It was my birthday recently so I decided to treat myself to a new purpose built camera trap housing. Now you will have seen that I have built my own camera trap housings before but will plans for trips overseas I wanted something that would be assembled in parts, mostly so it would fit in my suitcases ! Many of you will have seen the rise in Camtraptions and are at the forefront of camera trapping technology that is readily available for anyone that wants to have a go at camera trapping. When the housing arrived it was a solid green colour and I had seen on some online forums how people have painted their housing to become camouflaged in the environment. At first I thought about testing the design on my DIY housing but couldn’t resist getting started on the new housing before it went out for its first field test.
I have to admit that I started with the lens hood before I took the plunge painting the main camera housing, just incase things went wrong. For the pain I used outdoor spray paint and had four different colours, a mix of earthy hues, to use on the housing. For the actual painting I used ripped pieces of sponge. The ripped sponge creates unusual and original prints unlike a paintbrush and creates a beautifully mottled effect. The ripped sponge couple with overlapping the colours aided in the growing effect of camouflage and created a mix of highlights and shadows just like you’d find outdoors.
As you can see from the image below that the sponge technique often starts off not looking like it will do very much let alone make your gear blend in with the surroundings. But its the slow process of layering the different colours over one another and then you will be able to see if you may need to add another colour to match the first piece. I found that I often referred back to the colour of the hood I had painted, you want to try to match all the pieces so that once finished and assembled it looks like one piece. You’ll be able to tell as you paint if you need to add more of less of a colour. Me and my girlfriend worked together, both using a different colour and overlapping over each others paint to achieve that mottled effect.
Again the same technique is applied to all parts of the housing and here I am applying the paint to the lens tube. I took out the glass filter which the lens shoots through to make sure I didn’t accidentally get paint on it, it’s extremely important to keep this as clean as you can and I knew this messy technique would be prone to the odd mistake. I also painted the extension tube as well so that if in the future I needed to use it then all of the housing will be the same design.
Having painted the smaller parts including the mounts for the flashes and trigger it was time to paint the main camera housing. To start with I tapped up the holes for the tripod would screw into. I doubt this would have effect the practicality of the camera trap too much but I wanted to keep the screw threads clean and free of any debris. The sponge method is brilliant and you soon get carried away, wanting to paint everything came ! Starting with a pretty obvious green box to something which would blend in much better to the environment was very gratifying. Now I had all my pieces completed and all that was left to do was let them dry out.