For eight years, English photographer Michael Marten has been travelling to different parts of the British coastline, recording the daily rhythms of flood and ebb. Marten takes pictures of identical views at high and low tide, six or eighteen hours apart and displays them side by side. The results are remarkable. His beautiful and surprising photographs reveal 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.
His book “Sea Change” present 53 of these diptychs, arranged as a clockwise journey around Britain.
It started in 2003 when Marten was searching for a photo project that would express how landscape is constantly changing, not through human activities but through natural processes like weather, erosion, changes of season. On his way back south from Edinburgh, he chanced upon a tiny harbour on the coast of Berwickshire, in south-east Scotland. He spent the whole day there taking pictures.
When he got home and had the films processed, the contrast between the pictures taken at low and high tides fascinated him. He knew immediately what is next project will be.
“So I set out to find places where there would be a dramatic visual difference between low and high tide and in the process became a student of tides!” says Michael Marten.