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Forensic Photography

Class Length: 24 hours
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Basic Forensic Photography

The course will cover the basic operation of the digital SLR camera using the Nikon D-90, D-200, and D-300 as the models.   If a student does not have a camera, Nikon cameras will be available for each group.  The class will guide the student through the operation of the Nikon camera.

For those students bringing their own cameras the instructor will try to orient students with them, since many cameras have similar settings.  However, students need to be familiar with the locations of their cameras' selector devices.  For example, students need to know where the selectors are that:

1.      Turn on the camera

2.      Take the picture (activates and opens the camera’s shutters)

3.      Change the f-stop, shutter speed, and ISO (film speed)

4.      Insert the memory card

5.      Insert the battery into the camera

6.      Activate the camera flash

7.      Change the image size and quality settings

8.      Remove and attach the lens to the camera

The student does not need to be an expert in the operation of the above, but needs to be able to find these selectors during the class lecture and beginning activities.  So look through your camera manual before class.  The class instruction will explain these settings and how they are used in camera operation.  In addition to the main instructor there will be other instructors working the room to assist students.

Required equipment for those bringing their own cameras:

1.      Lens cap

2.      Off camera flash unit

3.      Off camera cord for the flash unit

4.      Locking remote cord for the shutter release

5.      Sturdy tripod

6.      Extra batteries for the flash and camera

7.      Memory card reader for a computer or laptop computer with a memory card reader

The course will also include crime scene photography methods and considerations for crime and vehicular scenes.  The course will be a very hands-on course as there will be various photography activities and simulated scenes for students to apply the course content.  There will be a written exam at the end of the course. 


The learning objectives for the course are listed below.  After the completion of this course students will be able to:

1.  Describe crime scene photography considerations and their proper documentation.

2.  List the 4 elements of credible photographs.

3.  Explain the terms: shutter speed, aperture, ISO, and depth of field; and how each affects proper photograph exposures.

4.  Compare and contrast the different types of lenses.

5.  Adjust and use the common settings of a digital SLR camera.

6.  Explain the terms: normal room, guide number, and inverse square law.

7.  Utilize flash and lighting for proper exposures.

8.  Demonstrate proper crime scene photography methods & camera operation through various crime scene simulations and photography activities.


CLASS Schedule


Day 1

I.    Photography Concepts and Theory 8am – 12pm                                                                  


II.   Camera Operation: 1p to 5p


Day 2:

1p to 10p class time

III.  Flash and Lighting 1p to 2p

IV. Application Activities       2p-5p


V.  Photograph Scenarios 6p to 10p          

Day 3: 8am to 5pm

VI.    Review: 8a-9a

VII. Photograph Scenarios: 9a to 12p        


VIII. Finish scenarios and review photographs

  IX. Exam Review, and Written Exam1p to 4p     

  X.  Course Evaluations and Certificates: 4p to 5p