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How a Police Detective is related to my practice


The two main features in my practice are that the photographs are in black and white and taken from above. But this is not the first-time photographs have been taken from above there is a whole organisation dedicated to aerial photographs from planes, they depict photos of landscapes and buildings. However, there are not many of people from above., especially not ones in a domestic in a documentary style.



Looking into the history of photography from above a photographer came to mind; Alphonse Bertillon. He was a French police officer in the late 1800s. He revolutionized the police process. He invented the mugshot and an anthropometry technique for identifying criminals. Meaning he would take measurements of the criminal's facial features and likely body features to ensure the criminal being prosecuted was the person who had committed the crime.




A lesser-known invention of his was his device ‘The God’s Eye View’ which allowed a large/medium format camera (that’s the sort of camera which the Victorians went beneath a cloak to take a picture ‘look at the birdy’) to be

mounted above a murder scene in order to get that aerial perspective of the crime scene. As a note of interest, he came over to London and took pictures of murders attributed to Jack the Ripper.




Images from

https://www.history.com/news/a-look-back-at-the-crime-scene-photos-that-changed-how-murder-is-documented


https://www.mentalfloss.com/article/59629/alphonse-bertillon-and-identity-criminals


https://advisor.museumsandheritage.com/news/from-crime-scene-to-courtroom-wellcome-collections-forensics-the-anatomy-of/

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