Thursday, December 22, 2011

Comparative photography

Michael Marten, Bedruthan Steps, Cornwall, 25 and 31 August 2007, High water 4.30pm, low water 2pm

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

"Recent landscape photography often focuses on human shaping (and reshaping) of the environment - urbanisation, globalisation, pollution. Even when critical and committed, this approach can emphasise, even glamorise, humankind's power over nature. I'm interested in rediscovering nature's own powers: the elemental forces and processes that underlie and shape the planet".

Michael Marten

Michael Marten, Harbour-Berwickshire, 22 August 2005. Low water 11am, high water 6pm

Marten describes his work as an example of 'comparative photography', "where two or more images show changes in time (or other dimensions)". He then makes the example of Nicholas Nixon's The Brown Sisters, a work I confess I did not know, a thirty-year-long series of portraits of Nixon's wife with her three sisters, which I think is the closest thing to a New Topographics of the heart.

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