Assoc Professor Gale Spring


Adjunct Associate Professor

School /
Work Unit

School of Science

Contact Details

+61 3 9925 7743


Building: 202
Level: 04
Room: 035

City campus


Science, Engineering and Health

Gale Spring Profile Image

Summary of responsibilities

Gale E. Spring is an Adjunct Associate Professor of Scientific Photography in the School of Applied Sciences. His continuing research interest and professional practice is in the area of creation and interpretation of images for forensic purposes.

After 25 years at RMIT University, he retired in 2013 as the Associate Dean, Teaching and Learning in the School of Applied Sciences. He was also the Associate Professor of Scientific Photography, and previously, Program Leader of the multi-major B.Sc. Applied Science degree. He is based in the discipline of physics.

He has an extensive background in aspects of biomedical and forensic imaging and continues to be involved in scientific photography in the School of Applied Sciences.

Originally from the United States, Professor Spring has lived in Melbourne since 1988. From 1976 to 1987, Professor Spring was the Director of Photographic Services in the Department of Pathology at The University of Texas Health Science Center (UTHSCD) in Dallas, Texas. The department was affiliated and worked closely with the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Science, the Medical Examiner’s Office for Dallas County. It was there Professor Spring was able to gain first hand experience and knowledge in applications of imaging in areas of medicolegal, forensic and law enforcement. He worked extensively with the medical examiners, ballistics team and questioned documents areas as well as trace evidence. He combined this work with teaching photography in the UTHSCD Graduate School of Biomedical Communications.

From 1988 to 2007, Professor Spring was the Program Leader of the Bachelor of Science, Scientific Photography degree program at RMIT University. He was responsible for restructuring the RMIT Scientific Photography program, and achieved this by working closely with the medical, forensic and scientific industries as well as defence departments in Australia. He was also instrumental in the creation of the first official ‘forensic photography’ position at the newly established Victorian Institute of Forensic Pathology (now the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine).

Over the past 25 years, Professor Spring has been involved in many high profile court cases in Australia, including the Jaidyn Leskie and the Peter Falconio murder cases. He continues to consult and act as an expert witness on matters of photographic interpretation for both the prosecution and defence. He has also given expert testimony to the South Australia Medical Board and the Melbourne Coroner’s Court on issues concerning the photographic documentation of forensic evidence.


Professor Spring gives numerous national and international presentations to law enforcement, legal fraternities, forensic and general science groups as well as public lectures on the use and impact of images and new technology in forensic matters. He continues to be very active in consulting with numerous local, national and international agencies. He has also organized and conducted many workshops in medical, scientific and forensic photography.

Research areas

"Smith and Wesson.38"

  • Forensic and Law Enforcement Photography
  • Digital Imaging
  • CCTV issues regarding identification and interpretation
  • Infrared and ultraviolet imaging
  • Photographic representation of low-light (scotopic) vision.

Mailing address

Adjunct Associate Professor Gale E. Spring
RMIT University School of Applied Sciences
Bundoora Campus – Plenty Road
Bundoora, Victoria 3083

Industry experience


  • Biological Communications Association (FBCA), (Fellow)
  • Institute of Photographic Technology, Inc. (FIPT), (Fellow)
  • Australian Institute of Medical and Biological Illustration (AIMBI) (Fellow, Associate and Registered Biomedical Illustrator).
  • Standards Australia, Ltd, Committee on Biometrics (IT-032) (Member).
  • Photo Imaging Education Association (PIEA), Australia. (President)
  • Institute of Photographic Technology, Inc. (IPT). (President)

In 2011, Professor Spring was awarded the Louis Schmidt Award by the BioCommunications Association (USA) "for outstanding contributions to the progress of biocommunications."

Professor Spring contributed to the 2004 Australasian Guidelines for Digital Imaging Processes published by the Senior Managers of Australia and New Zealand Forensic Laboratories (SMANZFL) and has been again acknowledged for his contribution in the updated 2013 version of this publication. He is on the International Editorial Review Board of the Journal of Digital Crime and Forensics (IJDCF).

Articles and papers have been published in various journals including the Alternative Law Journal, Australasian Science, the Journal of BioCommunication, Journal of Forensic Science (Australia) and PLOS One. He contributed the chapter on Forensic Photography in the 4th edition of the Encyclopedia of Photography (2007).