Basic Forensic Photography

I am currently studying on a forensic course and we are starting to dabble in forensic photography and other things where taking high quality photo's can make assignment work really stand out. The university cameras are very poor quality and we can not book them out for very long (which makes photographing experiments lasting over a day difficult as we get inconsistencies in the type of cameras available to come out on loan and it generally makes work look bad)

So I have decided to go out a buy myself a half decent bridge camera which I can use for uni and in my own time. I have an assignment due soon in which we are supposed to examine a mock crime scene. Is there such a thing as a write only SD Card? I seem to recall being told about them but for the life of me I can not find one. As far as I recall one of the primary rules of photographing a crime scene is delete no pictures so if I get a write only one I can put it in my assignment that there is no way pictures could be deleted.

I am a bit of a photographic mong in all honesty.
Not sure about this, in my day digital crime scene photos were verboten as they had the capacity to be altered. It was always camera and film. It may well have moved on, in line with technology, but I'll wait for someone a bit more up to date to flame me.
Cheers, The insight we have had so far has been more what sort of photos to take rather than what equipment to use. But we touched even more briefly on the subject on an IMP (V) Course as Southwick park and I am 99% certain an SIB Instructor teaching that particular lesson told us that one of the main things was never delete images from the SD card and make sure it is blank prior to going out because the full lot would be handed over.
Don't get me wrong we used digital cameras to record, it was just that the evidential photos were always film. That way, the digital photos could be shown to, and used by the Defence or they could throw a strop. If you had camera and film as your main photo album(s) and evidence it didn't matter.
Do you have a copy of, "Association of Chief Police Officers’ (ACPO) Good Practice Guide for Computer-Based Electronic Evidence" ?

If not, give me your e-mail and I'll send you a pdf copy.
I imagine that Jerrycan is talking about a Write Once Read Many (WORM) SD card.
You need to get yourself into Jessops.
Digital images are now permissible is court, have been for a while. All files are given a history and date, it's been used on most digital recording media.
Bit like altering PDF files, where PDF date stamps alterations.
It has been a while so things might be a bit out of date but we always used digital pictures without an issue. Key things were making sure that the date and time programmed into the camera were correct and we had them appear as a stamp on the picture. Always had to make sure the SD card was empty before we used it, we also used to take a picture of the office clock as the first snap to confirm that the time was correct, although you could have just changed the clock but we were told on our course that they liked rubbish like this.

IIRC they were not too fussed about using digital pictures because if you followed the correct procedure it would also be easy to see if the pictures had been tampered with.

We used reusable SD cards but would burn the images to a write once, read many CD as soon as we were done and would also note the serial number of the camera and SD card used on the disc. You never changed the file names assigned to the pictures by the camera.

Unfortunately I had a paperwork purge recently and all my old investigation notes went on the bonfire so I can't give you anymore info than that.

Good luck with the assignment.
Oh, and your master CD must be kept securely and not dished out, everyone relevant gets copies but if there is a dispute as to the validity of the pictures you'd have to have both solicitors present to the examination and all the rest. Once copies were taken the master CD was treated in the same way as the sealed tape from an IUC.
Do you have a copy of, "Association of Chief Police Officers’ (ACPO) Good Practice Guide for Computer-Based Electronic Evidence" ?

If not, give me your e-mail and I'll send you a pdf copy.
That would be fantastic thanks PM inbound

Thanks for the other answers too, To be fair the assignments so far haven't been too taxing but with that in mind I figured with effort I should be able to smash out some good grades.

It's the extra research into procedure that should help me in this but my photography mongness has made googling it difficult because there are lots of technical terms I haven't used.

I learnt what a Macro shot is in my research so I'm making a start at least

Posted from the ARRSE Mobile app (iOS or Android)
I'm taking a risk in not Googling this first...

I presume that your concern is that you don't accidentally delete images from the card. If you look at the left side of an SD card (contacts at the rear, writing not upside down), there's a little tab which is usually pushed to the top. If you push it downwards, it prevents the images from being deleted.

Now going to check this...


From Wiki:

[h=4]Protection from alteration[/h] The host device can command the SD card to become read-only (to reject subsequent commands to write information to it), implemented by a notch in the card which may optionally have a sliding tab to disable the protection.
When looking at a full-size SD card (the miniSD and microSD formats do not support a write protection notch) from the top, the right side (the side with the beveled corner) must be notched.
On the left side there may be a write-protection notch. If the notch is omitted, the card can be read and written. If the card is notched, it is read-only. If the card has a notch and a sliding tab which coves the notch, the user can slide the tab upward (toward the contacts) to declare the card read/write, or downward to declare it read-only.
The presence of a notch, and the presence and position of a tab, have no effect on the SD card's operation. A host device that supports write protection should refuse to write to an SD card that is designated read-only in this way. Some host devices do not support write protection, which is an optional feature of the SD specification. Drivers and devices that do obey a read-only indication may give the user a way to override it.
Cards sold with content which must not be altered are permanently marked read-only by having a notch and no sliding tab.
So the answer seems to be that you take photos with the tab up. When you've finished, slide the tab to the bottom (and hope that nobody moves it, maybe fix it in place by glueing or careful melting) or run the card through a computer (maybe your camera can do this) and declare the card read-only. I'd try the latter on a spare SD card to make sure that the images remain intact before going on to anything important.
That same camera is only £235 via Amazon. Personally I prefer the Canon EOS range but they are a bit more expensive.
You'll need a camera that will take ring-flash for that sort of work. I'd suggest you get a cheap DSLR and a zoom lens, and a ring-flash unit. You'll be able to upgrade/add/remove bits as and when required for different tasks.
I agree with Pigshyte, I don't think a bridge camera is what you need because you cannot put different lenses on it to suit the conditions and, although it will have a manual setting the individual settings on manual may be a bit restricted.

You may be better off getting a good quality used DSLR which will work out more versatile and more useful and give you better flash options.

I have a bridge camera and recently went on a camera course for beginners organised by a local studio. It made me realise just how limited a bridge camera can be. For such detailed work you may well be better off shooting in RAW as well which you don't generally find on bridge cameras.

Are you at Huddersfield by any chance?
If I were in your shoes, I'd buy a Nikon D300 and 18-200mm lens, and a ringflash and the neat little fill-in flash Nikon do for general use.

That would be good enough for all your assignments and a nice little camera to go out and have fun with too.
Or you can bid/make an offer on this package which will be going up on FleaBay on the morrow:

1 x Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ18 c/w original box
Operating instructions and software
Lumix neck strap
Lumix camera case
Spare battery
Battery charger (replacement, not original)
2 x sun hoods
1 x ROWA Optics 52mm pro digital precision x2 super tele lens c/w 46mm to 52mm adaptor and soft case
1 x ROWA Optics 52mm pro digital precision x0.45 super wide and macro lens c/w 46mm to 52mm adaptor and soft case
1 x SUNTEC 46mm soft focus filter
1 x SUNTEC 46mm close up filter
1 x Marumi 46mm polarizing filter

No SD card, but you don't want second hand (especially from me) and no USB lead but I've always downloaded pics with a card reader anyway.

Make an offer, pay the postage and this lovely lot can be yours.


Similar threads

Latest Threads