Criminalistics 1 – Forensic Photography

By Hermie Terrence I. Reodava, Reg. Crim.

What do you think of these Photographs?

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How about these?

Introduction to Forensic Photography
Photography
Literal Definition: To write with light. From 2 Greek words: phos – light and graphia – write. Modern Definition: It is an art or science which deals with the reproduction of images through the action of light, upon sensitized materials, with the aid of a camera and its accessories, and the chemical processes involved therein.

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Photography
Technical/Legal Definition: It is any means for chemical, thermal, electrical or electronic recording of the images of scenes, or objects formed by some type of radiant energy, including gamma rays, X-rays, ultra-violet rays, visible light and infrared rays.

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Photography
Technical/Legal Definition: This definition is broad enough to include not only the conventional methods of photography but almost any new process that may be developed.

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Police Photography – An art or science which deals with the study of the principles of photography, the reproduction of photographic evidence, and its application to police work.

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Forensic Photography – The art or science of photographically documenting a crime scene and evidence for laboratory examination and analysis for purposes of court trial.

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Concept
1. Small object but of great importance in crime committed may escape 2. Use to described and reconstruct the crime scene 3. Use to remember small details in the crime scene

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As a general rule, photographs in court proceeding must be: 1. Normal 2. Sharp 3. Free of distortion

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Historical Development
18th Century  silver salt turns black when once hot by a light rays  used Camera Obscura (dark chamber)

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Joseph Nicéphore Niépce  able to obtain camera images on papers sensitized with silver chloride solution in 1816  invented a photographic process which he called “heliography” - writing of the sun  regarded his work as imperfect and failure because fixation is only partial
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Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre  1829 made partnership with Niepce to use silver plates of pewter  1835 discover that mercury fumes could develop an invisible image on a silver plate is sensitized with iodine fumes before exposure  developed the Daguerreotype (1839)

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Daguerreotype  first photographic process given to the world  made permanent by the use of hypo  precision of details and exquisite beauty of these direct positive images on silver plates

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William Henry Fox Talbot  invented a process called calotype Calotype - a photographic process by which a large number of prints could be produced from a paper negative; also: a positive print so made. Calotype used paper with surface fibers impregnated with light sensitive compounds.

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John Frederick William Herschel  coined the term photography and applied the terms negative and positive to photography  invented the cyanotype process and variations (such as the chrysotype)  discovered sodium thiosulfate to be a solvent of silver halides in 1819

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 informed Talbot and Daguerre of his discovery that this "hyposulphite of soda" ("hypo") could be used as a photographic fixer (1939)
– photographic fixer use to "fix" pictures and make them permanent

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Frederick Scott Archer  invented the photographic collodion process which preceded the modern gelatin emulsion
• Collodion is a wound-dressing material made of nitrated cotton dissolved in ether and alcohol, and other chemicals on sheets of glass.

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JM Petzal  1840 he designed the first lens specifically for photographic use  it has maximum aperture of f/3.6

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Richard Leach Maddox  an English photographer and physician who invented lightweight gelatin negative plates for photography in 1871

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George Eastman  founded the Eastman Kodak Company and invented roll film, helping to bring photography to the mainstream

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Aims & Purposes of Photography in Law Enforcement Work
2. Conduct comparative examination and analysis of questioned photographs or pictures to the known photographs. 3. Process color and black and white film, print, reduce and enlarge picture. 4. Reproduce picture and other printed matters. 5. Compose portrait by means of portrait composition. 6. Provides photographic intrusion detection devices. 7. Maintain Rogues’ Gallery (a collection of pictures of persons arrested as criminals.)

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Aims & Purposes of Photography in Law Enforcement Work
1. Take photographs of the following:
           Crime scene Suspects Detainees Prisoners Aliens All apprehended persons All applicants for clearances All military and civilian personnel Unknown cadaver Possessor and applicant to possess firearms Other physical evidence
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Elements of Photography
1. 2. 3. 4. Light Camera Sensitized Materials Chemical Process

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Light: Its Characteristics & Sources
Light is a form of energy, and to understand light we begin with the electromagnetic spectrum which is basically a grouping of all electromagnetic radiation arranged according to the amount of energy contained in the radiation.

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Light: Its Characteristics & Sources
Visible light is a part of this electromagnetic spectrum that creates the sensation of light when it falls on the human eye.

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Light: Its Characteristics & Sources
The properties of all electromagnetic radiation can be described by three inter-related terms. These are wavelength, frequency and energy. Since light is a part of this spectrum, it too can be described by these terms. Hence, it is important to understand these terms as a first step towards understanding light.

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Light: Its Characteristics & Sources

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Light: Its Characteristics & Sources
Wavelength Simplistically, we can think of light traveling as a wave. A typical wave form (e.g., ripples on the surface of water) has crests (or peaks) and troughs (or valleys). The distance between two consecutive peaks (or troughs) is called the wavelength, and is denoted by the Greek letter λ (lambda).

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Light: Its Characteristics & Sources

Light passing through a prism converting to different colors of light.

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Light: Its Characteristics & Sources
The wavelengths of visible light are measured in nanometers (nm) where 1 nm = 1 billionth of a meter (10-9 meters). The wavelength of visible light is between 400-700nm. The combined effect of the complete range of radiation between 400-700nm appears as white light to the human eye.

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Light: Its Characteristics & Sources
Rainbow Colors: – Violet - 400 to 440nm – Blue - 440 to 490nm – Green - 490 to 540nm – Yellow - 540 to 590nm – Orange - 600 to 650nm – Red - 650 to 700nm
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Light: Its Characteristics & Sources
4 PHOTOGRAPHIC RAYS OF MODERN PHOTOGRAPHY  X-rays – 1 to 30 nm
 UV rays – 30 to 400 nm  Visible light – 400 to 700 nm  Infrared rays – 700 to 1,000+ nm.

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Light: Its Characteristics & Sources
Red

Green
PRIMARY COLORS OF LIGHT

Blue

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Light: Its Characteristics & Sources
Yellow Magenta

Cyan

SECONDARY COLORS OF LIGHT
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Light: Its Characteristics & Sources
NOTE: 1. White is the presence of all colors 2. Black is the absence of all colors or the absence of light.

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Light: Its Characteristics & Sources
Bending of Light When traveling in open space, light travels in a straight line (186,000 miles/second). However, when light comes in contact with an object, it may be bended in the following manner:

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Light: Its Characteristics & Sources
Reflection of Light
1. Specular or Regular Reflection - If the reflecting surface is very smooth, the reflection of light that occurs is called specular or regular reflection.

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Light: Its Characteristics & Sources

Specular or Regular Reflection
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Light: Its Characteristics & Sources
2. Diffuse or Irregular Reflection – When light strikes a rough or granular surface, it bounces off in all directions due to the microscopic irregularities of the interface.

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Light: Its Characteristics & Sources

Diffuse or Irregular Reflection
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Light: Its Characteristics & Sources
Refraction It is the change in direction of a wave due to a change in its speed. This is most commonly observed when a wave passes from one medium to another.

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Light: Its Characteristics & Sources

The straw seems to be broken, due to refraction of light as it emerges into the air.
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Light: Its Characteristics & Sources
Diffraction It is described as the apparent bending of waves around small obstacles and the spreading out of waves past small openings. It is also described as the bending of light when it hits a sharp edge of an opaque object.

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Light: Its Characteristics & Sources
Kinds of Objects 1. Transparent objects – allows sufficient visible light to pass through them that the object on the other side may be clearly seen. 2. Translucent objects – allows light to pass, however diffuse it sufficiently that objects on the other side may not be clearly distinguished. In some cases the objects on the other side may be recognizable but sharp detail and outline are obscured.

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Light: Its Characteristics & Sources
Examples of Diffraction 1. The closely spaced tracks on a CD or DVD act as a diffraction grating to form the familiar rainbow pattern we see when looking at a disk; 2. The hologram (a picture that changes when looked at from different angles) on a credit card;
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Light: Its Characteristics & Sources
3. Opaque objects – so greatly diffuse the light that recognizing the object on the other side is very difficult if not impossible.

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Light: Its Characteristics & Sources
Sources of Light 1. Natural Light Source 2. Artificial Light Source

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Light: Its Characteristics & Sources
Natural Light Source (Sunlight) 1. Bright sunlight – a lighting condition where objects in open space cast a deep and uniform or distinct shadow. 2. Hazy Sunlight – objects in open space cast a transparent shadow. 3. Dull Sunlight – objects in open space cast no shadow.
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Light: Its Characteristics & Sources
Artificial Light Source Light sources of this category are man-made and is divided into the continuous radiation and the short duration.

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Light: Its Characteristics & Sources
Natural Light Source (Sunlight) Dull Sunlight 1. Cloudy bright – objects in open space cast no shadow but objects at far distance are clearly visible. 2. Cloudy dull – objects in open space cast not shadow and visibility of distant objects are already limited.

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Light: Its Characteristics & Sources
Forensic Light Sources 1. UV Lamp 2. LASER – Light Amplification through Simulated Emission of Radiation 3. Alternative Light Sources 4. Forensic Light Sources

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