Digital Forensic Photography

Dates TBA
Practical Education for the Law Enforcement Officer

Presenter: Detective Dave MacNeil (Watertown MA Police Department)

About the presenter

Since 1986, Dave has been a dedicated member of the Watertown, MA Police Department, serving as a detective in the Division of Criminal Investigations.  In addition to overseeing the department’s crime lab, he is the primary investigator in major crimes and also serves as the department photographer.

Dave’s impressive educational background includes a degree from Western New England College, completed and unanimously elected as class leader of the National Forensic Academy Session XVII, and specialized training from the DEA, FBI, and United States Secret Service Academies.

With a deep commitment to his profession, Dave is actively involved and a board of directors member in several organizations, including the Vidocq Society, Cold Case Initiative, Safe Community Cooperative and Watertown Police Relief Association. He has held leadership positions in the National Forensic Academy Alumni Association, Licensed Private Detectives of Massachusetts, and serves as a member of LPDAM, ASIS, IAI, NEDIAI, NEMLEC, IAFCI, INTELLENET, SCALI, ICSIA and NFAAA.

Dave is a highly respected educator, serving as a teaching associate for the National Forensic Academy and a CSI Instructor for Northeast Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council (NEMLEC) and Sirchie. He has taught at the local, state, and federal level, as well as for Boston University’s Forensic Science Program.

During the investigation and capture of the Boston Marathon Bombers, Dave played a pivotal role as the local crime scene point of contact. He has shared his expertise and experiences at numerous conferences, symposiums, and seminars on Best Practices in Forensics, Crime Scene Investigation, and Violent Crimes. As a licensed Massachusetts Private Investigator, Dave is passionate about teaching and meeting law enforcement professionals and members of the private sector across the country!


About the course

This practicum course provides firsthand experience in digital forensic photography and is ideal for law enforcement officers, lab technicians, detectives, and civilian CSIs. This basic 2-day 16-hour course will provide participants with an understanding of crime scene photography as well as the proper use of photography to document crime scenes, incidents, and accident scenes. The course is designed to help new investigators learn new skills and for experienced investigators to improve upon their existing skills.  Participants will learn new techniques and processes that they can apply in real-world crime scene investigations or when processing evidence in a controlled environment.

Here are the key topics that will be covered during this 2-day course:

  • Crime scene, incident, and accident scene photographic documentation
  • Functions and controls of digital single-lens-reflex (DSLR) cameras
  • Understanding depth of field and motion control
  • Understanding Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO
  • Proper Composition
  • Identifying Category 1 & Category 2 Images
  • Overall, medium, and close-up photography – Evidence-Quality Images
  • Functions and controls of detachable flash units
  • Solving lighting problems using fill-flash, painting with light & menu selections
  • Photographing victims and suspects properly
  • Considerations for managing digital images

Participants will learn how to properly capture, document, and submit digital images using mock crime scenes. The hands-on training program will allow participants to apply their newly learned concepts in a realistic setting. By the end of the course, students will have a firm foundation in the most used methods and equipment for forensic digital photography.

Overall, this course will equip law enforcement personnel with the knowledge and skills needed to properly document crime scenes and events and produce evidence-quality images for investigative purposes. We look forward to seeing you for this invaluable training program!

Dave is known for his experience, knowledge, and humor, making the overall experience both informative and entertaining. The course is a basic course and can be customized to meet the needs of different agencies, ranging from 16 to 40 hours in length, and delivered over two to five days. Participants will receive reference material and handouts on a thumb drive for future reference.

Look for our other single and multi-day classes in Digital Forensic and Macro/ALS Photography!

*Participants should bring a DSLR camera, with tripod and macro lens when possible.

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