BY the time you’ve spotted the sniper, it’s already too late.
Somewhere in this hillside terrain is a perfectly camouflaged marksman who is aiming at you and ready to pull the trigger.
The photo above was taken by artist Simon Menner, who was granted permission to watch snipers in action with the armies of Germany, Latvia and Lithuania.
It shows trees and shrubs on a mountain, and a virtually invisible soldier taking up a position with a high-powered rifle.
If you look carefully, you can just about spot part of his telescopic sight – the only clue to his hiding place.
Blending in with the surroundings is as much a part of a sniper’s training as learning to hit a target from a mile away.
They must be able to survive alone or in pairs in unforgiving terrain, digging holes for shelter.
And when the moment comes to strike, they must be ready – all without being spotted.
Simon spent six years following snipers on training exercises to capture their remarkable ability to blend into their environment.
I have watched them help each other make their “ghillie suits” using natural elements such as leaves and dead grass to match each landscape.
His series of images – called Disappearing Act – appear at first glance to be quiet and sometimes eerie landscapes, from sunny meadows to fog-shrouded mountains.
Lurking in every picture is a sharpshooter with his gun trained directly at the camera.
In some images – including the one on this page – the sniper is only 30ft away but still very difficult 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 a clue? Look at the large bush in the center-left of the image.
Poking out from behind, you might just about see a flash of the metal rifle sight.
The sniper is circled in a follow-up picture 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 forest clearing who is invisible until he moves to reveal himself.