Examination of digital photos : Digital Forensics

In our time, digital photographs are a widespread and rather convenient material for fixing living objects and objects, as well as the environment that surrounds us. Surprising ease of use of these materials, which allow in deadlines, without significant costs, to obtain the necessary photo. The absence of difficulties in the transfer or copying of digital photographs, for ordinary users of any device (computer) and the Internet, is a visible disadvantage for owners of private photographs.

Judging by art. 1259 of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation, copyright includes “photographic works and works, also received in ways identical to photographs”. The legislation of the Russian Federation provides for criminal liability for the illegal use of copyright objects (the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, part 2-146).

A single legal opportunity to prove the identity (authenticity) of digital photographs is the production of expertise. The creation of such a type of research in the field of the expert’s responsibility in the field of portrait expertise is not included, since the main purpose of the portraits examination is to establish a person according to the appearance indicators marked on different displays.


Some organizations give an absolutely new kind of expertise – examination of object uniformity of objects, which allows to establish the correlation of images from the data of these images, in general (mass adaptation, conditional volumes, camera angle, shadows, penumbraes) and individual identification symptoms depicted on their objects. This examination of digital photographs can be assigned only in two of the following situations:

  1. In order to determine the identity of a photograph (when, as a rule, it is considered, there are copyright infringements within the limits of the establishment);
  2. In order to establish (authenticity) complete coincidence of objects which are respectively depicted on two not identical photographs.

The initial period of the examination is the implementation of a study for the definition of so-called photomontage, in other words – the presence or absence of changes made to a certain digital structure of the objects (objects) under study, as well as some programs that are used to process (edit) different types of PhotoShop programs, and a number of more special programs. Then the next step is the comparison of the images under study on the basis of private and non-private features.

Examination of digital photos

Samples are provided necessarily, which, in turn, must meet these requirements (compare the view of the photo, the complete absence of distortion of the shape and size of the details of certain objects depicted in this photograph, a very high-quality resolution format, information about the possibility of distortions or some fragments due to the influence of the optics of a digital camera). There should be samples representative, should display the most moderate volume of identification signs and have the corresponding maximum approximate quality and those with which it is compared, that is, do not have any differences.

Owning this good object of appropriate quality and quality equipment, and all these signs that were listed, some experts in this field will conduct an accurate, full investigation in a very short time – if any questions arise during the course of the case, their resolution must necessarily follow end of the whole procedure.

When a number of techniques are used in the examination of digital photography, which can lead to the destruction of all objects (objects) in the photograph, digital photography tools are used specifically for the expert’s illustrated conclusion.


The resulting primary (due to photography, or analog-to-digital conversion) and all subsequent (processed) digital images obtained during the examination process are recorded as separate files on the CD of a single record, which are used as an archive and are saved in the vigilant case of forensic examination of the ECP. Any file is assigned a personal name consisting of the examination numbers marked through the “gap” (for the general examination, the first of the numbers of those numbers mentioned in the expert opinion is always indicated):

  • The ECP archive disk number where this image is stored;
  • 4-digit number, the first 2 values ​​of which are considered the number of the figure (image) under which it is added to the top of the whole expert, and the final 2 values ​​- the number of this image in order, starting with the episode of its initial receipt (01 – primary image, 02 – image after the 1st processing, 03 – image after the 2nd processing).

Leave a Reply