The popularity of TV shows like Dexter and CSI has made forensic science cool; Not only do shows like Law and Order and the CSI franchise hold records for being some of the longest running shows, but in real life, universities have seen an increase in students pursuing the field. In these shows, the crime scene photographer is usually in the background giving way to the drama, but in reality, their jobs are a very, very important part of the process in solving crimes and convicting criminals.
Forensic photography is similar to regular photography in that the most important aspect is light. “The camera is irrelevant, it’s all about light. It’s about understanding where the light is going and what we need to see in that image.” Nick Marsh is a 20 year crime scene photographer in the UK. Each day on the job is different for Nick, whether it is being called to a scene of a murder or making a high-speed video for the firearms department.
The following short video gives you some insight and a look at what goes into the job as a forensic photographer. To listen to Nick talk about the detail and intricacy that goes into his job makes you appreciate the work that they do, where sometimes lives hang in the balance of what he produces.
When you go to a crime scene, you’re composing that image in your mind when you’re stepping in that door, you’re looking at what you need to assess and what you need to see. And you’re trying to get that scene into a compact form so you can get that across to the jury what is there, but in a minimum number of photographs.
This fascinating video by Beazknees shows how Nick needs to be part scientist, part photographer, and think outside of the box to help solve crimes and bring criminals to justice. Nick also discusses how technology and the fact that everyone has some form of camera has made “decimated the number of photographers on police forces. But, as Nick points out, “everybody’s got a phone, iPad, compact camera, even a small digital SLR, but that doesn’t make you a photographer. It just makes you somebody who owns a camera. ”