If you are looking for Glamour, Gadgets and Grissom you won't find them here. Forget what you think you know about 'Forensics', these are the tales of one man and his brush. Of course these views do not represent the views of any Police Force or indeed reflect any Force Policies ya da ya.
Monday, 10 December 2007
During the investigation the now homeless occupant turns up with a full and frank admission of starting the fire himself in the bedroom. Along with the Fire Officers we confirmed the seat of the fire in the bedroom, there were no other signs of forced entry (other than the size 9s of the first Fireman) or anything out of the ordinary apart from all his possessions now being a nice shade of black.
All that was required of me at this stage was photographs of the scene. This may sound like a quick task, but when it's pitch black outside and all the walls inside are pitch black the rules of photography change somewhat making it a more laborious task. In order to record all of the detail in a darkened room the use of flash is not enough as it creates as many shadow areas as it illuminates. So using timed exposures of between 15 secs and 1 Minute on a tripod mounted camera with fill in flash extends the average shot from a 125th of a second to a few minutes per shot. There will probably be at the very least four shots per room in a flat with six rooms so the total time of this type of job can take a good couple of hours.
Imagine my horror then when I had finally taken the last shot to find I had no film in the camera! There were a couple of officers still waiting for me to finish, hiding my mistake quite well I say 'Just changing films, got a couple of final shots to make and I'll be done.' Luckily at this stage it was very early morning and the sun was starting to poke itself over the horizon, so I quickly fly around all the rooms using the camera and flash handheld, five minutes later I have the shots I need, I pack up and leave. A week or so later the photos arrive on my desk and all things considered they didn't turn out too bad, not my best work but a lucky escape nonetheless. Thank god for Digital!