Just last week on my 6th visit to Serbia I found a pretty good deal on a 1951 Leica IIIf screw mount camera body. After a few consultations with Google Translate I met a man named Milos in front of the Belgrade National Theater to inspect the camera…Read More
I think a commonality we all have as film photographers is the excitement, self-doubt, and surprise that comes along with developing each roll of film. Maybe it can summed up as "expectation vs reality", and not in a funny meme way but in a very private and self-reflective sort of way. Currently it's been 80 days, 6 countries, and 19 rolls of film since I have developed a single picture. So you can be sure...Read More
I searched this city up and down for film cameras and film photography equipment. I put that knowledge into this film camera buying guide, detailing and ranking all the places with a steady...Read More
Unless you are an avid point and shoot film camera collector, it's likely you have never heard of the Rollei AFM 35. First of all its a marvelous little camera, but the misconception that it lacks...Read More
Fuji Superia 1600 is potentially the perfect film for most any casual situation, from sunlit outdoors to dim indoor interiors it provides a very fine grain structure for its class maintaining rich color saturation in low lightRead More
Cameras can come in all shapes and sizes. The rules that define a functioning camera allow for endless design possibilities. It's no secret that (like many other things) the 1980's were an...Read More
If Leica wasn't already the pinnacle of luxury digital and film cameras, here's a set of special edition Leica cameras that will leave you checking the blue book value on your car. Enjoy!Read More
In this article we will take you out of the studio and into the real world, simply trying to find the best shot for each lens type. If you don't yet know difference between an 18mm and a 50mm, read on.Read More
There are a lot of cameras out there, let's see all types of digital cameras explained to help you find what camera is right for you.Read More
As photographers we often find ourselves waist deep in odd-jobs searching for that next big opportunity. From the inaugural $150 wedding job to the corporate client that pays more for three days of work than you've ever made in a month; opportunities can take you anywhere and everywhere in-between.
How about the opportunity to investigate a murder? Heck, maybe even solve one? Well this is the day to day reality of London Metropolitan Police Department Forensic Photographer Nick Marsh. With 30 years on the force, and 20 of them as a forensic photographer, Nick's uses his analytical approach to photography fusing art and technique to unearth some of London's most gruesome mysteries.
The Forensic Photographer
The Photographic Eye
Imagine this: There's a young woman sitting in a café near the window...
The portrait photographer notices how the contours of her face are gently lit by the setting sun, while the photojournalist sees the empty seat in front of her and the constant glances outside. The forensic photographer sees a perfect lipstick mark left on the coffee cup, while the fashion photographer prefers a lighter shade.
First popularized by Malcolm Gladwell's book "Outliers: The Story of Success", it's commonly said that to become an expert at something, it takes 10,000 hours of practice at the given skill. That's roughly 20 hours a week for 10 years.
While that may be true, it surely doesn't take that long to develop a habit. Meaning it doesn't necessarily take 10 years behind the camera to start to think like a photographer. As photographers we train ourselves consciously and subconsciously through experience and muscle memory. With all the places photography can take you, it's interesting how each of us interpret our surroundings differently, what I call - how we perceive the woman by the window.
This short documentary by director David Beazley provides an intriguing look at one photographers such interpretations of the world around him.
It's All About the Light
One recurring piece of insight you'll find time and time again from professional photographers is that it's not about the camera it's about the photographer. On the importance of photographic equipment, Nick Marsh would tell you:
"As a matter of fact the camera in most types of photography we undertake is irrelevant, it's about light. It's about understanding about the way light is going and what we need to see in our image."
..And the Knowledge
Sure you need equipment capable enough for the type of work you are doing, but beyond that it's not about how many bells and whistles you've got or how big you camera case is. Nick stresses the importance training in photography. For him the artistic eye is used to unearth the fact of the matter, while being sure not to misrepresent the reality of the scene.
"If you've got limited training, say for example a fatal accident, and you're trying to recreate that for the jury as-is with true perspective, one of the most common things I see is the use things like a wide-angled lens. Which clearly distorts perspective and appears to make the the vehicles look twice the distance they are away. So if you put that into court you're actually giving them false information.. The Level of knowledge is reduced."
The Proactive Use of Light in Forensic Photography
In the video Nick mentions an investigation of a murder where crucial evidence was discovered on the wall of a flat by use of infrared imaging. In his book Forensic Photography: A Practitioner's Guide he details the crime further.
... In this case a suspect was arrested for multiple murders around the St Pancras area of London. On his arrest his flat was searched and half a torso was found in his bedroom. When the rest of flat was treated with luminol in the search for blood, it was clear that thcrc had been a lot of previous activity. When a light source search was carried out for latent linger marks to ascertain who else might have been there, in terms of victims or other suspects, a small area of erased writing was found, as in the above case. In this case, however, it was almost illegible even under the laser. As is standard practice we then repeated the search area using a tunable light source through the spectrum, starting at UV finishing at IR. To mist with the viewing of IR, a video camera with an IR viewing mode was used and this time the area showed a girl's name. The walls of the flat were then speculatively searched and vidcoed (as required) using IR and another four or five names were found. These names subsequently turned out to be the names of previous victims.
If you're curious what it takes be a London MET Forensic Photographer, well first you've got to already be employed as Police Photographic Officer. Second, you can take this course:
Professional Forensic Photography Attendance Criteria
This course is for police staff currently employed as Photographic Officers.
To enable the student to develop advanced stills techniques to use at Scenes of Crime.
The student will be able to:
Demonstrate using the equipment Describe relevant procedures and policy that impact on crime scene photography Demonstrate the ability to adapt techniques to different scenes Describe legal issues that impact on crime scene photography Demonstrate completing relevant paperwork Conduct critical assessment of their work
Duration; 15 days Course number; CS209
The following is a collection of some of the earliest known images of people smiling, starting with a pair of soldiers in the Mexican American War in 1847, up to a group of soldiers near the end of the Civil War.Read More
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Winnie the Welder (some call her Wendy the Welder), the moniker given to some 2,000 women who worked in the shipyard building war ships and subs.Read More
Where to buy tintype photographs is not always easy, but it can be with a few bits of insight. First lets see what's so fascinating about tintypes in the first place.Read More
New tilt shift lenses typically cost from $700 to $2,200+. While browsing lenses online I found a Canon FD TS 35mm f/2.8 S.S.C. Lens at a price I could not pass up. So I walked to my local camera store where I found it and took it out on the streets.Read More
Please enjoy this gallery of camera commercials over the last 20 years. No matter your age, there's sure to be some here you'll remember and I hope it will bring back a bit of nostalgia.Read More