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How to Take Pictures as a Crime Scene Investigator

How to Take Pictures as a Crime Scene Investigator

Photography can be a crucial forensic tool in the analysis of evidence left behind at the scene of a crime. These photographs are used as visual documentation of evidence in a court of law, and have the potential to make or break a case. Through the use of crime scene photographs, law enforcement officers, investigators and attorneys can recreate crime scenes for later analysis. Being a crime scene photographer can be a fascinating and important occupation.

Photographing the scene of a crime can be a simple matter accomplished with only a few photographs, or it can be an extensive endeavor involving thousands of photographs and many hours spent shooting them. The ideal crime scene photograph does not simply focus on obvious evidence of a crime, but rather should focus on an overall documentation of every aspect of the scene. Ideally, it should demonstrate what was present at the time the crime was committed, and where it is in relationship to the overall scene.

Before Starting

The first step in crime scene photography is to take a class regarding how to handle hazardous materials.  The eTraining Hazwoper Course is a great place to start. Oftentimes, crime scenes contain human blood and other bodily fluids. Fluids that are produced by the body, such as semen, saliva, blood and vaginal fluid have the potential to contain viruses. Coming into contact with these fluids may place one at risk for hepatitis B or hepatitis C or HIV. Additional bodily fluids, such as perspiration, urine, … Read the rest

Steps To Take Photographs of Classic Cars

Steps To Take Photographs of Classic Cars

Classic cars are beautiful pieces of machinery.  It is a good idea to take pictures for insurance purposes in case it you were to get into an accident or it is stolen.  Each body type has a certain style all its own and definitely will make a car stand out in a crowd. Photographs of classic automobiles can showcase a vehicle’s uniqueness and capture a sense of personality and character if taken with the right eye. Visual effects can be added later to enhance and define certain features.

Angles Are Everything

Always remember angles are everything. From the 1957 Thunderbird fins to the angled nose the 1970′s Corvette, angles and lines define the shape of the car. Photographing classic cars that have rigidly defined lines is extremely easy if you find the right angle. Positioning the car in the viewfinder so that the main center of attention is the point of the strongest angle, will pull a person’s eye along the line and through the rest of the car.

Choose the Right Location

The right location will make a car pop out of the image. A 1969 Camaro, squatting as it comes off the line will showcase the vehicle’s power and strength much better than a still shot taken of the car sitting outside the garage. Taking a photograph of the car in action, showing off what it was meant to do in the first place is like taking a picture of a lion on the African plain. Classic … Read the rest

How to Transfer Your Garage Into a Photography Studio

How to Transfer Your Garage Into a Photography Studio

A garage can easily be converted into a portrait studio. It will take a little time and effort, but it can be accomplished, even if there is little money in the budget to add extras. If extra electrical outlets or more power is needed to run the photography equipment, a licensed electrician may need to be called.

Clean, Clean, Clean

Before adding new walls, enclosing open spaces and redoing the floor, the entire garage will need to be thoroughly cleaned. Oil and grease stains on the floor can seep upwards into new flooring if it is not adequately dealt with. A garage is known for exhaust smells, cleaners and various other orders that result from daily use as vehicle storage. Before adding anything that might absorb or retain those odors, the entire area should be washed down with a potent cleaner and allowed to air out for at least 24 hours before starting to make renovations.

And Then There Was Light

A photography studio needs several kinds of lighting to be effective. Background and fill lighting is just as important as the main light used. Making sure there is enough lighting is important. Without adequate light, photos will come out darker than necessary and it will also limit the options and angles available for good shots. Adequate lighting is a necessity, not an option. If a person is converting their garage into a studio, then they better have the lighting they need.

Neutral is Nice

One of the most … Read the rest

How I Quit My Job to Become a Freelance Photographer

How I Quit My Job to Become a Freelance Photographer

I don’t know why I didn’t have the courage to do it sooner, but, about a year and a half ago, I quit my job and decided to become a freelance photographer. Before that I was living with two of my college buddies in New York, and I was working as a production artist. I was responsible for producing the images that were used to maintain the company’s website, taking snapshots of products, doing image updates, assisting web designers with their work, etc.


For some reason, however, I was miserable, and I wanted out. And here I am now doing quite well for myself as a freelance photographer. Not in New York, but in my hometown in Philly. The reason why I’m sharing this to you is because I want to be an inspiration to those who are ambivalent about going freelance and about chasing their dreams.

I know I’m not alone in the overwhelming population who hate their jobs. I recently saw a statistic somewhere in the labor/employer section of mohajerian.com that cited “roughly 2.4 million people in the United States voluntarily quit their jobs in February 2014 – that’s almost 2% of the total population! I can’t remember where I saw the stat but I believe there was a reference to bls.gov.

In addition, I realized that my 3 years as a production artist has really helped me in my transition. Here’s how.

Been there, done that.

For one, having been a production artist has taught me … Read the rest

Photographing Baked Goods When Working With Bakeries

Photographing Baked Goods When Working With Bakeries

As a photographer, have you ever had the chance to work with a bakery client? Let me tell you, there’s nothing like spending the day in a bakery photographing all the various baked goods and of course sampling each one

For bakery clients, they know that when trying to attract new customers, the best way to do it is to stimulate their senses. People are often tempted by the smells coming from a bakery, as well as the cleverly set window displays.

The question is, how do you make baked goods look extra sensual through a bunch of photographs – how do you as a photographer make the photos look as good as they taste? Here are a few tips from starting-a-bakery.com:

Back to basics.

Before we can even dive into shooting photographs for a specific subject matter, head over to this post to learn about the basics of photography.

Concept.

By that I mean what you want to convey to all those hungry consumers. Do you want to show how perfectly the chocolate oozes out of your chocolate molten cake? Do you want to show off the different kinds of flatbreads? Or do you want people to notice the beautifully-created cupcake decorations? That’s the first step.

Focus.

See to it that you learn how to get the focus right so you don’t end up with a blurry photo. This is because we often get too close to food when shooting it without even thinking if the camera we’re … Read the rest

Professional Photos for Homeowner’s Insurance

Professional Photos for Homeowner’s Insurance

Insurance agents will often hire photographers to help their clients protect their property from loss. Having professional pictures taken not only helps to record each asset, photographers know how to use proper lighting and angles to showcase an item. The use of professional photography will provide many benefits to the homeowner’s insurance policy. These include:

  • Showcases items in the best light
  • Highlights detail, showing flows and providing an item’s condition accurately
  • Can add a time/date stamp directly to the picture

Keeping a photo inventory provides homeowners with an up to date list of everything they own and its condition for personal and home insurance purposes.

How a Photo Inventory Helps Protect Homeowners From Loss

Keeping a digital photo inventory accomplishes several things. First, it offers a visual record of an item’s condition and any flaws it might have. Secondly, a photograph can take pictures of labels, tags or stickers that contain all of an item’s important information including the make, model, serial number and date of production.

Having all of this information on hand is beneficial if an item is stolen or lost due to fire or flood. Photographs will also help insurance agent determine an accurate value for an item so that it can be insured for what it is worth as well as the replacement value. This type of inventory takes the guesswork out of creating a possible list of items that may need to be replaced after a traumatic event.

When a photographer is hired to … Read the rest

Professional Photos Sell More Homes

Professional Photos Sell More Homes

Selling a house can be a stressful and harrowing experience. Recent studies by real estate firms such as Redfin prove that realtors who hire a professional photographer sell houses at faster speeds and higher prices.  Professional photos combined with the proper real estate training from websites like this one, will help a realtor increase the number of homes listed and sold plus increase the average sales price for the home.

“Good photos will grab people’s attention and help you sell a home. Bad pictures will absolutely give you trouble, because you won’t have any calls on it, and nobody will come to see it,” said Jack Teplitzky, Prudential Douglas Elliman Real Estate (Wall Street Journal).

Redfin’s study supports Teplitzky’s claim; they discovered that “listings of homes with photos taken by professionals have about 61% more views than listings without.” The National Association of Realtors also reported that 98% of home buyers who looked at online listings found photos the most useful aspect (Wall Street Journal).

Buyers are becoming more savvy. They are using the Internet mainly to do their searching for homes… . Those photos mean the difference between choosing to come see your property [or] not,” said professional home photographer Carl Bruce (Fox Business).  It’s also very important to include images of the landscape view from the home.

The Boston Herald reveals another interesting statistic: In the past four years, real estate searches on Google have increased by 253 percent. Therefore, real estate’s online presence is more important … Read the rest

How To Get The Proper Skin Tone When Shooting Portraits

How To Get The Proper Skin Tone When Shooting Portraits

Perhaps one of the most frequently asked questions in a photography workshop is how to achieve a more natural skin tone in your images. While photographers care about the artistry of the shot, background, lighting, composition and all, clients only want to look beautiful and natural on their photo shoots. So, how is this achieved? There are no magic tricks involved in this process although some would try Photoshop techniques. To make clients look their best on the web and in printed images you need to get them to appear as natural in their photos. To make this possible, you only need to follow three simple steps:

  1. Shooting in RAWWhat is RAW? RAW is a file format that captures recorded data from the image sensor of a camera. Technically, all cameras shoot RAW but the difference is if you choose a JPEG format, your camera does the processing itself by converting the RAW information into a JPEG. Whereas if you shoot RAW, you do your own processing and decide how you want the image to appear. This gives you the highest quality images possible.
  2. Why RAW – With a RAW file, it’s much easier to make corrections to your image without sacrificing quality.  White balance is easily adjusted so you get the right color temperature during the shoot and produce the most appealing skin tones possible. In addition, you have access to sharpening and noise algorithms that help create images with a far more natural look.
  3. Read the rest

10 Tips for Taking Stunning Landscape Photos

10 Tips for Taking Stunning Landscape Photos

People who love nature and outdoors enjoy taking great photos of landscapes and scenic vistas. This may start out as pure fun until you develop the bug for photography.   Go out to your garden and practice taking shots of your trees, plants and grass.  You’ll be amazed at the wonderful images you can get from different varieties of grass seed such as Zoysia.

Clutching your trusty old camera, you are determined to capture some of the amazing beauty that you see. Amidst the quietness of your surroundings, you wait for that perfect moment to shoot a picturesque scene in the most wonderful light and at the best vantage point possible. So, how do you capture stunning landscape photos that are masterpieces of art? If you don’t know where to start, use the following information to get you going:

  1. Find the Best Photo Locations – You have to do a bit of groundwork before you embark on a photographic adventure. Start to research around your area and get a map to find scenic places that offer great photo opportunities. Look for parks, rivers, bridges, lighthouses, waterfalls, stone circles, windmills and any other scenery that inspires you.
  2. Consider the Time of the Day – Photographers love to shoot before dusk and after dawn (the golden hour) because that’s when the lights appear at its best and landscapes come alive. Working with weather variations is also important if you want to capture images of sunsets and sunrises, rainbows, blue skies,
  3. Read the rest

Cleaning a Digital Camera and Parts Often Neglected in the Process

Cleaning a Digital Camera and Parts Often Neglected in the Process

Many of use might not realize it, but failing to clean your digital cameras can lead to serious consequences. Sometimes we get too excited about uploading our shots into a computer that we forget about cleaning and maintenance. But we ought to keep in mind that the best cameras don’t come cheap, as well as those other pieces of equipment we use in photography, so it would be wise to take the time to use our maintenance kits. And besides, it will only take about thirty minutes to an hour. Anyway, if you’re not that sure on how to clean your digital camera, here are a few tips.

  • You may think that you don’t really need to get rid of the few dust particles that land on your camera’s outer casing. However, those can accumulate overtime and make their way into the inner portions of your camera. So be sure to clean the outer casing, as well, and probably clean it before you proceed to the other parts of your camera. This way you minimize the amount of dirt that enter the inner parts of your camera.
  • When cleaning the lenses, be careful when cleaning the glass as these cost a lot to replace. The ideal cleaning aid to use are fine tissue paper and alcohol solutions that are especially designed for cameras. Make sure you remove dust particles with a brush first as those can scratch the surface of your lens. Dust can also settle in areas between moving
  • Read the rest

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