Photoanthropometry is a metric based facial image comparison technique. Measurements of the face are taken from an image using predetermined facial landmarks. Measurements are then converted to proportionality indices (PIs) and compared to PIs from another facial image. Photoanthropometry has been presented as a facial image comparison technique in UK courts for over 15 years. It is generally accepted that extrinsic factors (e.g. orientation of the head, camera angle and distance from the camera) can cause discrepancies in anthropometric measurements of the face from photographs. However there has been limited empirical research into quantifying the influence of such variables. The aim of this study was to determine the reliability of photoanthropometric measurements between different images of the same individual taken with different angulations of the camera. The study examined the facial measurements of 25 individuals from high resolution photographs, taken at different horizontal and vertical camera angles in a controlled environment. Results show that the degree of variability in facial measurements of the same individual due to variations in camera angle can be as great as the variability of facial measurements between different individuals. Results suggest that photoanthropometric facial comparison, as it is currently practiced, is unsuitable for elimination purposes. Preliminary investigations into the effects of distance from camera and image resolution in poor quality images suggest that such images are not an accurate representation of an individuals face, however further work is required.

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