Traditional iodine fuming followed by digital subtraction can be a useful technique for the development of latent fingerprints on difficult or “busy” visual backgrounds. Advantages of this method include:

  1. The technique is relatively easy to learn and utilize.
  2. Costs associated with the technique are minimal if Adobe Photoshop is already being utilized.
  3. The latent image remains undamaged by this process so other development processes can subsequently be utilized.

Disadvantages of this method include:

  1. This technique can be a bit time-consuming as the visual image can take some time to dissipate.
  2. The visual image must completely disappear from the “loud” background prior to taking the second photograph.
  3. Lighting and positioning of the evidence item must be strictly maintained and controlled for both the photo with the visible print on the “loud” background and the subsequent photo of just the “loud” background.

From: Enhancing Latent Prints by Steven L. Petersen, Shawn L. Naccarato, and Gary L. John