More on Photographing Forensic Evidence


Injury photographs are a representation of the actual assault or attack. They can provide evidence long after the crime scene is gone. These pictures help to tell the story of the injury, whether it is self-inflicted, accidental or intentional. Occasionally in domestic cases, it may be necessary for the victim to present for additional pictures approximately 48-72 hours post injury as bruising will show up more readily.

Injuries are photographed using color film. No filter is used. Color charts are used to determine the age of injuries. It is imperative to take at least two shots of each wound or injury. Three photographs are ideal: one for a overview of the injury, one for a close-up view and one for close-up with ABFO #2 scale. The overview photo should provide information about the location of the wound in relation to other body parts. It is important to focus on entrance and exit wounds from gunshots. Black and white film might help to show contrast between trace residue, tattooing or stippling.

There are several tips for better pictures. First, be sure hold camera on the same plane as the injury. Secondly, overexposure should be avoided by diffusing the flash. To diffuse a flash, one should use a handkerchief or other thin piece of material.

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