Concerned that developer altered images

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by brad_mirakian, Jun 10, 2003.

  1. I need some advise on the development of some photographs involved in
    a lawsuit.

    The state provided me with some pictures from the crime scene
    involving a car wreck. At the first trial, I noted some marks on the
    windshield of the car that could have been helpful to the case. I
    later asked the state for extra copies of the photos. The new copies
    I received are much brighter and washed out, making it difficult to
    see the marks on the windshield.

    I am suspicious that the state, knowing my interest in those marks,
    purposefully tampered with the development process so as to make it
    harder to see them. I know that the state had a local one-hour photo
    shop develop them.

    My question is, if this was the result of a poorly calibrated
    machine, what could the developer have done to achieve the above
    effect?

    Essentially, I’m going to investigate this, and I’d like to know what
    sort of things to look for when talking to the developer. Thanks a
    bunch!

    - Brad
     
  2. they could have printed them darker. Try and go to the lab with when they get enlargements done and bring an attorney and your own photo processor to inspect the negatives and the prints.
     
  3. James G. Dainis

    James G. Dainis Moderator

    Ask to see the negatives and check them with a loupe or magnifying glass. If the marks are on the negative they should be on a "properly"
    made print. No deceit may have been intended. The same negative may give different results on different machines or at different times due to the amount of exposure that the machine analyzer decides is needed to get a well exposed print. If it "thinks" the print will be too dark, it will lighten it up; if it "thinks" it will be too light, it will darken it down.
     
  4. Sounds like just bad processing, rather than intentional deceit. (Printing the pictures lighter may actually show MORE detail in other parts of the picture). If you can work directly with the one hour lab, ask them to print the picture, then print it a bit darker, then a bit darker- and one of the shots should match what you want.
     

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