Forensic Investigation Photography (Basic to Advanced) Plus CSI Techniques (Ottumwa, IA) Jan 29 - Feb 2, 2024


This class will be held at the Indian Hills Community College Criminal Justice Training Center at 14383 College Ave., Ottumwa, IA 52501.

Crime scene photography remains one of the most important aspects of any criminal investigation. Whereas notes and sketches document items of interest that the investigator recognizes and records, a properly trained crime scene photographer will record everything of significance at a crime scene that is visualized in the viewfinder. A permanent recording can prove invaluable days, months, and even years after the crime scene has been released by law enforcement. Failure to obtain images while at the crime scene, or in a laboratory setting, that properly portray the item(s) of evidence in the lab, or piece of evidence at the scene, will likely result in the photograph not being accepted by the court, and thus being deemed unsuitable for presentation to the jury.

This 5-day course is designed for all personnel in the judicial process who are charged with taking crime scene photographs and/or presenting the images in judicial and administrative proceedings. The comprehensive course is also a designed for instructors charged with teaching proper photographic techniques to crime scene personnel, or students interested in entering this, or a related field. The course involves classroom lecture on photography theory and concepts followed by hands-on exercises. Nikon® equipment will be provided, so all students are operating identical equipment. Note: Students should bring a new, unused 8GB or larger high-speed USB storage device if they would like to keep the images they expose during training.

The student will leave the course with:

  • A high-level of understanding of digital cameras
  • Techniques for capturing quality images under various conditions
  • Acceptable standards for documenting crime scenes and physical evidence via photography

Advanced Photography (Forensic Investigation Techniques including ALS, UV, and IR).

Photography is used to document most crime scenes today, yet only the most basic techniques are sometimes utilized missing possible key evidence or not providing the true story of the crime scene or evidence.  Moving beyond this, attendees of this instruction module learn how to properly document in the preferred – Manual Mode and learn to control the exposure triangle in various situations using techniques that reveal evidence once hidden.  In Manual Mode - dark scenes, shadows, and bright ambient light can all be overcome with specific techniques to show the scene as the investigator sees it.

Attendees through hands on exercises using DSLR cameras and various lenses combined with filters explore various lighting possibilities, using a variety of alternate light sources and filters to build contrast and reveal pattern evidence. Light sources outside the visible spectrum, such as ultra-violet and infrared, reveal body fluids and pattern evidence of gunshot residue and bodily fluids not visible to the naked eye. The camera is shown to be a tool to gather much more evidence than can be seen or documented with any other method.

The course will be taught by a 22-year veteran criminal investigator/Special Agent who worked hundreds of criminal investigations and law enforcement operations in 13 states and 23 countries, dozens of fire investigations, and completed the National Arson Investigation Course, NFA, FEMA, Emmitsburg, MD; The FBI National Academy; a Master of Forensic Science, The George Washington Univ, Washington, D.C.; Bloodstain Interpretation Course, Miami-Dade Metro Police Institute, Miami, FL; Major Crimes Investigation Course, Royal Canadian Police College, Ottawa, Canada; and many other courses. 

The instructor is an active Fellow of the American Academy of Forensic Science (AAFS), the International Association of Identification and NC Chapter, NC Homicide Investigators Association, International Association of Arson Investigators (IAAI), FBI National Academy and State Chapter, and other professional associations and organizations.

Each student will receive a kit to use during hands-on exercises, and to keep.

OST250KIT Contents:
1- Perforated Notepad, 8 1/2” x 11”
1- Biofoam Impression Kit
5- Tissue Paper, #15 weight
1- Blood Evidence on Plywood
1- PIC001 Photo Scale/ID Card, 8 1/2” x 11”
1- Crime Scene Documentation Forms
2- 131WL1 Hinge Lifter, 2” x 4”, white
6- FC343 Reversible Backing Cards, 3” x 5”
2- Orange Evidence Marking Pointers
1- 101L Silk Black Fingerprint Powder, 2 oz.
1- 107L Copper Fingerprint Powder, 2 oz.
1- SB201L Silver/Black Fingerprint Powder, 2 oz.
1- M114L Black Magnetic Fingerprint Powder, 1 oz.
3- 122L Standard Fiberglass Brush
1- 123LW Marabou Feather Brush, white


1- 125L Magnetic Powder Applicator
1- 127LW Rubber/GEL Lifters, 2” x 4”, white, 12 ea.
1- 145L 1.5” Frosted Lifting Tape
4- Index cards, 3” x 5”
1- SBQ100 Fingerprint Lifting Squeegee
1- SNR100K Serial Number Restoration Kit
1- PPS800 Forensic L-Scale, 105mm x 105mm
1- PPS600 Reversible Forensic L-Scale, 300mm x 150mm
1- LTF200PR Zero Edge Protractor
1- Hemastix Blood ID Reagent Strips, 10 ea.
1- Toothbrush
1- Ballpoint Pen, black ink
1- #2 Pencil
2- Cotton Balls


2- Ziptop Bag, 9” x 12”
1- Orange Acrylic Square, 4” x 4”
1- 379M Attached case Magnifier
3- SDM100E Disposable Evidence Markers, inches
2- Wooden Paint Stirrers
3- Terry Cloth Towel
6- Cotton-Tipped Swabs
1- GLT101W GELifters, 5.2” x 7.2”, white, 10 each
1- HCB1002 Hard-Core Dental Stone, 2 lbs.
1- KCP247C Sterile Water, 3ml vial
1- OSTBK100 Blood Evidence Samples on paper
5- PBID1005 Blood ID Tests, Kastle Meyer Reagent
1- PBID2001 Blood ID Tests, McPhail’s Reagent
1- PSID1001 Seminal Fluid ID Test

Your Instructor

David G. Pauly, Professor, Forensic Science Program, Methodist University, Fayetteville, NC, retired from The U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command as a Special Agent-in-Charge/Commander, Paratrooper, and Forensic Science Officer.

Dave performed duties in numerous U.S. States and foreign countries and frequently worked with local, state, and other federal agencies, as well as various non-U.S. law enforcement entities in Panama, South Korea, Afghanistan, Haiti, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Turkey, Egypt, Canada, Guam, and Nigeria.

Prof. Pauly holds a Master of Forensic Science degree from The George Washington University where he taught summer sessions for several years while also developing the Forensic Science Program at Methodist University from its inception to a thriving program where young students learn a comprehensive curriculum involving crime scene forensic science and criminal investigations.

Dave graduated the FBI National Academy (Session 195), Canadian Police College - Major Crimes Course, Miami-Dade Police Department - Bloodstain Interpretation Course, and National Fire Academy - Arson Investigation Course, and has completed numerous other courses, seminars, symposiums, and classes in criminal investigations, forensic science, and other law enforcement related topics.

Dave is an active Fellow of The American Academy of Forensic Science, and is a current, or past member of the International Association of Identification, North Carolina Chapters of the IAI and FBINAA, International Association of Bloodstain Pattern Analysts, North Carolina Homicide Investigator’s Association, The Vidocq Society, American Investigative Society of Cold Cases (AISOCC), and various other professional law enforcement and/or forensic science associations.

For more information contact:

Josh O'Dell Staff Instructor

Area Hotels:

AmericInn by Wyndham Ottumwa
222 W 2nd Street
Ottumwa, IA 52501

Hampton Inn Ottumwa
943 N Quincy Ave.
Ottumwa, IA 52501


Click on the thumbnail to download our 2022 Education & Training Guide.

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Day 1

  • Introduction and Registration: Students and the instructor will discuss experiences and trends with crime scene photography.
  • Basic Crime Scene Documentation, Legal Standards, and Implication of NAS Report for Crime Scene Photography (1 hr): This lecture will review crime scene documentation concepts and the legal standards for admissibility of photographs in court.
  • Photography Concepts, Terminology, and Basic Camera Operation: During this lecture the student will learn basic camera concepts, formatting a proper image, lighting techniques, terminology, and common settings on the digital camera. Students will learn how to take the camera out of automatic mode so they can maximize the capabilities of the digital camera. Students will learn to download images for presentation and the effects of digital compression (TIFF, RAW, JPEG).
  • Practical Exercise¬† (1 hr): Students will be divided into pairs and assigned for classroom work with Nikon camera kit in order to familiarize themselves with camera settings discussed previously during lecture.

Day 2

  • Review from Day 1 (1 hr)
  • F/Stops and Aperture, Practical Exercise and Review of Images (3 hrs): During this lecture the student will be taught the importance of f/stops, the effects on the photographic image, and conduct exercises to reinforce the lecture. Students will download images to a computer for presentation and class critique.
  • Shutter Settings, Practical Exercise, and Review of Images (3 hrs): During this lecture the student will be taught the effects of changing shutter speed, and conduct exercises designed to reinforce the lecture. Following the exercise students will present their images to the class and discuss techniques utilized during the capture of their images. Students will download images to computer for presentation and class critique.
  • ISO, Practical Exercise, and Review of Images (2 hrs)

Day 3

  • Painting with Light (1 hr): This lecture will expose students to the concepts and effects of various lighting, ISO settings, dark scene photography and painting with light, as well as taking photographs of victims of crime.
  • Practical Exercise and Review (2 hr): Students will conduct practical exercises to reinforce concepts discussed during the previous lecture. Students will download images to a computer for presentation and class critique.
  • Luminol and Impression Evidence Photography (1 hr): This lecture will expose students to the concepts of photographing chemically-enhanced blood evidence (luminol-based and related ;products), as well as foot and tire impression evidence.
  • Practical Exercise and Review (2 hrs) Students will conduct practical exercises to reinforce concepts discussed during the previous lecture. Students will download images to a computer for presentation and class critque.
  • Review of Days 1, 2 & 3 (1 hr)

Day 4

  • Effects of Lighting, Filter Selection, Vehicles 360's, and Body Panoramic Images (1 hr)
  • Practical Exercises (1 hr): Students will conduct practical exercises to reinforce concepts discussed during the previous lecture, followed by presentation of images for class review and critique.
  • On and Off Camera Flash Photography, Metering, and Practical Exercise (2 hrs): Students will learn how to effectively utilize the camera's light meter, on and off camera flash units, followed by practical exercises and presentation of the images for class review and critique.
  • Evening Mock Crime Scene, Laser Trajectory, and Painting with Light (PWL) Exercise¬† (3 hrs): During this evening session students will work in teams to image a low light mock crime scene using PWL and Flash Techniques, coupled by use of a high powered laser to simulate crime scene reconstruction of bullet trajectory.

Day 5

  • Review of All Previous Lessons and Practical Exercises (1 hr)
  • Surveillance Photography, Practical Exercise, and Review of Images (2 hrs): During this lecture students will be exposed to the nuances of surveillance photography for capturing subjects from a distance, and scenes involving confined spaces, such as the interior of a vehicle, trunk, or closet. Students will complete a comprehensive practical excercise utilizing fixed "prime" lenses of 14mm, 18mm, 24mm, and an assortment of variable "zoom" lenses from 18mm-135mm, 200mm, 300mm, and 400mm focal lengths. Images taken during the exercise will be presented to the class for review and critique.
  • Macro Photography, Filters, Ultraviolet (UV) and Infrared IR, and ALS Photography (3 hrs): This lecture will expose students to the concepts of photographing small items close-up, such as bullet casings, stria from recovered bullets, fingerprints and other trace evidence. During this exercise students will experiment with crime scene lights of various colors used to identify serological, fiber, and other trace evidence, and will be exposed to IR and UV photography while utilizing the most state-of-the-art IR Digital Camera.
  • Course Summary, Critique and Discussion (1 hr)
  • NOTE: Students will be trained on, and utilize several crime scene processing devices during the photography exercises, including:

    Electrostatic Dust Print Lifter: Students will learn how to locate, image, lift, and image the lift of a dust print using this unique and very effective forensic device.

    Biofoam and Casting: Students will create a 3-dimensional impression, photograph the impression, and then cast the impression utilizing dental stone or an equivalent casting material. Students will image the cast the following day.

    AccuTrans and Gelatin Lifters: Students will process and then lift fingerprints on rough/course surfaces utilizing this piece of specialized equipment. Students will learn how to properly image fingerprints before and after being processed, and upon being lifted.

    Traditional, Magnetic, and Fluorescent Fingerprint Processing Techniques: Students will learn the differences between traditional, magnetic, and fluorescent fingerprint techniques. They will then learn how properly to image these prints with and without ALS -Alternate Light Source -white, blue (455nm) and UV (365nm) lights.

    Alternate Light Sources: Students will be instructed on and utilize ALS during their photographic exercises, including how to search for bones in fire pits, large, wooded areas, and other outdoor scenes.

    Luminol and Luminol Based Products: Students will be instructed on the various luminol based products utilized to search for latent blood at crime scenes. Students will then be given luminol and exemplars containing latent blood to image.

    Macro Photography of Crime Scene and Arson Evidence: Students will be instructed on and utilize a macro lens to image a wide variety of small evidence, including wires and switches commonly needing proper imaging at fire scenes.

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