Photography

Photographs should be taken when the bite mark is first discovered. It is essential for correct photographic procedures to be followed to minimize distortions. Police photographers experienced in crime scene and other injury photography may still find the assistance of the forensic dentist useful, because

Fig. 12. Photograph showing biting injury to right ear after medical intervention. © Northumbria Police. Used with permission.

complications arise from curved surfaces and the correct positioning of the camera and scales. The American Board of Forensic Odontology no. 2 scale, being small and "L" shaped, is very effective (14) and is now used by many police forces.

Skin is not the best impression material, and various papers and reports have shown the importance of photographing the victim in the same position as when bitten in an attempt to minimize distortion (15,16). However, this is not always possible. Changes in the injury with time (in both the living and the deceased) may mean that the injury pattern appears clearer after a day or two. There is no reliable way of knowing when an injury will reveal the most detail, and, therefore, repeat photography (e.g., every 24 hours for 3-5 days) can prove useful.

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