The Hidden Art of Camouflage Photography

Camouflage has always been a wonder to us.

It allows animals and plants to remain indiscernible from the surrounding environment through deception.

Adopting this concept, a new wave of camouflage artists use special techniques for  their photographs that allow them to show people blended into their surroundings.

For each photo, the camouflage artist must meticulously design a new camouflage suit in order for the effect to work.

This article features the work of two prominent camouflage artists: Liu Bolin and Desiree Palmen. See if you can find the people in these photographs…


Liu Bolin

Liu Bolin is a Chinese artist who creates art in protest to the actions of the Chinese government, who shut his studio down in 2005. He will work on a single photograph for up to ten hours, and often pedestrians will not notice him until they actually run into him.



Desiree Palmen

Desiree Palmen is a talented Dutch artist who also uses photography to produce her camouflage art.  She patiently paints the camouflage on by hand on cotton suits, matching them to the background.

Compiled exclusively for WDD by Zoe Ajiboye.

Which ones did you like best? What do you think of this type of art?

  • Charlie

    Woooooooooo, nice! The yellow truck one is amazing!

    • michael

      woooowww thank you photoshop :P

      • Random Guy

        No photoshop. painted suits.

    • Laura

      Yeah I know what you mean, it find the person by the hair detail on the side. But it’s one of those ones, one you see it, you can’t un-see it. Amazing!

    • Rudy

      How day do that ?

  • Walter

    @Charlie – it took me a bit of time to find that one!

    • Charlie

      Yes! The only detail are the shoes, but the rest is very nice hidden!

  • Rahul – Web Guru

    @Charlie @Walter… I very much agree with you both. I was looking at all the odd places to find the person.

  • roy

    Bit late on this one WDD. Seen it a million times.

    • MJRTOM

      Maybe you should send them your email address, Roy. You could screen their posts, so they’ll never again post something that’s old to you.

  • Ryan

    I absolutely love the Desiree Palmen image of her laying her head down on the desk with the newspapers. Brilliant!

  • Preston D Lee

    These are phenomenal! These would be fun to try out as well. What an incredible idea. Thanks for sharing.

  • David Ingledow

    This is the most amazing thing that I’ve ever seen!

  • insic

    wow! cool, something new :) Very nice WDD

  • New York Web Design

    Mind Blowing. I never Seen anything Quiet like this… Its Outs this world…

    Thanks for putting together this awesome List… .. Its wonderful

  • Dimi

    Holy Crap!

  • Stelian Andrei

    These must have taken a colossal amount of work to create. I for one love the one with the bookcase. I actually can’t see the head of the person

    • Laura

      me neither! =D

    • ella

      me too! that’s my favorite….where’s his head??

  • Toyota Sudden Acceleration Lawyers

    Creative — and truly incredible art.

  • Carla | Green and Chic

    Great work! Now I have something else I need to learn!

  • Taylor Steele

    Wow, this amazing! I’m going to post this page to my over 25 000 + Twitter followers!
    Great job, I think this is certainly a great new ave for photo art and can’t wait to see more art like this!

  • Sebastian Otto

    amazing work

  • Jake

    These remind me of when Tobias was a Blue Man on Arrested Development.

  • Jack

    Really nice and interesting. Thanks for sharing these.

  • RyanStruck

    Stunning work. Very creative!

  • Xander Skyrien

    This is really cool stuff; at first, I thought it was simply some sort of transparency filter in PS, but knowing that they’re HANDPAINTED is incredible. I’m impressed at their effort; personally, I’d probably try to mimic the effect digitally =)

  • peach

    Very creative indeed. Pretty damn awesome job!

  • José Luis Cáceres


  • mullerjeanfrancois

    great site.

  • Andreyco

    some of them are unbelievable! :)

  • john safran

    wtf is tht real amazing!

  • Toemack

    Amazing photopraphy. Is there a hidden message behind the “shooting” pic? Of course!

  • A.D.K.

    wow, interesting ideas :D

  • BigM75

    to be greativ, very cool

  • Source

    awesome pictures, i’d like to try to create something like this

  • Jordan Walker

    That is crazy photography, but sort of neat in as a secret stealthy ninja.

  • Suhas

    Super Awesome!!

  • GPI

    That’s amazing… Great works

  • kimmydee2010

    I love you photography! Especially the American Flag!
    Superb work my friend!!!

  • Laura

    Very cool, I haven’t seen this before but loved so much of them. The yellow dumper truck one is finished to such a high standard. And liked the next one with the road barrier; just an interesting composition.

  • Aak

    Good work.
    They can try this out as a movie…

  • Richie

    exceptional… but just for a 5 minute photo shoot, i wonder how much time he wasted on painting…. alternatively, 1 minute work using blending modes in Photoshop.

    but, i admire his creativity :)

  • adam

    Seems pretty popular in Asia, but nonetheless pretty awesome.

  • User Experience Design Student

    This is seriously amazing. At first i tought it was just a photoshop trick. Then i realised the guys are painted themselfs. 3 words: A..MA..ZING

  • Anja


  • Webtoolfeed

    Wow these are kinda freaky.

  • eunice

    Creative! I’m now wondering how do create those effects…

  • Java developer

    It’s really very creative

  • Autonomy

    These are amazing! What a great concept and beautifully executed. Bolin’s work is especially poignant. Thanks for the great collection of pieces.

  • spindle

    Any one know how it’s done?

  • Retheesh

    Awesome Collection…..

  • aizuddinmanap

    cool man.

  • Johnson Koh

    I’m amazed with the one where he is standing in front of the cup noodles!

  • Roshan

    how do you do that?

  • jeprie

    thats crazy. incredible.

  • Reglan Side Effects Lawsuit

    Great set, really impressive stuff.

  • Webdesign Aalen

    A wonderful work!

  • aurel

    amazing work – and in some case, the background plays a really important part and could be used to tell a story of how people feel within their given space.

    (if is not made using photoshop) i wonder how long it takes to make the costumes

  • Billy

    Amazing work, I actually had trouble seeing him on some of the photos, the one with the digger and the one with the bookcase in particular, and I knew he was there!!

  • Ilie Ciorba

    That’s just amazing!

  • mullerjeanfrancois

    great work.

  • Darkened Soul

    nice, though some seem to good to be true :) great work

  • Theo

    Brilliant work, I never Seen anything Quiet like this, thanks for this great collection!

  • Windows

    This must have taken AGES to do – I wonder who does the actual painting on him? The colour matching alone would take a considerable amount of time.