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Digital Forensics


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Keywords: Criminal Justice, Crime Scene, Photography
Subject(s): Photography
Grades 9 through 12
School: Academy of Irving, Irving, TX
Planned By: Justin Harper
Original Author: Justin Harper, Irving
Students will first learn how to use each camera they will be using at the crime scene.

I will have each student go over the user manual of the camera and understand the functions of each setting of the camera.

They will be tested on their knowledge of the camera and will have to receive a 70% or higher before being allowed to use the camera.

After they have taken some generic photographs, we will then get into the crime scene photography.

Students will have already learned how to sketch a crime scene and how to investigate a crime scene.

We will discuss the following vocabulary as it applies to taking of photographs at a crime scene:
1. Aperture
2. Depth of Field
3. F-stop
4. Film speed
5. Shutter speed

Students will work on taking notes over why Crime Scene Photography is important:

Know that crime scene photographers are always the last to arrive, make sure you are debriefed by the officer there at the scene, always do a walk through the crime scene before photographing, and formulate a plan of what you are going to photograph.

I will explain the importance of photographs as evidence.
1. Subject matter must be relevant
2. Photographs purpose can not be to evoke an emotional
response
3. Must represent the scene as it was found

I will also explain the importance of crime scene photography.
1. A permanent record of the scene
2. A permanent record of physical evidence at the scene
3. It’s admissibility as evidence in court

We will discuss general requirements of crime scene photography:

1. Photograph the scene as you found it
2. Do not replace items that have been moved for
photography purposes
3. Make a conscious effort not to destroy evidence while
documenting
4. Scenes should be documented both with and without
placards

I will also explain to the students when photographing a crime scene they should understand the importance of each shot, to think about what they are photographing, and to have a plan of attack for the photographing.

We will then discuss the types of shots taken a a crime scene:

1. Overalls
2. Mid-Range
3. Close-ups

Will will also discuss the lighting angles of the photographs:

1. Direct lighting: uses light angled at 45 degrees from
subject matter
2. Direct reflective lighting: also called bounce
lighting….bouncing light off of light colored or
mirrored objects to create high contrast

Students will then learn how to properly log a crime scene photograph into evidence and what information needs to be with the photograph taken and to properly document it in their notes:

Case Number - 05-3546
Offense - Burglary
Victim: John Doe
Address - 5304 Suntan Lake Dr.
Suspect - Andy Parker
Date occurred - 11-15-05

Students will then learn how to sketch where photographs were taken and how to overlap their pictures.

Students will then learn how to videotape a crime scene and what the differences are between photographs and videotaping.

They will learn from using the video recorder to:

1. Not use audio during taping
2. Perform taping as if it were a conventional photography
3. Remember…..keep it slow

Students will then be broken up into teams of three. Each student will be assigned a specific role. One will be assigned the job to keep the crime scene log, one will work the body or evidence collection, and the other will be the crime scene photographer.

Crime Scene Log: Will record the date, time, and the individual who enters or who was at the crime scene prior to arrival. They will deny access to anyone who does not need to be there to ensure that evidence is not destroyed.

Crime Scene Photographer: Will be in charge of taking pictures and video of the crime scene. They will make sure that officers, crime scene persons, and others (except the evidence) are not in the photographs. They will log the date, and place of the evidence or scene photographed in their notes. They will be in charge of sketching where each photo was taken from. They will take a general picture with the address or place where it occurred, they will take mid-range shots, and close-ups of each piece of evidence collected.

Collecting of Evidence: Will properly package each piece of evidence after photographed and place the appropriate information on the evidence collected. They will be responsible for sketching, measuring, and locating evidence at the crime scene. They will be responsible for transporting and securing all evidence seized at the scene and keep an evidence transmittal sheet of all evidence collected. They will leave a copy of all items taken from the scene with the owner of the residence or property where the property was taken.

Students will then be given a crime scene to work. They will have to collect, photograph, evidence found at the crime scene and prepare it for court. They will have to package the evidence, photograph it once it is back at the lab, and log into the evidence transmittal all information needed.

Students will be assessed based on photographs, collection of evidence, written reports, written information on pictures and evidence at the scene.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Would be able to work with the math department on the angles of rectangular coordinates for measuring, measuring of distances to find evidence. Work with the English department to help the students understand how to write in 1st, and 3rd person.
Follow-Up
Students will be competing in Crime Scene Investigation as teams and individually. We will also be using this equipment for photographing fingerprints, footprints, tire tracks, and footprint impressions. They will also take mug shots for comparison to what a witness tells them at a crime scene.
Materials: Point and Shoot, Digital SLR, Mobile Labs, Spreadsheet, Paint, Web Page, Slideshow, Clipart, Podcasting, Video Editing, English and Language Arts, Science, Math, Keyboarding, Camera Bags, xD Memory Cards, Digital Voice Recorders, Flash/USB Drives, Batteries
Other Items: 1 Mobile Digital Camera Lab, $3648.95 each, total of $3648.95