Peer-Reviewed News

This information has been subjected to peer review and has been published in a recognized journal or periodical. This information contains relevant cites that pertain to footwear, tire or barefoot impression evidence. Other peer-reviewed information that may be indirectly related to the aforementioned forensic disciplines (e.g., legal or enhancement techniques), may also be posted here.

The Forensic Application of High Dynamic Range Photography

Brown C., Bryant, T., and Watkins M. D. The Forensic Application of High Dynamic Range Photography. J. Forens. Ident. 2010; 60(4): 449-459.


This paper demonstrates two methods to produce superior photographic images by combining three to five photographs taken at different exposures. Creating high dynamic range (HDR) images in Photoshop CS4 or Photomatix Pro 3 software results in high-quality 32-bit images. HDR images can include a tonal range beyond that which can normally be captured in a single image. This technique provides the forensic examiner with more detailed images for comparison and examinations.

Making Three-Dimensional Footwear Test Impressions with "Bubber"

LeMay J. Making Three-Dimensional Footwear Test Impressions with "Bubber". J. Forensic Ident. 2010; 60 (4): 439-448.


Footwear examiners occasionally find it necessary to make three-dimensional test impressions of footwear when they are comparing the footwear to photographs of three-dimensional crime scene impressions. There are several products available for such use. Some are polymers that require mixing and hardening. Some are foam products that do not render fine detail. A new product, Bubber, was tested and was found to be very easy to use. It rendered very fine detail that could be photographed and cast with dental stone.

Chemical Enhancement of Footwear Impressions in Blood Deposited on Fabric

Chemical enhancement of footwear impressions in blood deposited on fabric — Evaluating the use of alginate casting materials followed by chemical enhancement

Kevin J. Farrugia, Niamh NicDaéid, Kathleen A. Savage, Helen Bandey

Science & Justice: Journal of the Forensic Science Society, 15 July 2010


Most footwear marks made in blood on a surface such as fabric tend to be enhanced in situ rather than physically recovered using a lifting technique prior to enhancement. This work reports on the use of an alginate material to recover the impressed footwear marks made in blood and deposited on a range of fabric types and colours. The lifted marks were then enhanced using acid black 1 and leuco crystal violet with excellent results. This presents a new method for the lifting and recovery of blood impressions in situ from crime scene followed by subsequent mark enhancement of the lifted impression.

Chemical Enhancement of Bloody Footwear Impressions from Buried Substrates

Cullen, S., Otto, A., and Cheetham, D. M. Chemical Enhancement of Bloody Footwear Impressions from Buried Substrates. J. Forensic Ident. 2010; 60 (1): 45-86.


Footwear impressions are regarded as one of the most common forensic evidence types left at crime scenes. A review of research to date describes previous tests on the survival of footwear in a range of contaminants on a myriad of surfaces. None, however, examined the effects of the burial environment on such impressions.

A Validation Study of Barefoot Morphology

Maltais, L. & Yamashita, A. B. (2010). A Validation Study of Barefoot Morphology. Journal of Forensic Identification, 60 (3), 362-370.


Nine latent barefoot impressions, with ten accompanying inked impressions, were sent to fifteen barefoot morphology examiners for evaluation, for a total of 1350 comparisons. The examiners were asked to include of exclude suspects as having possibly created the latent impressions. Examiners were not asked to make positive identifications, so more than one exclusion in a set was possible and was not considered to be an error. On only one occasion was the correct inked impression excluded as being made by the same person who created the latent impression, with reservations requesting better standards. These results indicate that the methods used to compare barefoot morphology can be used reliably to include or exclude suspects.