View Full Version : Fingerprint from photograph?

06-22-2011, 06:03 PM
If you had a thumprint and a photograph of a thumb--think a .RAW photo--could a fingerprint expert do an effective comparison? Could you get a match that way?

06-22-2011, 11:00 PM
If the photo had sufficient resolution to show ridge patterns, I would think it quite feasible.

06-22-2011, 11:13 PM
thanks :)

06-22-2011, 11:20 PM
Not sure it would be aloud in a cart of law though...

06-22-2011, 11:25 PM
Yes, the potential uncertainty is great story fodder. The expert might be certain, but others might not trust his certainty.

Ol' Fashioned Girl
06-22-2011, 11:29 PM
My first thought was 'How many opportunities between creation of the image and printing it or showing it are there for the image to be manipulated?'. And therein lies the defense attorney's presentation of 'reasonable doubt'.

06-23-2011, 06:14 PM
Interesting thoughts here :). The chain of evidence issue isn't as important as the viability of the concept.

06-25-2011, 11:46 PM
Yes, it can be done using AFIS, at least an an investigative tool. Evidential value is determined on a case by case basis.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Integrated_Automated_Fingerprint_Identification_Sy stem

06-27-2011, 09:14 AM
If the photo had sufficient resolution, yes, it could easily be done. BUT, it would have to be in focus and taken at close range which no regular cell phone or digital camera or even film camera will do. Their focal range is nowhere near the lens and not designed for closeups at that detail level. A long distance telescopic microscope might do it (they're used for examination of things that cannot be gotten close enough to easily and safely) but not everyone has one. A system designed for scanning surfaces would be more likely, and such are one variant of palm or finger print scanner, as well as document scanners and photocopiers.

06-27-2011, 07:45 PM
Since you specified .RAW format, I think you're in the clear.

If you were intending to obtain a fingerprint from a still frame captured from a VHS video recording, it would be a different matter. (Yeah, I'm looking at you, television writers.)