Monday, February 27, 2006

Amido Photography

A few years ago, I was working on a homicide and as many death scenes dictate, I ended up using Amido Black to try to get the suspect's fingerprints in blood. The scene occurred in a car and I dismantled the entire vehicle and processed each individual part. When I was working on the rear view mirror, there were bloody smudges on the glass portion, but there was no blood visible on the back side. After going through all of the prerequisite steps, I sprayed the back of the mirror with Amido and instantly saw ridge detail covering the plastic. Unfortunately, as soon as it dried (which was almost instantaneously) I could no longer see the ridge detail and every attempt to bring it back up was fruitless. After weeks of trying every weird thing I could think of, I found a solution.


Cut the bottom off of a styrofoam cup and place the mouth of the cup over the object. Use an alternate light source through the side of the cup to illuminate the object. The styrofoam cup acts as a universal light diffuser. Place an appropriate filter over the bottom of the cup and photgraph the object through the hole. It takes several hands to get it, but when you get the light at just the right angle on the surface of the object, you will be able to see the developed Amido print on some unbelievable surfaces.

If you've ever had this problem, give this a try. You'll be surprised.