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Camouflage The Art of Concealment - part 2 of 1 2 3 4

by Mike McNamee Published 01/12/2009


The top headline has been filled with US Woodland Green and set on a Woodland Green backdrop. To give you a fighting chance the text has been drop-shadowed, but it is still very cryptic. Even the lower, repeat headline is a little confused against a plain background.

Camouflage - Disruptive Pattern Materials

The subject of camouflage design has been studied and written about in some depth. Wikipedia covers the subject over many pages, listing the patterns used for more than 180 countries. Historically the most dominant material is US Woodland. This may serve only to illustrate that US arms salesmen have been busier than others. The patterns seems to have gradually evolved with digital detection technologies and the newer 'digital' patterns have to confuse both satellite and target-sighting hardware. RealTree makes an appearance from 2007 onwards. Much of this discussion has no relevance to wildlife photographers who work with the more limited ranges of animal colour detection but for whom movement and the visibility of the moving pattern is crucial. Some of the experimental patterns for the military were rejected because although they provided better concealment for stationary soldiers, they were more visible if moving.

The 'tiger' pattern is one of the more interesting. It is unclear who designed it but it was used by the French in Vietnam and probably by the SAS in Burma at the same time. There is a whole set of tiger stripe patterns including some modern 'digital' versions. Tiger patterns are currently in use in Afghanistan. It has always been something of a mystery why a pattern as distinctive as a tiger stripe should be so effective as a camouflage, but we should never forget that the tiger has been refining the design for millions of years and tigers who stand out in the undergrowth will be hungry tigers!

"I well remember at the beginning of the war being with Picasso on the Boulevard Raspail when the first camouflaged truck passed. It was at night, we had heard of camouflage but we had not yet seen it and Picasso, amazed, looked at it and then cried out, yes it is we who made it, that is cubism"

Gertude Stein


The zip-down back flap is fully waterproof and doubles as a pocket when not in use. No more wet bottoms!

Stealth Gear

Camouflage Suit and Accessories John Fairclough reviews this new range of clothing for the nature photographer. In a very similar vein to some of the comments already made on the previous pages, I would like to take this opportunity to add my three pence worth. For many years now the majority of camouflage clothing made available for photographers has been primarily designed and manufactured for the hunting industry, leaving people like you and me to 'make do'. You had two options: go out in gear which may have been originally made to kill the species you wish to photograph, or secondly to go out looking like an SAS soldier out on manoeuvres!

Now for the good news - there is a new English company called Stealth-Gear (SG) who have nowconsulted many professional natural history and wildlife photographers, and then designed and manufactured a series of outdoor clothing garments and accessories especially for them. For those of you who travel a great deal and in turn experience the rules, regulations and headaches regarding carry-on luggage, the designers have come up with a newstyle vest/waistcoat specifically designed to getthe majority of your essential camera gear through security and onboard. For this alone, it has got to be worth looking at.

To date the SG catalogue includes a camo jacket, trousers, fleece, vest, gaiters, poncho and hides. This represents a good start and there is more planned. This feature will be having a look at some of the new products by SG.

SG have spent quite a bit of time researching not onlywhat camouflage materials are required, but, perhaps moreimportantly, they have identified some of the pitfalls and missing features of the products currently available from the many alternative 'hunting-based' suppliers. They have gone for plain olive green liveries for their clothing rather than DPM although they have available the more recent tree and foliage pattern mimics.

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1st Published 01/12/2009
last update 25/03/2020 12:33:21

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Updated 25/03/2020 12:33:21 Last Modified: Wednesday, 25 March 2020