Burden of Proof: The Construction of Visual Evidence

Burden of Proof is currently exhibiting at The Photographers Gallery and looks at his experts, researchers and historians began using photography as a way of documenting evidence at crime scenes. I was particularly interested in the metric photography of crime scenes, which began with Alphonse Bertillon who established a scientific way of representing crime scenes. The reason I was mostly interested in this section of the exhibition is due to previous research I have done on crime scene photography during the 1900’s and consequently on Alphonse Bertillon for my Image and Text assignment.

The photographs at the crime scenes were taken with an overhead camera with a wide angle lens on a tripod which was more than two metres tall and so in the photographs you can actually see the legs in the images. What I had not previously seen was how these images were mounted onto special cards which had gradations in centimetres, perspectometric framing and indications of scale.

I felt quite lucky that this exhibition was available for me to look at as I started my research on the subject and so got to not only look at the images in books, but also as they would have been shown to police, investigation judges and jurors.

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