We talked about the importance of photographs and types of photographs that a crime scene photographer takes at the crime scene in our previous post.
In this post, we will give you an insight on what all is required to take a photograph at the scene of crime. Taking a photograph may look like an easy task, all you need is a camera and a thing or a subject that you want to click. But taking a photograph at scene of crime where things are intense and dynamic, it is one hell of a job.
A crime scene photographer plays an important role right from documenting the scene to reconstructing till the closure of case. It is the driving force behind any crime investigation.
Let us now find out what all things should be in Crime Scene Photography Kit.
EQUIPMENT REQUIRED FOR CRIME SCENE PHOTOGRAPHY
The following items should be available to the crime scene photographer in order to photograph most scenes and evidence:
A high quality digital camera preferably a SLR camera should be used. It must have at least ten megapixel or more.
It should have image sensors and manual exposure settings like ISO or sensitivity, focusing zone, exposure modes, bracketing modes, white balance, delay timer, mirror lock, radio trigger, step aperture & shutter speed etc.
The body of the camera should be sturdy and water resistant since the field of crime scene is always vulnerable to variable situation and needs immediate action for collection of evidence.
2. Normal lens
A normal lens provides the best perspective for most photographs. A 50mm lens is considered a normal lens for a 35mm SLR camera.
3. Wide–angle lens
A wide-angle lens is needed for taking pictures in small rooms or other compact areas. A 28 to 35 mm lens is considered a wide–angle lens for a 35mm camera.
4. Close–up lens or close–up accessories
Normal lenses do not generally focus closer than about three feet. A macro lens or a close–up accessory for the normal lens is needed to photograph small items of evidence.
A close–up lens is a simple secondary lens used to enable macro photography. They work like SPECTACLES, allowing a primary lens to focus more closely.
There are many evidences that can not be seen by human eyes and camera as both see in visible end of electromagnetic spectrum.
Evidence like Blood on dark clothing, gunshot residue,bite marks, semen, ink differences, partially burned items can be made visible with a UV/IR filter.
There are Colour barrier filters (red, yellow, orange) can cancel the background hue making the evidence / prints/ impressions visible.
6. Electronic flash
Electronic flash provides extra light that is often needed when photographing indoors, outdoors at night, filling in shadows in bright daylight scenes and for lighting evidence.
7. Remote sync cord for electronic flash/ Radio Trigger
A remote sync cord allows the electronic flash to be operated when it is not mounted on camera. Many photographs, especially photographs of certain types of evidence, cannot be photographed with the flash mounted on the camera. Now it is possible to operate remotely located of unconnected flash through the camera with the help of a radio trigger which are required to illuminate a large area at night.
A very common remote sync cord is TTL Remote Cord SC-28/SC-29 of Nikon that comes with two multiple flash terminals.
8. Extra batteries
Batteries can drain away at times , may be bacause it was not fully charged or because of an extensive crime scene. For this reason back up batteries should be carried.
Sturdy and lightweight tripods are necessary to make the camera rest on a stationary location for long exposures and for positioning the camera during certain types of evidence photography.
10. Digital Storage Card
Memory cards for the camera should have fast reading and writing capability. It is important to make redundant copy of images without disturbing the metadata.
11. Photo log and notebook
It is important for recording information about every photograph that you take at a crime scene. The notebook should be carried for recording various notes regarding crime scene.
12. Scales and measuring tape
Scales and measuring tape should be kept it in the kit for perfect recording of scene of crime and evidences.
14. ABFO #2 scale
The ABFO #2 scale is the preferred scale for photographing injuries, impressions and bitemarks. This is an extremely essential item which judges the actual size of the evidence by seeing the image/ photograph. The ABFO No. 2 Scale was designed by the American Board of Forensic Odontology.
Some evidences such as foot prints impressions need to be photogrpahed by a different technique altogether. The camera is placed as such the film plane is parallel with the impression.
An angle finder can be used to measure the angle of the impression and then, by placing the angle finder on the camera’s eyepiece, the angle of the camera can be adjusted to match the angle of the impression.
16. 18% grey card
A 18% grey card is used to make adjustments to the camera to setup correct exposure at the beginning of any photographing the crime scene.