- Author: Andrew Kim, Creative Video Specialist, Lexitas
With deadlines to meet and a desire to minimize costs, attorneys may be tempted to do their own legal photography. Why use a legal photography service when you have the conveniences of a camera phone? Taking that photo with your iPhone can lead to increased costs while professional photos yield better results.
A professional legal photographer uses a digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera. One of its primary advantages is the versatility different lenses afford.
Someone had fallen through a patio deck. I needed a wide-angle lens to get all the details of that small patio crawl space in one shot. The lens was able to capture the entire of the scene, which provided visual context and added depth to the court case.
A professional can determine which type of lens to use to capture a raw shot and all the details. In contrast, phones are not able to capture an entire image clearly.
A professional photo doesn’t look photoshopped. A photographer with a DSLR can compensate for low light, has far more pixels, colors and vibrancy, generating a more professional look.
With a wide-angle lens, photographers can capture nearly 180 degrees in the field of view. This is useful for shooting large scenes, such as a large auditorium or a junkyard.
If it’s an inspection or a courtroom, they can get all the surrounding details to show what’s going on.
In dangerous situations the right camera and a zoom lens, can allow photos to be taken from a safe distance and will provide the wide-angle capture.
Pixels and Color Depth
The image sensors are much bigger on a DSLR than a phone’s camera. The sensors allow more light to be captured, which brings in more more color data and makes the picture more detailed. Phone cameras work well for portraits by making the photo look nice with noise reduction, but it sacrifices details.
When you need precise details such as text, you can zoom and clearly read it with a DSLR photo, even in low lighting. With a phone, you’ll never be able to pinch and zoom past 2X and read the document unless it’s a full-on shot of the document.
An attorney wanted a sunrise photo taken at exactly the same time one year after an accident. He wanted to show the bad street lighting, the sun coming up and the orange street light glow.
The photo had to illustrate that when your eyes are dilated, and you turn your head, nothing is visible.
We used a wide-angle lens to portray the light/dark contrast and the varying colors from different directions in one shot, which is similar to our legal video services. When colors matter, phones will not be able to pick up the details as well. Stay tuned for part two. See how the legal photographer’s knowledge and attention to detail provide the best solution for attorney’s with cases that involve documentation.