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Re: Digital camera, legal or not for documentaion

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>Is anyone NOT using digital cameras because they might not hold up in 
>court because they could be altered.
I don't use a digital camera, bnut alteration is only a marginal 
consideration. The major issue I could see raised would be that there's 
no actual original image, as there would be with film, hence no audit 
trail. In theory the camera memory card is an original, but it's very 
easily and normally altered and over written or re-used.

Anything can be altered, although film negatives are tricky in this 
regard. One way is to scan the original negative to disk and bugger the 
image in your software of choice. Then photograph the buggered image or 
scan the negative of the buggered image to film. This takes some effort 
but it's plenty doable. It's also plenty fraudulent and could easily 
amount to a major career decision.

If I'm doing exhibits from photographs, I scan a print to disk and crop 
it or re-work certain areas for emphasis. I'm pretty careful about 
explaining that something's been enhanced and why and I also add text 
annotations both for my convenience and so it's apparent that I'm not 
trying to pull a fast one. I keep the original negative and print around, 
as part of an audit trail in case opposing counsel makes an issue of it.

Christopher Wright P.E.    |"They couldn't hit an elephant from
chrisw(--nospam--at)skypoint.com        | this distance"   (last words of Gen.
___________________________| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)
http://www.skypoint.com/~chrisw


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