Simon Menner: Camouflage is a conceptual look at snipers in Germany (PHOTOS).

Can You Find the German Snipers and Experts in Camouflage Hiding in These Photos? 

Can You Find the German Snipers and Experts in Camouflage Hiding in These Photos? 

Behold
The Photo Blog
Jan. 20 2015 9:32 AM

Can You Find the German Snipers and Experts in Camouflage Hiding in These Photos? 

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The sniper is on the right behind the piece of wood on the ground next to the second tree.

Simon Menner

Simon Menner contacted the German army in 2010 to see if they’d be interested in helping him create images where members of the army are hidden, or, “Camouflage,” like the title of his series. Turns out they were, and the images ended up going viral.

Menner arranged two separate shoots, one in a “boring” forest in northern Germany with soldiers who were young and inexperienced. The second shoot, in the German Alps, was done with a group of elite soldiers.

“I found it quite interesting to work with soldiers who had been ordered to follow my instructions,” Menner wrote via email. “I tried to be as respectful to them as possible, but nothing of what I told them was questioned in any way.”

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Menner think of his work as a conceptual take on conflict and war. He said the idea of conflict for him isn’t just about battle, it is also a reflection on society—including the ways in which branding and marketing influence consumers.

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The sniper is under a moss cover behind a small tree with a bent trunk on the left side of the image.

Simon Menner

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The sniper is under the left side of the birch tree.

Simon Menner

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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.

Simon Menner

“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.”

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The sniper is on a small hill close to the edge of the forest on the right side of the image.

Simon Menner

Since it’s not a documentary project, Menner said part of the fun is trying to find the hidden snipers. While he is using real people and creating images in which the snipers are actually hidden, many of the comments he has received from viewers has questioned the authenticity of the images, something he finds amusing.

“First of all, it is real,” he wrote. “Whoever has doubts about that should contact the German Army. There were snipers present in every single shot and they were in fact, ordered to aim at the camera, so they could see me, even though I was almost never able to see them. The professional training they have received means that in some of the images, no trace of them can be seen, even if you look at the image pixel by pixel. This is exactly how a sniper in a forest is supposed to appear.”

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The sniper is on the right of the path inside the small bushes.

Simon Menner

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The sniper is under the twigs and branches on the left.

Simon Menner

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The sniper’s muzzle is visible on top of the two big boulders in the lower right corner.

Simon Menner