Since 2003 Michael Marten has traveled to different parts of the British coast to photograph identical views at high and low tide, six or eighteen hours apart. Photographing the tide going in and out is seemingly simple subject matter, and it has been done before, but Marten’s photographs reveal, quite beautifully, how landscapes can be dramatically transformed by natural phenomena such as tides. From rocky shores to summer beaches and industrial estuaries, these images record two moments in time, two states of nature and show landscape to be a dynamic process. Sea Change is a book by Marten that presents 53 of these diptychs, arranged as a clockwise journey around Britain and divided into four sections: South-West, North-West, North-East, South-East. The work is introduced in an essay by leading English nature writer Robert McFarlane (Mountains of the Mind, The Wild Places, The Old Ways). If you live by the sea, you’ll probably like it.
… a sense of threat as well as one of miracle attends Marten’s images. The people who fill his beaches at low tide seem often still to be there at high tide, invisibly in their fixed positions, fatally swallowed by metres of sea.
Robert McFarlane, Sea Change
Michael Marten: michaelmarten.com
Sea Change: Buy the book here.