Forensic Photography Laboratory

GMS6357L

In-Person Elective Course
Credits: 3
Instructor: Sharon Plotkin, M.S. CSCSA


This course has been designed to give students a hands-on approach regarding the basic concepts of photographing crime scenes.  Students will become familiar with the history, the operation of the digital camera, admissibility and court challenges of photos, camera functions, photo sequencing and composition, use of lighting, flash, ALS, macro photography, videography, and will include photo exercises.

Course Objectives:

Upon completion of this course, students should be able to:

  • Describe the development and history of photography.
  • Describe the operations of the digital camera.
  • Understand the admissibility and court challenges of photos.
  • Describe the camera functions (Aperture settings, shutter settings, ISO and white balance).
  • Describe composition and Cardinal Rules of photography.
  • Describe basic exposure concepts.
  • Describe focus, depth of field, and lenses.
  • Determine when to photograph the crime scene to document the evidence.
  • Understand how to assess the crime scene to determine what items to photograph within the scene to include perishable, transitory, or fragile evidence.
  • Determine where to place evidence markers and reference indicators when photographing a crime scene.
  • Determine how to photograph a crime scene effectively, to include sequencing views, proper lighting, and framing and focusing.
  • Describe Macro and Latent Print photography concepts.
  • Describe special photography concepts, such as nighttime, alternative light source (ALS), impression evidence, and luminol/BlueStar®.
  • Describe videography.
  • Understand and describe photography for special situations, such as accidents, surveillance, aerial, and underwater.

Download a tentative agenda (subject to change): Syllabus

Note: immunization documents are required

Interested in this subject, but can’t come to the in-person lab? Take Forensic Photography 100% online!