You have the eyes of a marksman if you can spot the deadly sniper ready to take you out in this photo | The Sun

BY the time you've spotted the sniper hiding in this dark forest, it's already too late.

Somewhere lurking in the trees is a virtually invisible sharpshooter 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 a dense woodland – and a perfectly camouflaged soldier taking up a well hidden position with a high-powered rifle.

The quiet landscape initially appears completely empty – but the sniper is aiming right at you.

If you look really carefully, you can just about spot the barrel of his gun – the only clue to his sneaky hiding place.

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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 incredible ability to blend into their environment.

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He 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 photos – called Disappearing Act – appear at first glance to be quiet and sometimes eerie landscapes, from sunny meadows to fog-shrouded mountains.

But hiding in every image is a marksman with his gun pointing directly at the camera.

In some images, 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 bottom right of the image.

Poking out from behind the bare trees, you might just about see a flash of the metal rifle sight.

The sniper is circled in a follow-up picture below.


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