Portfolio: Michael Marten


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The Independent Culture

"We all know our landscape is constantly changing, but as we live in the moment we rarely perceive a big sense of difference," muses landscape photographer Michael Marten. His Sea Change series aims to illustrate the ebbs and flows of our environment by taking two photos of the same coastal location at both low and high water, and displaying them side by side.

Shot at 48 seaside spots around the UK – including picturesque harbours, verdant headlands and sandy estuaries – these diptyches were carefully timed to coincide with particularly strong spring tides and the results offer some remarkable visual contrasts.

The low-tide scene around Blackpool Tower, for example, shows a vast expanse of beach occupied by clutches of scurrying day-trippers – only to be replaced in the high-tide scene by a wash of sea that appears to have engulfed the lot.

"A lot of landscape photography from the past 30 years has focused on man's shaping of the land," he adds, "But I'm interested in the planet's own forces and rhythms, and how we're constantly reacting to nature."

Marten's 'Sea Change' exhibition runs from Wednesday until 30 September at the Oxo Gallery, London SE1 (michaelmarten.com)