Accident Site Photography - IM300S

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NTSB Training Center 


Accident Site Photography


Three courses in one training event – two days of photography instruction and practical exercises in addition to one day of digital image processing.

Day One – Technical Photography

The principles of digital imaging will be explained and demonstrated. Participants will create images to apply techniques discussed in class. Participants should be familiar with the operation of their digital camera prior to attending the course.

Day Two – Advanced Accident Site Photography

Participants learn how to capture the most important and useful images to document any accident site. Through the use of methods described in this course, participants will expose their own images in various photographic disciplines and then share in critique sessions offering constructive observations for improvement. This session will include interactive instruction and demonstration, as well as practical exercises.

Day Three –Digital Image Processing

Processing and storing of images for current and archival use in a variety of electronic formats will be discussed. Generally accepted protocols for processing of images to enhance image clarity will be presented, as well as information for retaining authenticity crucial for use as documentary evidence.

ID Code


Dates and Tuition

November 5-7, 2019

$1,198 early registration by October 5, 2019
$1,298 late registration between October 6, 2019 and October 30, 2019

We are no longer accepting offline applications.

Note:  payment must be made at time of registration.


Day 1 & 3: 8 am – 4:30 pm; Day 2: 8am-3 pm and 7 pm – 8 pm (night documentation exercise)


NTSB Training Center • 45065 Bles Park Drive • Ashburn, Virginia 20147


OPEN. Applications are now being accepted.

Apply to Attend

Sign Up for This Course Here



Program Agenda

Day One – Technical Photography

  • Digital photography – how a digital image is formed, processed and stored; digital vs. analog imaging; adjusting resolution & file sizes for particular purposes
  • Camera usage and care – holding, focusing, light metering, batteries, moisture and cleaning
  • Elements of exposure – shutter speeds, lens apertures, depth-of-field and exposure vs. noise
  • Lighting: sources and techniques
  • Close-up and macro-photography – use of flash, filtration and polarization
  • Troubleshooting – Resolving difficulties by understanding the basics of digital hardware
  • Photographer safety and camera care
  • Digital imaging media, techniques and cautions

Day Two – Advanced Accident Site Photography

  • Project environment – preparing for assignments under any conditions
  • Documenting the scene – protocols for documentation of any type of accident/incident site
  • Size, color and positional references – GPS capabilities and animation
  • Storytelling – capturing images to maximize informational content
  • Quantitative scene data – virtual reality, photomontage
  • Authenticity – ensuring image authenticity through use of specific procedures
  • Photo Reality – taking advantage of contrast, perspective, proper lens focal length and color reproduction
  • Exercise: Documentation of simulated aircraft accident site

Day Three –Digital Image Processing

  • Workflow process – from image capture to archival storage
  • Scanning – converting traditional prints into digital images
  • File types – determining optimal file formats for various image types and usages
  • Image size – Guidelines for best file sizes for a range of storage and electronic transmission considerations
  • Compression – balancing the benefits and drawbacks of various modes of image compression
  • Image Correction – using imaging programs to correct for deficiencies in overall image quality:
    • Enhancing detail
    • Adjusting luminosity
    • Cropping out distracting/irrelevant elements
    • Correcting distorted color
    • Improving contrast
  • Authenticity protocols – practices and procedures to ensure that the integrity and accuracy of the documentary digital image is not compromised at any point in the workflow process


Participants must provide an individual digital camera, camera manual and laptop computer.
In addition, it is recommended and encouraged that you bring to class all equipment and accessories that you may use on the job, such as scales, mirrors, memory, and tripods. Students should be prepared to photograph at a simulated scene outdoors. Please be prepared for local weather and outdoor working conditions.

Who May Attend

  • NTSB investigators
  • Federal, state & local investigators, including those outside the field of transportation, who would like to build or enhance photographic skills
  • Potential participants in an NTSB investigation
  • Law Enforcement Officers
  • Safety and Private Investigators
  • Enforcement Inspectors
  • Others who would like to build or enhance photographic skills


Area hotels and restaurants


Washington Dulles International (IAD): 10 miles
Washington Ronald Reagan National (DCA): 30 miles
Baltimore/Washington International (BWI): 60 miles

More Information

Email or call (571) 223-3939