• Carl Battreall

A special place


Print #8, Alaska, 2020 1/1 www.asinglelens.com

There is a small patch of wilderness near my home that I have been visiting for the past twenty years. Recently my son calculated that I had probably walked there over three thousand times. It is a place I go to weekly to think and observe. I rarely take my camera, but I am always looking and seeing with the same intention as I would if I had a camera.


I am so familiar with the park that I am acutely aware of its constant changing. I recognize new mushrooms recently emerged, fresh moose and bear tracks in the mud and I am startled when I find a new tree that has fallen.


Having a place that you can study and observe on a regular basis allows you truly understand the constant change our world is in. Its an opportunity to see how light transforms the landscape throughout the day, the months and the year. I recommend you find a place that you can visit daily or at least weekly. It doesn't need to be a piece of Alaskan wilderness, it could be a neighborhood. The point is to become so in tune with this special place that you know instantly when something has changed. Overtime you will know exactly what it looks like at anytime of the day, you know where the shadows fall, without being there. This experiment is a way to really fine tune your observation skills and helps you to live in the moment.


What will you will discover is that your hardly observe what is going on around you. Our daily lives are so filled with distractions and attention demanding devices, ads and people that we really have know idea what is even happening in our own home. I find that when I return from my time in that single place I am much more aware of everything that is going on around me. I am not distracted as easily, and feel more focused.