If you've ever played those "I Spy" or "Where's Waldo" puzzle books, then you know how easy it is for something to hide in plain sight. But for something as serious as warfare, hiding in plain sight goes to a whole other level.
German army snipers are amazing at the camouflage game. Don't believe me? These snipers are so good, even when I knew where to look I still couldn't find some of them!
A photographer named Simon Menner worked with the German military back in 2010 in a photo experiment that was meant to parallel sneaky branding by big companies. He was granted another photo shoot in 2013 in the German Alps, and the results are no less spectacular.
Menner's first set of photos, a "boring" German forest, was with a group of snipers who were "young and inexperienced." The second set of photos, shot in the German Alps, were taken with veteran snipers. It's almost impossible to spot the veteran snipers.
The big reason that Menner wanted to do this photo shoot was to show how images are used in marketing to influence people about brands.
“The key question for me and my work at the moment is, how images are used to influence people and their decisions,” Menner wrote. “At the core, hiding snipers and ads for Apple have something in common, since both try to infect us with ideas about things we are not able to see. But I think that this is easier to detect while ‘looking’ at hidden snipers than by looking at Apple ads.”
Menner's website says:
"Even though they are invisible due to their professionalism, there are hidden snipers in every of these images. They are aiming at the camera and therefore at the viewer. I had the very friendly support by the German Army who made this series possible by providing me with two of their snipers and a whole day of time. In 2013, I got the permission to extend this project in the German Alps. Once again I am extremely grateful for the generous support of the German Army and the professional work of the soldiers involved in this project."
See if you can find the sniper in all five images (click for a larger view). The first three images are the inexperienced snipers, and the last two are with the veteran snipers. Let me know how you did in the comments below! All images courtesy of Simon Menner.
The sniper is on the right of the photo behind the piece of wood on the ground, next to the second tree.
The sniper is under the left side of the large birch tree in the midground of the photo.
The sniper is under the small patch of moss cover behind the small tree with a bent trunk on the left side of the image.
The sniper’s muzzle is visible on top of the two big boulders in the lower right corner.
The sniper is straight up from the big boulder in the lower left corner, where the color of the stones changes from light to dark.
How well did you do? You can see the full project and more pictures at Simon Menner's site called "Camouflage."