Steps to Ensure Scientific Documentation of Photography


Private investigators who utilize both digital and film-based photography should apply procedural steps of scientific documentation to ensure that the information is recorded in a methodical and accurate manner and the raw material is appropriately preserved. This blog post will examine some of the foundational steps necessary for the scientific documentation of photography.

Files and negatives are the raw material of photographic documentation and are thus critically important to any investigation and its outcome. If files or negatives are lost or damaged they cannot be replaced, so the appropriate preservation is paramount.

Private investigators who utilize both digital and film-based photography should apply procedural steps of scientific documentation to ensure that the information is recorded in a methodical and accurate manner and the raw material is appropriately preserved. This blog post will examine some of the foundational steps necessary for the scientific documentation of photography.

Files and negatives are the raw material of photographic documentation and are thus critically important to any investigation and its outcome. If files or negatives are lost or damaged they cannot be replaced, so the appropriate preservation is paramount.

Photographic equipment should be stored in a temperature controlled environment, away from excessive heat and cold. Excessive heat will cause damage to camera hardware, lubricants and media. Excessive cold will deplete the battery power, stiffen the lubricants, and possibly cause problems due to moisture condensation. Always properly maintain photographic equipment before and after it is stored. Only cleaning supplies intended for the purpose of cleaning a camera should be used on the cameras and lenses to clean and dry them.

Exposed film should should be processed as soon as possible. When downloading digital images, strict adherence to secure practices should be observed. Media should not be exposed to X-rays and scanners, as this can damage the quality of the image.

When photographing a scene of an investigation be sure to take a sufficient number of photographs, however superfluous photographs should be avoided as this may distract the investigation.The scene of investigation should also be capture in an orderly and methodical manner. The initial starting and conclusion point should be documented with both photographs and notes. As images are captured, corresponding notes should also be recorded.These notes can help serve as a reminder later on in the investigation and capture information that cannot be recorded by a camera.

If you are photographing a scene of investigation, be sure to capture images of permanent landmarks so the location is readily identifiable. It is also important to be aware of any pending time constraints, whether the scene is subject to change due to the weather or time, it is always best to capture images as soon as possible.

Objects at the scene of an investigation should be photographed from multiple angles and various distances. Appropriate scales should be used to capture images and prevent any sort of distortion or misrepresentation. When using scales, objects should be photographed with and without the scales present, to ensure the scales do not conceal any vital information about the object. Appropriate zoom lenses should also be used to enhance a photograph and capture greater detail. Universal color references should always be used, as color is a vital part of each image.

While this is not a comprehensive list of proper photographic procedures, it does serve as a starting point. As a private investigator, it is crucial that methodical preparation and procedure is observed while utilizing photographic equipment and capturing images. Scenes of investigation are often disorderly and chaotic, thus it is vital that private investigators are able to create visual order and organization from the images and information they are able to capture.
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