When assigned to provide photographic coverage
of a ship for intelligence collection purposes, you should
attempt to provide as much information about the
subject as possible. The standard nine-point coverage
assists in providing this information in a photograph.
The standard-nine points are as follows:
1. Bow
2. Starboard bow
3. Starboard beam
4. Starboard quarter
5. Stem
6. Port quarter
7. Port beam
8. Port bow
9. Vertical
The two most important shots are the starboard beam
and the port beam. These two angles are most helpful to
analysts for determining the overall dimensions of the
High-angle photographs, such as from a crane,
tower, or superstructure, are desired whenever possible.
Closeup photographs taken with telephoto lenses are
also important to support the basic nine-point coverage.
You should photograph the following items (in priority
1. Over-the-side equipment and buoys
2. Missiles and launchers
3. Radars
4. Antennas
5. Sonar domes
6. Sensor protrudents
7. Helicopters (on deck and in flight)
8. Unusual optical or electro-optical devices
9. Unusual activity
10. Guns
11. Superstructure
12. Cranes, masts, and booms
13. Ports, hatches, and openings
14. Appendages and fittings
15. Identification numbers, flags, and markings
16. Oceanographic deck equipment
It is good practice to overlap your coverage when
shooting with a telephoto lens. This will aid in
determining the working relationships between
components as well as providing the largest image
possible on the negative or videotape. Photographs
that provide information pertaining to cargo,
personnel count, and bridge or electronic detail may
be invaluable. It is better to overshoot than not to
cover an area that may provide critical information
about the subject.
More times than not, the lighting conditions are very
poor when shooting photographs for intelligence
purposes. Remember, the exposure latitude for Tech Pan
film is very short, so your camera exposure is critical.
You will be shooting into shadow areas and open
hatches, so bracket all your frames to ensure you record
When a submarine is the target of special interest,
closeup views of the following equipment is useful for
intelligence gathering:
Armament installations
Electronic installations
Sail area
Telescoping equipment
Unusual sensor probes and devices, such as
trailing wires
6. Unusual, unidentified, or modified equipment
If you are photographing equipment, cargo, or
written material that is recovered from floating
wreckage of a ship, you should include a ruler in the
photograph to show a scale as to the size of the object.
The use of a macro lens will be needed to photograph
nameplate data, writing, or markings on the recovered
Photographs can provide valuable information
about the capabilities, mission, and useful range of an
aircraft. Whether the aircraft is in the air or on the
ground, the way you photograph it aids the analysts in

Basic Photography Course

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