This online course is being offered as an introductory level for the basic principles of forensic photography. The units within this course will cover a brief history of photography, a thorough understanding of the principles behind photography, and the techniques used for photographing certain types of crime scenes and evidence. Throughout the course, there will be an emphasis on the importance of photography and how it is used as a way to document, preserve, and identify evidence. Before entering a crime scene a forensic photographer should know what to look for and how to capture it. Through photographic methods and techniques, the photographer must also concentrate on creating an accurate portrayal of the scene as it is perceived.
Cost: $0-225. This course takes 25 hours to complete, on average.
Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to:
Explain the history of photography
Describe basic camera equipment and accessories and how they are used
Thoroughly document crime scenes and evidence
Use of video cameras as a supplementary method of documenting a crime scene
Understand the role of photographs and digital images in the courtroom
Course Structure and Schedule
This is a non-credit course offering 4.06 ILUs. (What is ILU?) Average completion time for the course is 25 hours. The course cost is $225 per registration (with the exception of public lab employees, law enforcement, public attorneys, and federal employees – please see "Registration Information" below). A certificate of completion will be issued to students successfully meeting course requirements.
Table of Contents:
Unit 1 – History of Photography
Unit 2 – The Fundamentals of Photography
Unit 3 – Photography Equipments and Accessories
Unit 4 – Digital Photography
Unit 5 – Film
Unit 6 – Crime Scene Photography
Unit 7 – Items of Evidence
Unit 8 – Video Cameras and Camcorders
Unit 9 – Photography in the Courtroom
Unit 10 – The Future of Photography
There are no prerequisites for this class. A printable version of the course content is available in PDF format in the course library for future reference. Course readings are also available in PDF format.
Adobe Acrobat Reader
Adobe Flash Player
There are free software plug-ins available in the Getting Started area of the course.
Basic computer skills required (i.e. turning on your computer, navigating to websites, etc.). The course is user-friendly but support is available if needed.
A printable version of the course content is available in PDF format in the course library for future reference. Course readings are also available in PDF format.
This course requires access to a camera to complete the photography assignment. Any model of camera (dSLR, point and shoot, etc.) may be used. You must be able to upload the pictures to your computer.
Anthony Iten is a Forensic Science Technician with Forensic Science Initiative. He graduated from Hamline University in St. Paul, Minnesota with a Bachelors of Arts degree and Forensic Science Certificate. Anthony has spent time working in the Drug Chemistry and Latent Print sections in the St. Paul Police Department Crime Lab in St. Paul, Minnesota. His responsibilities include online course development and assistance in training professionals in the forensic field. He is currently developing a Latent Print online course. Contact: email@example.com, 304-293-5186
Robin Bowen is the Assistant Director for the Forensic Science Initiative, a program that develops scientific resources, outreach opportunities, and professional training for forensic scientists and related professionals. Her primary responsibilities include coordination of continuing education programs, management of grant funded projects, and correspondence of progress to the National Institute of Justice. Bowen is the author of Ethics and the Practice of Forensic Science. She is a former advisory member of the Outreach and Communication Interagency Working Group (IWG) under the National Science and Technology Council Subcommittee (NSTC) on Forensic Science. She is also on the Editorial Advisory Board for the revised edition of Encyclopedia of Forensic Sciences. Bowen is the primary developer of the Forensic Educational Alliance, an initiative to offer a variety of forensic science continuing education courses online. She has an undergraduate degree in Forensic and Investigative Sciences and a graduate degree in Secondary Science Education. Robin is the online course instructor for Ethics in Forensic Science, Fibers and Textiles for Forensic Science, and Transition to Leadership. Contact: Robin.Bowen@mail.wvu.edu, 304-293-6214
Please read below to determine your eligibility. If you have any eligibility questions please contact Forensic Science Initiative at FSI@mail.wvu.eduBEFORE you register. Registration is accepted year-round for this course.
For general FAQs for the FSI online courses please click here.
"I just completed 2 online certificate courses, Shooting Reconstruction and Forensic Photography. I feel both were very informative for the audience it aims for. Hopefully, the school will keep up the good work and continue to offer such top notch classes to the forensic fields."