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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/16/2005 10:03:37 AM EDT
Howdy all. Im an MP stationed overseas - were working the road for a few more months before we deploy. We are expected to take pictures of crime scenes and of other evidence. We dont have any set rules on it though. Is there any guidelines/tips yall can put up for me? Id be much obliged.
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 12:05:48 PM EDT
Yes but I don't remember most of them. Get hold of a criminal evidence textbook. Usually some good info. Also look into taking a forensic photgraphy class.

It used to be that digital cameras were a no-no, but not anymore. Usually a good clear reading ruler and a good camera are the two main things.

Remember to document everthing. If I remember right on of the first things that get taken a picture of is the entire scene itself. You need to see what it looks like before the techs start tromping over everything.
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 12:26:26 PM EDT
Pics to take:

Paperwork w/case number
serveral shots depicted route taken to scene from street
Overall at least 2 angles
med range 2 angles
Individuals of evidence as is lays with evidence number markers
closeups with markers and ruler.
overview of scene as it was when you left (CYA)

Link Posted: 8/16/2005 12:40:59 PM EDT
I'm no CSI, but the one thing I can add is a color and size scale for injuries/wounds. A ruler or any standard size object will work in a pinch for a size reference, though. I always flick knives, clubs and other weapons with a scale to show size.

I was also taught to start "big" (overall shots) and work down to "small" (close ups)


Link Posted: 8/16/2005 12:57:51 PM EDT
Also, get a camara that you can use easily. I have one that I used while I was in the Navy. It is almost 18 years old, but I know how to use it and it is not very complicated. My department still wants 35mm, but we can back it up with digital if we have one available.
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 1:03:38 PM EDT
Break out the MP FM on evidence collection. It's all in there to Army standard.
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 2:51:29 PM EDT
From Arson Investigation -

Start at the "uninvolved" part of the building, and work your way to the scene /point of origin.

In Michigan v. Clifford, they found that once the fire was determined to be arson, a criminal search warrant was required, and excluded evidence found outside the area of origin.

The resulting advice to investigators? Start outside, and work towards the point of origin - "immediate scene". That way any evidence found on the way is admissable.

General picture taking info?

Record photographer, frame #, location, direction of photo and remarks/description in a notebook that should accompany the developed pics..
Link Posted: 8/16/2005 9:34:04 PM EDT
No one has mentioned a log.
Link Posted: 8/17/2005 3:53:22 AM EDT
I failed to mention, we use Digital cameras. (Mavicas)

One time when I didnt have one of the cameras, and needed one, I just busted out my personal digi I keep in my Patrol bag (for a major TA) and they didnt have any problems with that. (I kept my personal on me cause you never knew when you would see something you wanted to take of a picture of in Germany...hehe) We only have two Mavicas for all four patrols that are on the road and over about a 30 klick area.

Link Posted: 8/17/2005 10:52:37 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/17/2005 10:56:28 AM EDT by gutshot]
I used Arashi's for outline very similar to what we use. I made some changes
Pics to take:

Address of home or building
Overall general area /over view of scene
Individuals or evidence as is it lays
closeups with markers and ruler.

On people:
Take an over view/stand up pic.
Take a face close up
Take a pic of blood stains or wound, up close

Imagine that the scene is a funnel. You start big and go to the small. Overall to specific.

Now for the log:
Case number
Case Classification ie (0001 Homicide) etc.
Incident logation
Your ID and initials or picture takers ID and initials.
And what frame you started and ended on in the roll of film.

That's just a general way we do it. Wasn't something theiy got into in the academy. I didn't really do it till I was in FTO. I asked many different offficers and this is pretty much the way we do it in the field. So this is the way I ended up doing it.

The CSI guys do it very similar but add the time each frame is taken. They also put in which direction they were facing. Which room etc. Much more detail.

Hope that helps.

I would bet that the Army has a system written down somewhere. They have a system for everything else.

Link Posted: 8/17/2005 10:57:21 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/17/2005 10:58:07 AM EDT by HardShell]
One of our very experienced child death scene investigators likes to start with an "establishing shot" (mailbox, curb w/ address, street sign, etc.) and then "walk" the pictures to the scene itself in succession, making sure that each shot slightly overlaps the prior shot and the next shot - so you can show a continuous view of where everything is in relation to everything else. It's a lot of work & a lot of pictures, but it holds up very well in court.
Link Posted: 8/20/2005 8:12:34 AM EDT
Do not rely on digital alone. Digital cameras (with few exceptions) don't produce very good results in low / no-light even with the flash. Bad color, poor image quality, bloom-out from flash back and forget about adding additional lighting, it only makes the blooming worse. Carry a 35mm for night work and use the digital alongside for quick picks of up-close shots. Don't forget the ruler for scale purposes and log everything.
Link Posted: 8/20/2005 3:21:25 PM EDT
unfortunately all we are authorized is digital cameras.
Link Posted: 8/22/2005 8:59:05 PM EDT

Originally Posted By AZ-K9:
No one has mentioned a log.

Check my post above, bro...

Record photographer, frame #, location, direction of photo and remarks/description in a notebook that should accompany the developed pics..

A thing to remember with digi is to include ALL of the pics concerning the event - only offereing the "select few" that are "picture perfect" (pun intended) may jeopardize their use in court, per my instructor.
Link Posted: 8/24/2005 9:52:41 PM EDT
That is my job daily, E-mail me if I can help.

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