Crime Scene Photography – CJUS 361

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

Students will learn and apply principles of photography in digital format. Within the field of forensic science, the use and understanding of photography is essential. The course will focus on the areas of aerial, underwater, and macro photography as used to document and present criminal investigations. Students must have access to a digital camera that has aperture settings (example: Sony P200) and a tripod.


CJUS 200 and CJUS 230


The purpose of this course is to give students a technological foundation that will be needed for a vocation in forensic Crime Scene Investigation concentrating on the specific area of crime scene photography. This course will teach students to apply the principles of photography directly to crime scene investigation and the digital documentation of evidence. Students will master certain skills that pertain directly to capturing evidence, and it will support students who are exploring fields within the legal justice system by providing an understanding of the what, why, and how evidence is photographed.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  1. Describe the basic functions of the digital camera and how they apply to crime scene photography.
  2. Utilize camera settings such as aperture and shutter speed in combination with alternative light sources to improve quality of photographic images.
  3. Perform successful photography in various environments overcoming various challenges such as: darkness, shadows, and reflective surfaces while still effectively capturing evidence through digital photography.
  4. Apply the camera settings for close-up photography (macro) resulting in a clear representation of very small items of evidence (i.e. latent fingerprints).
  5. Explain how a Christian ethic can provide theoretical underpinnings for the implementation of forensic science and crime scene photography.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations/notes

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board forums (2)

There are 2 Discussion Board forums in this course that cover a variety of 7 topics. The student will respond to 2 questions for each forum (one single post, 400 words for your initial original post, 2 sources). Once again, each initial post should include 2 scholarly references appropriately cited in APA format. The student will then reply to 2 of his/her classmates’ threads for each Db (200 word minimum for each response, 1 scholarly reference). Discussion Board responses can include a student’s opinion as it is offered in a constructive and professional manner. The initial post will be due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Thursday of the assigned module/week, and 2 replies are due the following Monday by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Monday of the same module/week.

Photography Assignments (4)

The student will complete 4 Photography Assignments in this course. Each Photography Assignment will require a series of photographs (i.e. depth of field, paint with light, indoor, and outdoor) with each photograph listing the ISO, SHUTTER, and APERTURE settings, demonstrate the student’s abilities to photograph forensic evidence. Each assignment will be due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Monday of the assigned module/week.

Introduction Photo Assignment (WEEK 1)

The student will submit an original current photograph taken with the camera being used for the photography course. This assignment will be due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Monday of Module/Week 1.

Final Project

The student will collect all previous photography assignments, including any improvements and additional photographs to compile a final project. The presentation will be detailed and each slide will contain a photograph with the following information: ISO, SHUTTER, and APERTURE Settings. Auto settings with flash are adequate for some photographs but manual settings will be necessary in some situations. This assignment will be due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Friday of Module/Week 8.

Quizzes (3)

There are 3 quizzes in the course. Quizzes will be open-book/open-notes and questions are taken from the reading assignments, Discussion Board topics, and presentations. Quizzes consist of true/false and multiple-choice questions. Quizzes will be due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Monday of the assigned module/week.

Test (1)

One test will be a comprehensive exam covering all the information contained in the three quizzes. The Exam is open-book/open-notes, has true/false and multiple-choice questions, and questions are taken from the reading assignments, presentations, Discussion Board topics, and prior quizzes. The Test will be due by 11:59 p.m. (ET) on Monday of Module/Week 7.