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Forensic Ultraviolet & Infrared Photography

Forensic Ultraviolet & Infrared Photography

​While reflective infrared and ultraviolet photography techniques were discovered over 100 years ago, their use in forensics is not commonplace. This is due in part to the specialized equipment and techniques required to successfully capture useful images. This Forensic Ultraviolet & Infrared Photography course will demystify the practice of taking reflective infrared and ultraviolet photographs with digital cameras and will provide the student with skills he or she can use in their work to assist in the investigation of criminal activity.

The human eye cannot see light in the infrared and ultraviolet wavebands of the spectrum. However, the properties of these types of radiation make it possible to capture images that cannot be captured using visible light. This makes infrared and ultraviolet photography capable of capturing images that might otherwise never be seen. In some cases, these images could make or break the case. Examples of some of the types of evidence that can be photographed with infrared and ultraviolet light include:

latent footwear impressions
body fluids including blood
pattern injuries including bite-marks

It is important to note that this type of photography cannot be accomplished with normal digital cameras. Manufacturers take steps to prevent infrared and ultraviolet light from being recorded by their cameras. In order to succeed, the photographer must select the equipment that will yield usable results. This course includes a segment on different types of equipment that can be used to give useful results, including:

camera selection including full-spectrum cameras and modified cameras
lens selection
filtration options
light source options
photography techniques
reflective infrared
reflective ultraviolet
infrared (invisible) fluorescence

This course stresses hands-on exercises. Students will learn from actually photographing in the infrared and ultraviolet wavebands. Safety is stressed in every exercise.

Students attending this course should bring their full-spectrum camera to this course if they are so-equipped. For those who do not have full-spectrum cameras, several cameras will be on hand for use in the course.