Sea Change, 2003 – 2012 | Michael Marten

Michael started taking photographs as a teenager and has been involved with photography ever since. His first job was as a caption writer at the Camera Press photo agency. Since 2003 Michael has concentrated on landscape photography. His first major series ‘Sea Change’ (2003 – 2012) has been displayed in multiple galleries across the globe and won Grand Prize for the portfolio of work at the LensCulture International Exposure Awards in 2011.

We asked Michael to tell us about the ideas behind his project ‘Sea Change’.

“‘Sea Change’ is a study of the tides around the coast of Britain. The views in each diptych are taken from identical positions at high tide and low tide, usually 6 or 18 hours apart.

The photographs show how landscape changes over time through natural processes and cycles. Placing low and high tide side by side enables us to observe simultaneously two moments in time, two states of nature.

Much of today’s landscape photography focuses in on how humans affect the environment – through urbanisation, globalisation, pollution. Even when critical, these pictures often emphasise – even glamorise – our power over nature. I’m interested in rediscovering nature’s own powers: the elemental forces that shape the planet.

The tides are one of Earth’s great natural cycles. These photographs aim to stimulate people’s awareness of landscape as dynamic process rather than static image. The project also serves as a warning of climate change. The tide floods in and then recedes again, but rising sea levels will flood our shores and not recede for thousands or millions of years. Many of the views in these pictures may have disappeared in 100 years’ time.”

For more of Michael’s work go to

All images and text © Michael Marten

10 Harbour,-Berwickshire
Harbour, Berwickshire. 22 August 2005. Low water 11am, High water 6pm
01 St-Michael's-Mount
St Michael’s Mount, Cornwall. 25 and 26 June 2009. Low water 1.15pm, High water 8am
02 Perranporth,-Cornwall-2
Perranporth, Cornwall. 29 and 30 August 2007. Low water 12 noon, High water 8pm
03 Trebarwith-Strand,-Cornwall
Trebarwith Strand, Cornwall. 21 and 22 March 2011. High water 5pm, Low water 12.30pm
04 Lynmouth,-Devon
Lynmouth, Devon. 17 and 19 September 2005. Low water 12.45pm, High water 7.30pm
06 severn-bridge,-monmouthshire
Severn Bridge, Monmouthshire. 8 and 9 March 2008. Low water 2.30pm, High water 8.20am
07 Porthcawl,-Glamorgan
Porthcawl, Glamorgan. 17 May 2007. Low water 12 noon, High water 8pm
08 Crosby,-Liverpool
Crosby, Liverpool. 5 and 7 April 2008. High water 12 noon, Low water 9am
09 Solway-Firth,-Galloway
Salmon fishery, Solway Firth. 27 and 28 March 2006. Low water 5.20pm, High water 12 noon
11 Wivenhoe,-Essex
Wivenhoe, Essex. 23 March 2007. Low water 9.30am, High water 4.15pm
12 Beaumont-Quay,-Essex
Beaumont Quay, Essex. 30 and 31 August 2011. High water 2.10pm, Low water 7.40am








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