By the time you’ve seen the sniper, it’s already too late.
Somewhere in this hilly terrain is a perfectly camouflaged gunner, aiming at you and ready to pull the trigger.
The photo above was taken by artist Simon Menner, who was given permission to see snipers in action with the armies of Germany, Latvia and Lithuania.
It shows trees and bushes on a mountain, and an almost invisible soldier taking up position with a powerful rifle.
If you look closely, you can almost see part of its telescopic sight – the only clue to its hiding place.
Blending in with the environment is as much a part of a sniper’s training as learning to hit a target a mile away.
They must be able to survive alone or in pairs in unforgiving terrain, digging holes for shelter.
And when the time comes to strike, they should be ready—all unnoticed.
Simon spent six years tracking snipers during training exercises to capture their remarkable ability to blend in with their environment.
He watched them help each other create their ‘ghillie suits’ using natural elements such as leaves and dead grass to suit any landscape.
His series of images – called Disappearing Act – appear at first glance to be quiet and sometimes eerie landscapes, from sunny meadows to mist-shrouded mountains.
In each photo lurks a sniper with his rifle pointed directly at the camera.
In some images — including the one on this page — the sniper is only 30 feet away, but still very hard to spot.
In real life, the sniper would be at least a quarter of a mile from the target, who would have no chance of seeing them.
Need an idea? Look at the large bush in the left center of the image.
If you stick out from behind, you might just see a flash from the metal rifle sight.
The sniper is circled in a follow-up photo below.
Last week, a viral TikTok illusion video challenged viewers to spot the sniper hiding on a rocky mountainside.
Another shows a camouflaged marksman in a clearing in a forest that is invisible until he moves to reveal himself.