Volume 48, Issue 3 (May 2003)
Background Correction in Forensic Photography II. Photography of Blood Under Conditions of Non-Uniform Illumination or Variable Substrate Color-Practical Aspects and Limitations
The combination of photographs taken at wavelengths at and bracketing the peak of a narrow absorbance band can lead to enhanced visualization of the substance causing the narrow absorbance band. This concept can be used to detect putative bloodstains by division of a linear photographic image taken at or near 415 nm with an image obtained by averaging linear photographs taken at or near 395 and 435 nm. Nonlinear images can also be background corrected by substituting subtraction for the division. This paper details experimental applications and limitations of this technique, including wavelength selection of the illuminant and at the camera. Characterization of a digital camera to be used in such a study is also detailed. Detection limits for blood using the three wavelength correction method under optimum conditions have been determined to be as low as 1 in 900 dilution, although on strongly patterned substrates blood diluted more than twenty-fold is difficult to detect. Use of only the 435 nm photograph to estimate the background in the 415 nm image lead to a twofold improvement in detection limit on unpatterned substrates compared with the three wavelength method with the particular camera and lighting system used, but it gave poorer background correction on patterned substrates.