Infrared Photography

Scott T. De Broux
Katherine Kay McCaul
Sheri Shimamoto

Physical evidence documentation through forensic photography remains one the most important aspects of crime scene investigation. Subsequent analysis of photographs will often yield clues investigators can use to reconstruct the events of an incident, or may provide the proof necessary to gain a conviction at trial. Traditional photography records images in the visible light spectrum, and typically will record on film or in a digital file that which the human eye can see. Forensic photographers are often challenged with evidence where traditional photographic techniques are unsuccessful at documenting the evidence necessary to reconcile the facts of a particular case. For years forensic photographers have had a variety of specialized techniques available for documenting evidence under challenging situations. Infrared photography can be used in a variety of these situations to gain result that could not be obtained by photographing in the visible light spectrum.

Infrared techniques can be applied in the field or in a laboratory environment. In some instances the only opportunity to document the evidence is in the field at the crime scene. Until recently the only available option to the forensic photographer involved infrared techniques that used conventional film sensitive to wave lengths of light in the infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum. Complicated workflow often made this technique difficult and expensive to utilize, and lead to underutilization of the technique. Advances in technology have now made digital imaging options available to the forensic photographer for performing infrared photography in both a field or laboratory environment. In many cases the digital workflow will yield results that are equal to or better than results obtained using traditional techniques.

 Earn a Degree in Crime Scene Investigation, Forensic Science, Computer Forensics or Forensic Psychology

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