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Archive 2013 · Questions about camouflage gear
  
 
ebrown88
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Questions about camouflage gear


Hi Everybody,

I'm just starting to get into more serious bird and wildlife photography and I'm curious as to what some of you more experienced wildlife photographers use in the way of camouflage clothing/other gear.

So far I have only a piece of 8 x 12 camouflage burlap, which I put over myself and the camera when I am stationary. It's obviously not the kind of thing you would walk around with.

So, first question: do you find camouflage clothing (including hats or hoods, etc.) generally lets you get closer to the birds and critters? I'd be interested in hearing about your experiences in the field, perhaps with and without camo clothing. Also, is camo clothing effective enough, or do you also bring along some kind of portable blind (my burlap cloth being one simple and cheap option along those lines)?

Next question -- I have a new 500mm lens, which is rather large, and I notice that many experienced people put a camouflage cover over large lenses such as this. Aside from protecting the lens, which is one very good reason to do it, do you think it makes a difference having a camouflaged lens poking out from a blind as opposed to a big white lens?

Sorry if these are really stupid questions, and I appreciate any tips you might want to offer.

Dennis B.



Jan 17, 2013 at 06:43 PM
BluesWest
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Questions about camouflage gear


do you find camouflage clothing (including hats or hoods, etc.) generally lets you get closer to the birds and critters?

do you think it makes a difference having a camouflaged lens poking out from a blind as opposed to a big white lens?

I'll answer these questions by writing what I wrote in a similar thread recently: No and no. Birds see for a living. What I mean is that they have one of the most sensitive and sophisticated visual systems of all the animals. In particular, they are exquisitely sensitive to motion. Bottom line: they are not going to be fooled by a few yards of camouflage cloth, either on you or your lens.

Blinds are another matter, however, assuming you and the lens stay inside it, and you keep motion to a minimum.

The best thing you can do if you don't want to use a hide is to get down on the ground while shooting. I find that almost all birds will tolerate humans as long as they (the humans!) aren't standing up. I've had great success shooting some normally skittish birds by following this rule. This approach works particularly well if I'm down on the ground amongst some bushes (and in this case not wearing brightly-colored clothing is probably a good thing - but it doesn't have to be camouflage clothing).

John



Jan 19, 2013 at 06:33 AM
trenchmonkey
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Questions about camouflage gear


Agree with John I'll add I've had great success with dark clothes in the shadows. If your movements
are slow n' smooth...you'd be surprised what they'll tolerate.



Jan 19, 2013 at 02:57 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Questions about camouflage gear


trenchmonkey wrote:
Agree with John


+1

I'm not much good at sneaking around, but some camo clothes and material can make a great blind, especially if you're leaning back against a softwood tree trunk, or in some shrubbery. Mmmm, shrubbery.

I recently bought a Ghillie poncho. Good news, it works great. Bad news, my daughter snuck up behind me while I was staking out a spot - and she wan't even wearing camo!



Jan 19, 2013 at 03:59 PM
Ronny Mills
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Questions about camouflage gear


Did you ask in the Nature and Wildlife forum?


Jan 19, 2013 at 07:00 PM
 

Search in Used Dept. 



wuchang
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Questions about camouflage gear


After 4 plus decades of hunting with and without a camera I would rank it as follows in my humble and oft disputed opinion


Standard Audubon Society white hat,street clothes and white tennis shoes( can freeze animals reaction due to pure disbelief . )
Drab clothing(minimizes movement)
Camo is designed to break up the human silhouette and allows you more movement --includes head nets and gloves( disguises movement)
3D camo is superior to 2D( disguises movement better)
Blinds are superior to camo ( hides movement)

Using available cover,slow movements and reading the bird/animal's body language make non blind methods much more effective

I do not think camo hurts but it is your call if go full camo ninja or just sit in the weeds wearing olive drab
YMMV



:



Jan 19, 2013 at 07:38 PM
Wobble
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Questions about camouflage gear


If you are moving through the woods and not seeing any wildlife, you are moving too fast. Take a step with one foot, count to 10 as you look around, then think about moving the other foot.


Jan 19, 2013 at 11:54 PM
larryt
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Questions about camouflage gear


Camouflage works very well in Yellowstone and other places if you don't want to be seen by other people or Rangers. Not that I would disobey the regulations but keeps people from coming up to you and asking what are you shooting. By that time the subject is long gone. larryt


Jan 20, 2013 at 09:18 PM
Rodney O
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Questions about camouflage gear


It is probably worth noting that ONE GREAT ADVANTAGE of Camo clothing is that it goes on sale earlier than regular winter clothing.

You can get really good quality warm camo gear on sale around or even before Christmas, while you can really use warm clothing. And even better sales during January when you can get sales with 40 & 50% off.

So while I agree that the camo by itself is not going to be that much help with wildlife. Good warm gear is worth it if only because you shiver less.

But camo is not useful because it makes you "invisible". Good wildlife technique & not dressing to "stand out" are most important.




Jan 23, 2013 at 05:22 PM
ebrown88
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Questions about camouflage gear


Thanks everyone for the great information. I did read an article recently where a photographer said that he finds he can get much closer to birds on the beach if he approaches them while sitting, doing a sort of crab-walk. That's consistent with what some of you said about getting down low.


Dennis B.



Jan 25, 2013 at 01:24 PM





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