Better clinical and post mortem photography: A crash course in ten technical tips

D. Sadler (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
304 Downloads (Pure)


For forensic clinicians and pathologists, photography of bodily regions, injuries and skin lesions present a number of technical challenges including proper framing, avoidance of distortion, choice of background and inclusion of a properly orientated scale. Photography of internal organs at autopsy presents further difficulties with regard to correct exposure, light reflections and limited depth of field. Situations commonly arise in clinical forensic and autopsy practice which require photographic documentation but which may not warrant calling upon the clinical photographer or police Scenes of Crime Officer. This article provides a brief explanation of various technical considerations which will allow forensic practitioners and technicians to take their own high quality external and internal photographs. Technical aspects discussed include aperture, shutter speed, ISO, depth of field, camera shake, and use of flash, scales, focal planes and backgrounds. The possible pitfalls encountered in several common photographic situations are illustrated and discussed, together with suggested workarounds and camera settings. Whilst the photographic examples presented here mostly relate to autopsy practice, the general principles and technical discussion also apply to wider clinical forensic photography practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-60
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Forensic and Legal Medicine
Early online date3 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019


  • Autopsy
  • Forensic
  • Pathology
  • Photography
  • Post mortem
  • Techniques
  • Forensic Medicine
  • Photography/instrumentation
  • Humans
  • Lighting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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