1. Ultraviolet rays
2. Infrared rays
3. X rays
4. Gamma rays
Colors of light found in the visible spectrum:
Approximate Wavelength
1. Primary colors of light (in mu.)
a. Red (longest wavelength)
b. Blue
c. Green


Light is the radiant energy that makes things

visible. There are many kinds of radiant energy,
including infrared rays, radio waves, ultraviolet
rays, and X rays. We can see only a tiny part of
all the different kinds of radiant energy, which is
called visible light or simply light.
Electromagnetic spectrum - the whole range of
radiant energy that includes radio waves,
microwaves, infrared light, visible light, ultraviolet
light, x rays, and gamma rays. visible light, which
makes up only a tiny fraction of the
electromagnetic radiation that humans can
perceive with their eyes.
Visible spectrum - a small part of the
electromagnetic spectrum where the visible light
is found; the portion of the electromagnetic
spectrum that affects the human sense of sight.
visible light includes all those radiation having a
wavelength ranging from 400 mu to 700 mu.
Wavelength - the distance between two peaks in
a light wave; used in measuring the intensity of

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light; common unit of measurement of light

intensity is in terms of millimicrons (mu)
Frequency - the number of complete waves per
unit of time; used in measuring the speed of light;
unit of measuring the speed of light maybe mu
per second (mu/sec)
186, 000 miles/sec. approximate normal speed
of light when travelling through a vacuum and
through the air

Complementary colors of light

a. Magenta (shortest wavelength)
b. Cyan
c. Yellow

Color Mixing Principles

1. Color addition

Color subtraction




International School of Asia and the Pacific

Subject: Forensic Photography


The principles of color mixing can be easily understood

and memorized using the color wheel.

Mediums of Light
Mediums of lights are objects that influence the intensity of
light as they may reflect, absorb, or transmit light;
mediums of light maybe classified as:

Transparent objects - mediums that merely slow

down the speed of light but allow it to pass freely in
other respects
Translucent objects - mediums that allow light to
pass through it in such a way that the outline of the
source of light is not clearly visible
Opaque objects - mediums that divert or absorb
light, but do not allow light to pass through

mechanism that is sensitive to light, infrared rays, or

sound waves.
A shutter opens allowing the light to enter the camera.
The shutter may be behind the lens, between 2 lenses, or
directly in front of the film. The speed of the shutter's
opening and closing determines how long the film is
exposed to light. By opening and closing rapidly, the
shutter can freeze an image in motion.
Main Parts of the Modern Camera:

The RAT Law:
When incident light hits a medium, 3 things may
happen. The light maybe reflected, absorbed &
Reflection - a condition that occurs whenever an object
changes the direction of a light wave but does not allow
the wave to pass through it.


Body a light-tight box; light-proof chamber in which

film is held and exposed
Lens function is to focus rays of light reflected by
(or diverging from) the subject unto the
Diaphragm a circular aperture behind the lens,
operates in conjunction with the shutter to admit light
into the light-tight chamber
Shutter the barrier of the light rays that enters and
affects the film inside the light tight box; basic function
of the shutter is to control when and how long light
falls on the film
Filmholder function of this part is to hold firmly the
light-sensitive material at the correct plane during the
exposure interval
Viewfinder or viewing system used to determine
what will be included or covered in the picture; shows
the entire scene coverage that can be recorded in the
film inside the camera

The Sub-components of the Camera:


Refraction - the bending of light rays when passing

obliquely from one medium to another
Diffraction - the phenomenon that occurs when light rays
deviate from a straight course when partially cut off by a
medium or passing near the edges of an opening; a
diverge/separate as they pass the edge of opaque
material or through a small hole.

Focusing mechanism/control the mechanism that

estimates the appropriate object's distance from the
camera to form a sharp or clear image on the


Focusing ring - the outer ring of the lens which

is rotated or adjusted to obtain a clear and
sharp photograph; enables the photographer to
adjust focal range
Distance scale - the focus index or range of
sharp focus; a set of number which determines
the appropriate depth-of-field

The camera refers to a light tight (proof) box with a
means of forming the image (lens or pinhole), with a
means of holding sensitized material at one end (filmholder), and with a means of controlling the amount of light
needed to affect the film at the other end (shutter). It is a
box designed to keep out all light except the light allowed
by the photographer.
All cameras use the same basic principles to form an
image. Light reflects from the scene being photographed
and strikes the lens of the camera. The light passes
through the lens and forms an inverted (upside down)
image on the film at the back of the camera. The image
can be sharpened by adjusting the distance between the
lens and the film. Many cameras have a focusing
mechanism by which the photographer moves the lens a
short distance to sharpen the image. Other cameras
automatically adjust this distance by means of a focusing

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Film transport mechanism - the mechanism that is

manipulated to move new, unexposed film into position for the next picture


Shutter speed control

a. Shutter speed dial (SSD) - used to control the
opening and closing of the shutter; a dial which
sets the length of time in which the light is
allowed to enter the camera; default shutter
speed for cameras without SSD are:

125 - (or 1/125 of a second) - without flash; 60 (or 1/60 of a second) - with flash

Shutter release button - the click of the camera

which releases the shutter

Diaphragm control


International School of Asia and the Pacific

Subject: Forensic Photography

Lens aperture or diaphragm - the window and

sometimes called the eyes of the camera; used
to control how much light reaches the film;
b. F-stop ring also called diaphragm ring or
aperture ring
c. F-stops or F-numbers - the number
indicating the size of lens opening located
at the inner ring of the focusing

or after reflection from a mirror; the point from

which rays appear to diverge; the place where a
visual image is clearly formed, as in the eye or a

The lower the f-stop, the bigger the opening. The

biggest lens opening in most cameras F-1.2. The proper
combination of shutter speed and size of opening (f-stop)
is the key in taking pictures under various light conditions.
This combination is however affected by the speed of the
film being used.

FOCAL POINT - the point of principal focus; the

point where two or more rays that passed thru
the lens converge.
o Inside the camera, focal points are
found at the FOCAL PLANE. This plane
is the space occupied by the film that is
ready for exposure and is also called
film plane.

FOCUSING the process of changing the

distance between the center of lens to the focal
plane; the technique of adjusting the focal length
to get the sharp image of the object or scene to
be photographed

FOCAL LENGTH - the distance between the lens

and the focal plane; this is used in controlling the
magnification (the size of the image formed by
the lens)

LENS SPEED - the largest opening of the

diaphragm that the light can pass through;
determines the maximum intensity of the light
entering the light tight box

ABERRATION - the failure of light rays to focus

properly after they pass through a lens or reflect
from a mirror; also used to describe the lens
defect of cameras

Film speed control also called ISO dial or ASA dial

Flash terminal
Timer (self timer)


The basic function of the lens is to collect light
rays from a subject in front of the camera and project them
as images unto the film at the back of the camera. The 2
general types of lenses (classified based on their
composition and ability to refract and focus an image):

Simple lens - has two precisely regular opposite

surfaces; either both surfaces are curved, or one is
curved and one is plane generally produce aberrated
(imperfect) images


Compound lens composed of two or more simple

lenses fitted together to correct the imperfect image

Groups of Lenses according to Focal Length and

View Angle:
1. Normal lens - for normal distance
photography; with focal length equal to the
diagonal of the image area; has a
picture/view angle of 45o which corresponds
to the view angle of the human eye
2. Wide angle lens - or short-focus lens; lens
producing smaller images but wider angles;
has a shorter focal length than the normal
lens thus covers a picture angle of 60o to 90o

Types of Simple Lens (classification of lenses according

to their surfaces):


Convex lens - also called converging lens and

positive lens; with at least one surface that curves
outwards; thicker in the middle than at the edges;
gathers lays of light and refract them to meet in a
certain point; subtypes are:
a. simple convex - convexo-convex or biconvex
b. plano-convex
c. convexo-concave or converging meniscus

Fish eye lens is a special type with extreme

wide angle. Fish-eye lenses usually cover
angles between 140O and 210O and are used
for unusual wide-angle effects where the
distortion becomes a deliberate pictorial
element. They also have certain scientific
applications, for instance, to cover a horizonto-horizon view of the sky in recording cloud

Concave lens - also called diverging lens and

negative lens; with at least one surface that curves
inward; lens that is thicker at the edges than at the
center; spreads out light rays that have been refracted
through it; subtypes are:
a. simple concave - concavo-concave or biconcave
b. plano-concave
c. concavo-convex or diverging meniscus
Definition of Key Terms:

FOCUS - the point at which light rays converge;

the point where a set of light rays meet after passing through a lens or other optical arrangement,

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Telephoto Lens or long focus lens; for long

distance photography; has a longer focal length and
provides a close-up image of a distant object;
produces flat composition; far objects appear
enlarged while near objects do not appear
proportionally large


International School of Asia and the Pacific

Subject: Forensic Photography

Monochromatic film film that is sensitive to a

single color of light (for black and white).
a. Blue sensitive film a film specially treated that
makes it more sensitive to blue rays of light.
b. UV sensitive film sensitive to ultra violet rays


Panchromatic film sensitive to all light found in the

visible spectrum
Orthochromatic film sensitive to UV rays, blue and
green colors but not red.

In contrast to the wide angle lens, the

telephoto lens covers a smaller field of view and a
shallower depth of field. Because of shallow depth of
field, there will be lack of sharpness of the out-offocus areas in the photograph to be produced.
Note: The longer the focal length, the larger the
image, and the smaller/narrower the view angle (fieldof-view)


Red portions are recorded as dark tomes, white and

green and blue are parts appear as light tones when
printed. This type of film is popular in the marker as
the Kodalith film.

Types of camera lens based on lens speed:


Fast lens - lens with high lens speed; used during

night time or in a dark room
Slow lens - lens with low lens speed; used during
daytime or where the room is very bright

Other Special types of camera lens:



Zoom lens - a special type of camera lens with

variable focal length (focal length can be changed);
allows quick adjustment to give a wider or narrower
field of vision
Macro lens - a lens used for close-up photography
particularly in taking pictures of minute objects;
using a macro lens, the subject being photographed
will appear bigger than its actual size. Macro lens is
most helpful in fingerprint work, in recording
evidences such as pollen grains, hair, fibers and the
6 major types of lens aberration:
1. Spherical aberration
2. Astigmatism
3. Coma
4. Chromatic aberration
5. Curvature of field
6. distortion


Classification of Panchromatic Films:

1. Process panchromatic film permit short
exposures under average under average lighting
condition and has the advantage of the grain
2. Grain panchromatic film
3. High speed panchromatic designed originally for
photographing objects under adverse lighting
FILM SPEED (or emulsion speed) - the sensitivity of the
film to light, the extent to which the emulsion is sensitive to
Two (2) classical film speed ratings that became popular:
1. ASA Rating expressed in arithmetical value
system; the speed in numbers is directly proportional
to the sensitivity of the material
2. DIN Rating expressed in logarithmic value system
ISO Rating the combination of ASA and DIN rating;
the higher the ISO number, the more the film sensitive
to light


Sensitized material refers to the films and
photographic paper that are composed of emulsion
containing silver halide crystals suspended in gelatin and
coated on a transparent or reflective support.
Types of film according to use:

black and white film for black and white photography

color film films that have names ending in color
chrome film for color transparency, films that are
exposed by slides, mounted in cardboard for slide
x-ray film film that are sensitive to x-radiations

Types of film based on spectral sensitivity (responsiveness

of the film emulsion to the different wavelength of the light

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Infrared Film special type that is sensitive to

infrared and ultra violet radiations, it is also sensitive
to all colors found in the visible spectrum

Types of Photographic Papers:


Based on emulsion used:

Chloride based paper used for contact
printing, the size of the positive print is the same
as the size of the negative used
Silver bromide paper - used for projection
printing or enlarging process wherein the
negative image is used for projection or
Silver chlorobromide paper used both for
projection and contact printing
Variable contrast paper combines the contrast
ranges in one paper, it uses a special
chlorobromide emulsion that produces varying
contrast responses upon exposure to different
colored lights


International School of Asia and the Pacific

Subject: Forensic Photography

According to physical characteristics:


Based on weight
a. Light Weight used when the thickness of
the paper is not a consideration and high
degree of flexibility is necessary. Intended
for purposes, which involves folding
b. Single Weight - paper used for small print or
print which needs to be mounted on solid
and fine details are necessary in the
Used only for ordinary
photographic purposes
c. Double weight generally used for large
prints because they stand up under rough





Based on surface texture

a. Glossy paper are preferred where fine
details and brilliant images are required.
b. Semi-mate paper are with decided
textures which obscure fine details.
c. Rough papers used for large prints or
where breadth rather that detail is
Based on color
a. White preferred for cold-tone effect
b. Cream preferred for pictorial effect,
portraits, landscape or when warmth effect
is desired
c. Buff papers preferred for tone prints




Grades of Printing Papers:



Velox # 0 used for printing from extremely low

contrast negatives, the low contrast in the paper
sensitizing counteracts the high contrast in the
negative to give a new print.
Velox # 1 for high contrast negative
Velox # 2 for normal contrast used with normal
Velox # 3 for negatives that have weak
Velox # 4 provides sufficient contrast to
compensate for very thin or weak negatives;
useful in printing requiring high contrast
Velox # 5 for flat negatives that are almost






Aberration Lens defects in which light rays are

scattered, thereby degrading the image. There are
different forms of aberration, such as chromatic and
spherical aberrations, coma, astigmatism and field
Achromatic lens A lens constructed of different
types of glass, to reduce chromatic aberration. The
simplest combination is of two elements, one of flints
glass the other of crown glass.
Acutance The objective measurement of how tell an
edge is recorded in a photographic image.

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Additive Process the pass of combining lights of

different colors. A set of three primary images.
Aerial Perspective The impression of depth in a
scene that is conveyed by haze.
Anastigmant A compound lens, using different
elements to reduce optical aberrations.
Angle of View The widest angle of those light rays a
accepted by lens that from an acceptably sharp image
at the film plane. This angle is widest when the lens
is focused at infinity.
Angstrom Unit used to measure light wavelengths.
Aperture In most lenses, the aperture is an
adjustable circular hole centered on the lens axis. It
is apart of the lens system that admits light.
Artificial Light light that comes to existence with the
intervention of man.
ASA Arithmetically progressive rating of the senci
sensitivity of a film to light (American Standards
Association), ASA 200 film, for example, is twice as
fast as Asa 100.
Astigmatism A lens aberration in which light rays
that pass obliquely through a lens are focused, not as
a point by as a line. Astigmatism is normally found in
simple lenses.
Automatic Exposure Control Camera system where
the photo electric cell that measure the lighting
reaching film plain is linked to the shutter or lenses
aperture to adjust the exposure automatically.
Backlighting Lighting form behind the subjects
directed the camera position.
Barrel Distortion A lens aberration in which the
shape of the image is distorted. The magnification
decreases radially outwards, so that a square objects
appears barrel shaped, with the straight edges bowed
Bass Relief A method of producing images that
appears to stand out slightly in relief. It is produced
by sand switching a positive and negative of the same
images slightly out of register, and the printing the
Base the support material for a emulsion, normally
plastic or paper.
Between-the-lens-shutter A leaf shutter located
inside a compound lens, as close as possible to the
aperture diaphragm.
Bounce Flash Diffusion of the light from a flash unit,
by directing it towards reflective surfaces, such as a
ceiling or wall. This scatters the light rays, giving a
softer illumination.
Bright-field illumination The basic lightning
technique for photomicrography, directing light to thin
sections of the subject. In effect a form of back
Brightness The subjective of luminance.
Bracketing A method of compensating for
uncertainties in exposure, by making a series of
exposure a single subject, each varying by
progressive amount from the estimated correct
aperture / speed setting.
Cable Release A device use in pressing the shutter
release button of the camera that avoid incidental
movement of the camera during exposure period.


International School of Asia and the Pacific

Subject: Forensic Photography
24. Camera Shake Unintentional movement of the
camera during exposure, causing unsharpness in the
25. CdS Cell Cadmium sulfide cell used commonly in
through-the-lens light meters.
Its proportionate
resistance to the quantity of light received is the basis
of exposure measurement.
26. Chromatic Aberration A lens aberration in which light
of different wavelengths (and therefore colors) is
focused at different distances behind the lens. It can
be corrected by combining different types of glass.
27. Circle of Confusion A disc from image of a point in
the object. The allowable circle of confusion is usually
1/1,000 of the focal length of the lens in inches.
28. Circle of Confusion The disc of light formed by an
imaginary lens. When small enough, it appears to the
eye as a point, and at this size the image appears
29. Coating A thin deposited surface on a lens, used to
reduce flare.
30. Color Compensation Filter Filter used to alter color
of light. Available ion primary and complementary
colors at different strengths.
31. Color Contrast Subjects impression of the difference
in intensity between two close or adjacent colors.
32. Color Conversion Filter Colored filter that alters the
color temperature of light.
33. Color Couple A chemical compound that combines
with the oxidizing elements of a developer to form a
color dye. It is an integral part of the most part color
film processing.
34. Color Temperature The temperature to which an
insert substance would have to be heated in order for
it to glow at a particular color. The scale of color
temperature significant for photography ranges form a
reddish colors of approximately 2000K through
standards white at 5500K, to a bluish color above
35. Coma A lens aberration in which off-axis light rays
focus at different distances when they pass through
different area of the lens. The result is blurring at the
edges of the picture.
36. Complementary Colors A pair of colors that, when
combined together in equal proportions produce white
light (by means of addictive process).
37. Compound Lens Lens constructed of more than one
element, which enables various optical corrections to
be made.
38. Condenser Simple lens system that concentrates
light into a beam.
39. Contact Sheets A print of all frames of roll of film
arranged in strips, same size, from which negatives
can be selected for enlargement.
40. Contrast Difference in brightness between adjacent
areas of tone. In photographic emulsion, it is also the
rate increase in density measured against exposure.
41. Converging Lens Lens which concentrates light rays
towards a common point. Also known as a convex
42. Darkfield Illumination Lighting technique used in
photomicrography, where the subjects is lit from all
sides by a cone of light directed from beneath the

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43. Depth of Focus the maximum permissible distance

within which the film maybe placed without the
The circle of confusion in order to
produce the image.
44. Definition The subjective effect of graininess and
sharpness combined.
45. Density In photographic emulsion, the ability of a
developed silver deposit to block transmitted light.
46. Depth of Field The distance through which the
subjects may extend and still form an acceptably
sharp image, in front of and beyond the plane of
critical focus. Depth of field can be increased by
stopping the lens down to a smaller aperture.
47. Depth of Focus the distance through the film plane
can be moved and still record and acceptably sharp
48. Diaphragm Opening control the amount of light that
passes thru the lens expose.
49. Diaphragm An adjustable opening that controls the
amount of light passing throughout a lens.
50. Diffraction The distance of light waves that occurs
when they strike the edge of the opaque surface.
51. Diffuser materials that scatter transmitted light.
52. Din Logarithmical progressive rating of the
sensitivity of a film to light (Dutsche Industrie Norm).
53. Diopter Measurement of the refractive ability of a
lens. It is the reciprocal of the focal length, in metres;
a convex lens is measures in positive diopter, a
concave lens in negatives diopters.
54. Diverging lens lens which causes light rays to
spread outwards from the optical axis.
55. Dye Cloud Zone of color in a developed silver grain,
which itself has been bleached out during the
56. Dye Transfer Process Color printing process that
uses color separation negatives which in turn produce
matrices that can absorb and transfer colored dyes to
57. Electromagnetic Spectrum the range of frequencies
of electromagnetic from radio wave to gamma rays,
including visible radiations (lights).
58. Electrons elementary particles with a negative
charge, normally in orbit around nucleus.
59. Electronic flash Artificial light source produced by
passing charges across two electrodes in a gas.
60. Emulsion Light-sensitive substances composed of
halides suspended in gelatin, used for photographic
film and paper.
61. Exposure In photography, the amount of light
reaching an emulsion, being the product of intensity
and time.
62. Exposure Latitude for film the increase in exposure
that can be made from the minimum necessary to
record shadow detail, while presenting detail.
63. Extension A fixed or adjustable tube placed between
the lens and camera body used to increase the
magnification of the image.
64. F-stop The notation for relative aperture which is
ratio of the focal length to the diameter of the
aperture. The light gathering power of lenses is
usually described by the wider f-stop they are capable
of and lens aperture ring are normally calibrated in a
standard series:


International School of Asia and the Pacific

Subject: Forensic Photography






f1, f2, f8. f4. f11. f16. f22. f32, and so on, each of
these stops differ in its adjacent stop by a factor of 2.
Field Curvature In this lens aberration, the plane of
sharpest focus is a curved surface rather than the flat
surface at the film plane.
Film a type of light sensitized material that
procedures negative after development.
Filter a homogeneous medium which transmits of
absorbs different wave length of electromagnetic
Film Speed rating The sensitivity of a film to light,
measure on a standard scale, normally either ASA of
Filter Transparent material fitted to a lens alters the
characteristics of light passing through it, most
commonly in color.
Fish-Eye-Lens A very wide angle lens
characterized by extreme barrel distortion.
Flare Non-image-forming light caused by scattering
and reflection, that degrades the quality of images.
Coating is used to reduce it.
Flash See electronic flash.
Flash Guide Number Notation used to determine
the aperture setting when using electronic flash. It is
proportionate to the output of the flash unit.
Flash Synchronization Camera system that ensure
that the peak light output from flash unit coincides
with the time that shutters fully open.
Flash Length the distance measure from the center
of the lens to the film plane when tea lens is focus at
distance objects.
Fluorescent Lighting Vapor discharge lighting in
which the inside of the lamp's jacket is coated with
phosphors. These add a continuous spectrum to the
single emission spectra. The color recorded on film is
difficult to predict, depending on the type and age of
lamp, but is generally greenish.
Focal Length The distance between the center of a
lens (the principle point) and its focal point.
Focal Plane Shutter Shutter located close to the
focal plane, using tow blinds that form an adjustable
gap which moves across the film area. The size of
the gap determines the exposure.
Focal Points The point on either side of a lens
where light rays entering parallel to the axis
Focus The point at which light rays are converged
by lens.
The estimation or calculation of object distance from
the camera and formed a sharp images.
Fresnel Screen A viewing screen that incorporates a
Fresnel lens. This has a stepped convex surface that
performs the same function as a condenser lens,
distributing image brightness over the entire area of
the screen, but is much thinner.
Gamma Measure of the steepness of an emulsion's
characteristics curve being the tangent of the angle
made by extending the straight lint position of the
curve, downwards until it meets the horizontals axis.
Gelatin Substance used to hold halide particles in
suspension, in order to construct an emulsion. This is
deposited on a backing.

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85. Grade Clarification of photographic printing paper

by a contrast. Grades 0 to 4 are the most common,
although they are not comparable across makes.
86. Graininess The subjective impression when viewing
photography of granularity under normal viewing
The eye cannot resolve individuals
grains, only over lapping clumps of grains.
87. Granularity the measurements of the size and
distribution of grains in an emulsion.
88. Ground Glass Screen Sheet of glass finely ground
to a translucent finish on one side, used to make
image focusing easier when viewing.
89. Gyro Stabilizer Electrically-powered camera support
that incorporates a heavy gyroscope to cushion the
camera from vibrations. Particularly useful when
shooting from helicopters, cars and other vehicles.
90. Hardeners Chemical agent, commonly chrome or
potassium alum that combines with the gelatin of a
film to make resistant to scratching.
91. Hyper focal distance The minimum distance at
which a lens records a subject sharply when focused
at infinity.
92. Hypo Alternative name for fixer, sodium thiosulfate.
93. Hypo-Eliminator Chemical used to clean fixer an
emulsion to shorten washing time.
94. Hyper Focal Distance the nearest distance at which
the lens is focus at a particular f-number to given
maximum depth of field.
95. Incident Light Reading Exposure measurement of
the light sources that illuminates the subjects (or
refracted light reading). It is therefore independent of
the subject's own characteristics.
96. Infra-Red-Radiation Electromagnetic radiations from
730 nanometers to 1mm, longer in wavelengths that
light is proportional to the square of the distance from
the source to the surface.
97. Ion An atom or group of atoms with positive charge,
because of too few electrons (positive) of too many
98. Joule Unit of electronic flash output, equal to one
war-second. The power of different units can be
compared with this measurement.
99. Kelvin The standard unit of thermodynamic
temperature, calculated by adding 273 to degrees
100.Latent Image The invisible image formed by
exposing an emulsion to light. Development renders
it visible.
101.Lens A transparent device for converging or
diverging rays light by refraction. Convex lenses are
thicker at the center that at the edges; concave lenses
are thicker at the edges at the center.
102.Lens Axis A line through the center of curvature of
103.Lens Flare Non-images forming reflected that
degrades the quality of the image.
104.Lens Shade Lens attachment that shades the
element from non-images forming light that can cause
105.Light is an electromagnetic energy that excites the
retina of light passing thru it to form an image.


International School of Asia and the Pacific

Subject: Forensic Photography
106.Line film Very high contrast film, which can
developed so that the image contains only full density
black, with a focal length.
107.Lon-focus lens Lens with focal length longer than
the diagonal of the film format. For 3.5mm film,
anything longer that about 50mm is therefore at least
twice the standard focal length.
108.Luminance The quality of light emitted by or
reflected from a surface.
109.Masking Blocking specific areas of an emulsion
from light. For example, a weak positive image, when
combined with the negative can be used to mask the
highlights so as to produce a less contrasting print.
110. Matrix Sheet of film used in the dye transfer process
that carries a relief image in gelatin.
This is
temporarily dyed when printing.
111. Means Noon Sunlight An arbitrary but generally
accepted color temperature of which most daylight
color film are balanced 5400.Kelvin, being the
average color temperature of direct midday in
Washington DC.
112. Mercury Vapor Lamp Form of lighting sometimes
encountered in available light photography. It has
discontinues spectrum and reproduces as blue-green
on color photography.
113. Mired Value A measurement of color temperature
that facilitates the calculation of difference between
light sources. It is the reciprocal of the Kelvin
measurement (1 million per Kelvin).
114. Mirror lens Compound lens that form a image
reflection from curved mirrors rather that refraction
through lenses. By folding the light paths, its length is
much shorter than that of traditional lenses of the
same focal length.
115. Monopod Single leg of a tripod, as a light weight
camera for handled shooting.
116. Nanometer 1 x 10 meter
117. Natural Light Light that comes to existence with the
intervention of man.
118. Negative Photographic image reversed tones (and
reversed colors if color film), used to make a positive
image, normally a print projection.
119. Neutral lens Lens with a focal length equal to the
diagonal of the film format. It produces an image
which appears to have man.
120.Open Flash Method of illumination a subjects with a
flash unit, by leaving the camera shutter open, and
triggering the flash discharge manually.
121.Optical Axis Line passing through the center of a
lens system. A light ray following this line would not
be bent.
122.Orthochromatic Film Film that is sensitive to green
and blue light, but reacts weakly to red light.
123.Panchromatic Film Film that is sensitive to all the
colors of the visible spectrum.
124.Panning A smooth rotation of the camera so as to
keep a moving subjects continuously in frame.
125.Parallax The apparent movement of two objects
relative to each other when viewed from different
126.Parallax displacement of image point when viewed
at two different points or angles.
127.Pentaprism Five-side prism, which rectiles the
image left-to-right and top to bottom.

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128.Photo-Electric Cell Light sensitive cell used to

measure exposure. Some produce electricity when
exposed to light; other to light by offering an electrical
129.Photographic Paper Paper which is sensitive to light
and produces positive print after development of
image point when viewed at two different points or
130.Photography is driver from the Greek word which
means light and draw respectively. It is also defined
as the art or science which deals with the
reproduction of images thought the action of light on
sensitized materials.
131.Police photography is the science that deals with
the study of the principle of photography, its
application to police work and the preparation of
photographic evidence.
132.Photoflood Over-rated tungsten lamp used in
photography, with a color temperature of 3400.

magnifications using the imaging systems of a
134.Photon a quantum of light and other
electromagnetic radiation treated as an elementary
135.Pincushion distortion A lens aberration in which the
shape of the image is distorted. The magnification
increases radically outwards, and a square objects
appears in the shape of a pincushion, with the
corner's stretched.
136.Polarization Restriction of the direction of vibration
of light. Normal light vibrates at right angles to its
direction of travel in every plane; a plane-polarizing
filter (the most common in photography) restricts this
vibration to one plane only. There are several
applications, the most usual being to eliminate
reflection from water and non-metallic surfaces.
137.Posterization Darkroom technique that converts an
image into areas of flat single stones, using tone
138.Primary Colors A set of any three colors that, when
mixed together can be used to male any other color,
and when mixed together in equal proportions
produce either white (by the addictive process) or
black (by the subtractive process). Red, green and
blue are one set of primary colors; cyan, magenta
and yellow are another.
Photographic printing technique of
selectively increasing exposure over certain areas of
the image.
140.Prism Transparent substance shaped so as to
refract light in a controlled manner.
141.Process Lens Flat-field lens designed to give high
resolution of the image on a flat plane. This is
achieved at the expense of depth of field, which is
always shallow.
142.Programmed Shutter Electronically operated shutter
with variable speeds that is linked to the camera's
TTL meter. When a particular aperture setting is
selected the shutter speed is automatically adjusted
to give a standard exposure.
143.Range finder Arrangement of mirror, lens and prism
that measures distance by means of a binocular


International School of Asia and the Pacific

Subject: Forensic Photography
system. Used on direct viewfinder cameras for
accurate focusing.
144.Reciprocity Failure (reciprocity effect) At very short
and very long exposure , the reciprocity law ceases to
hold true, and an extra exposure is needed. With
color film, the three dye layers suffer differently,
causing a color cast. Reciprocity failure differs from
emulsion to emulsion.
145.Reciprocity Law-Exposure-Intensity X Time In
other words, the amount for exposure that the film
receive in a camera is a product of the size of the lens
aperture (intensity) and shutter speed (time).
146.Reducer Chemical used to remove silver from a
developed image, so reducing density. Useful for
over-developed negatives.
147.Reflected Light Reading Exposure measurement of
the light reflected from the subject (of incident light
reading). Through the lens meters use this method,
and it is well-suited to subjects of average reflectance.
148.Reflector Surface used to reflect light. Usually the
light at the same time.
149.Refraction The bending of light rays as they pass
from one transparent medium to another when the
two media have different light-transmitting properties.
150.Raperture The focal length of lens divided by the
diameter of the entrance pupil, normally recorded as
f-stops, e.g. 50M lens with a maximum aperture
opening 25mm in diameter has relative aperture of f4
151.Resolution The ability of a lens to distinguish
between closely-spaces objects, also known as
resolving power.
152.Reticulation Crazed effect on a film emulsion
caused by subjecting the softened gelatin to extremes
of temperature change.
153.Reversal Film Photographic emulsion which, when
developed, gives a positive image (commonly called
So called of one stage in the
development when the film briefly re-exposed, either
chemically or to light thus reversing the image which
would otherwise be negative.
154.Rifle Stock Camera support that enables a camera
normally with a ling lens, to be hand-held more
securely, in the same manner as a rifle.
155.Sabatier Effect Partial reversal of tone (and color
when applied to a color emulsion) due to brief
exposure to light during development of an emulsion.
156.Safelight Light source in a darkroom with a color
and intensity that does not affect the light sensitive
materials for which it is designed.
157.Sensitized Material Materials which is affected once
Scoop-Smoothly curving background, used principally
to eliminate the horizon line.
158. Selenium Cell
Photo-electric cell which generates its
own electricity in proportion to the light falling on it.
159. Sensitivity The ability of an emulsion to respond to light.
160. Sensitometry The scientific study of light sensitive
materials and the way they behave.
161. Separation Negative
Black-and-White negative
exposed through a strong colored filter to record an image of
a selected part of the spectrum, normally one-third. Used i
dye transfer printing, and also in non-photographic printing.
162. Shading Photographic printing techniques where light is
held back from selected parts of the image.
163. Sharpness The subjective impression when viewing a
photograph of acutance.

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164. Short-Focus Lens

Lens with a focal length shorter than
the diagonal of the film format. For the 35mm format; short
lenses generally range shorter than 35mm.
165. Shutter Camera mechanism that control the period of time
that image-focusing light is allowed to fall on the film.
166. Single Lens Reflex - Camera design that allows the image
focused on the film plane to be previewed. A hinged mirror
that diverts the light path is the basis of the system.
167. Slave Unit Device that respond to the light emission unit, to
active additional flash unit. Snoot generally fitting a light
source, used to throw a circle on the subject.
168. Soft Focus Filter A glass with an irregular or etched surface
that reduces image sharpness and increase flare, in a
controlled fashion. Normally used for flattering effect in
portraiture and beauty shots.
169. Solarization Reversal of tones in an image produced by
greatly overexposing the emulsion. A similar appearance
can be created by making use of the Sabatier effect.
170. Spherical Aberration In this aberration, light rays from
subject on the lens axis passing through off-center areas of
the lens focus at different distance from light rays that pass
directly through the center of the lens. The result is blurring
in the center of the picture.
171. Split-Field Filter
Bi-focal filter, the top half of which
consist of plain glass, the lower half being a plus-diopter lens
that allows a close foreground to be focused at the same
time as the background.
172. Spot Meter
Hand-held exposure meter of great
accuracy, measuring reflected light over a small, precise
angle of view.
173. Stop Bath Chemical that neutralized the action of the
developer on an emulsion effectively stopping development.
174. Subtractive Process The process of combining colored
pigment, dyes, or filter, all of which absorb light. Combining
all three primary colors in this way produces black (an
absence of light) exposed to light.
175. Shutter Speed The duration between the opening and
closing of the shutter.
176. Test Strip Test of various exposures made with an
177. Through-The-Lens (TTL) Meter
Exposure meter built in
to the camera, normally located close to the instant-return
mirror of a single reflex or to the pentaprism.
178. Tone Uniform density in an image.
179. Tone Separation The isolation of areas of tone in an
image, normally by the combination of varying densities of
line positives and negatives.
180. Toner Chemicals that add an overall color to a processed
black-and-white, by means of bleaching and dyeing.
181. Transparency Positive image on a transparent film base,
designed to be viewed by transmitted light.
182. Tri-Chromatic Method of reusing or reproducing specific
colors by the variable combination of only three equally
distributed wave-lengths, such as blue, green, red or yellow,
magenta, cyan.
183. Tri-Pack Film Color film constructed with three layers of
emulsion, each sensitive to a different color. When exposed
equally, the three colors give white.
184. Tungsten-Halogen Lamp Tungsten lamp of improved
efficiently, in which the filament is enclosed in halogen gas,
which causes the vaporized parts of the filament to be redeposited on the filament rather than on the envelope.
185. Tungsten Lighting Artificial lighting cause by heating a
filament of tungsten to a temperature where it emits light.
186. Tripod three legged device that support the camera during
187. Ultraviolet Radiation Electromagnetic radiation from 13 to
397 nanometers, short in wavelength than light. Most films,
unlike the human eye, are sensitive to ultraviolet radiation.
188. Vapor Discharge Lighting Artificial lighting produces by
passing an electric current through gas at low pressure in a
glass envelope.



International School of Asia and the Pacific

Subject: Forensic Photography
189. Variable Contrast Paper Printing paper with a single
emulsion which can be used in different degree of contrast
by means of selected filters.
190. Viewfinder Simple optical system used for viewing the
191. Wave Length the distance between two successive crests.
curved mirrors rather than refraction through lenses. By
folding the light paths, its length is much shorter than that of
traditional lenses of the same focal length.
192. Wavelength of Light The distance between peals in a wave
of light. This distance among other things determines the
193. Wetting Agent Chemical that weakens the surface tension
of water, and so reduces the risk of dying marks of film.

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194. Wide-Angle Lens

lens with an angle lens of view than
that considered subjectively normal by the human eye (i,e
more than about 50). Wide angles of view are characteristic
of lenses with short focal lengths.
195. Zone System A method of evaluating exposure, with
implication for the photographic approach, developed by
Ansel Adams, Minor White and other. Light measurement is
converted to exposure setting by dividing the tonal range into
specific numbered zones.
196. Zoom Lens Lens with continuously variable length over a
certain range at any given focus and aperture. It is
generated by differential of the lens elements.