‘For me, the Sussex landscape offers some of the most beautiful and interesting landscapes in the UK, yet somehow it remains relatively unknown.’
So says Brighton-based photographer Lloyd Lane, whose work is a masterful celebration of the multi-faceted scenery of his home county. At times, Lane, 47, focuses on the ferocity of the Sussex coast, capturing waves crashing and breaking under stormy skies, but on other occasions, he dwells on Sussex’s softer side, looking at its misty valleys and forests.
He observes: ‘People are sometimes surprised that some of my photographs of mist surrounding the undulating hills of the South Downs are from this country and have instead mistaken them for Tuscany! Mostly, I think people are reminded of how beautiful the UK actually is.’
After a spell spent living in London, Lane moved back to his native Sussex seven years ago. ‘I‘m still finding new things to photograph,’ he reveals.
The photographer – who works as a software developer when he’s not shooting landscapes – says that Sussex ‘is a part of the world that never stops giving’ and that witnessing its transformation through the changing seasons is ‘truly breathtaking’.
Below are 15 pictures by Lane that paint Sussex in a truly spectacular light…
In this powerful shot, a wave pounds against Newhaven harbour, which sits at the mouth of the River Ouse in East Sussex. Touching on how he approaches photographing the dramatic Sussex coast, Lane says: ‘On the whole, it’s about waiting for the right weather conditions. I normally look for strong winds of more than 40mph (64kph), at the same time as a high tide, so that the waves are as close to the coast as possible. The sea can be ferocious and creep up on you when you least expect it, so I use a telephoto lens to zoom in and get closer to the action, whilst allowing me to stand far away from the waves.’ He adds: ‘It is then a case of waiting for Mother Nature to do her best’
This atmospheric photograph shows leaves coating the floor of Friston Forest in the South Downs National Park
This beautiful picture shows the point ‘where the heath meets the forest’ in Lavington Common, a stretch of heath amongst woodland in West Sussex
A ‘sea monster’ of a wave unfurls off the coast of Newhaven in this striking picture by Lane
This mesmerising shot shows mist creeping through the Devil’s Dyke, a V-shaped valley in the South Downs National Park
This magical picture was taken from a vantage point on the Firle Beacon, a hill in the South Downs. This is one of Lane’s favourite spots from which to ‘watch a sunrise over the undulating South Downs, preferably with a healthy dose of mist’. He says: ‘With early starts, it’s very easy to stay in bed as long as possible, but the best light can start 45 minutes before sunrise’
A seagull soars past the Victorian Brighton Palace Pier in this cleverly composed shot by Lane
This enchanting picture shows a misty morning over the Sussex Weald – an ancient expanse of woodland near the East Sussex village of Selmeston
Misty morning light filters through the trees in West Sussex’s Fittleworth woods in this dreamy picture
A windswept tree sits in the foreground of this shot, which looks out towards the East Sussex coast. In the background is the decommissioned Belle Tout Lighthouse, set on Beachy Head
The Cuckmere Valley in East Sussex, one of Lane’s favourite locations, is ‘semi-swathed in mist’ in this awe-inspiring image
Swanborough Hill in East Sussex is the setting for this evocative picture by Lane
This richly-coloured picture shows the light of early evening settling over the huts of Hove beach in East Sussex
Mermaid Street, a picturesque cobbled lane in the East Sussex town of Rye, is the subject of this picture. Lane points out: ‘On the right-hand side is The Mermaid Inn, rumoured to be one of the most haunted hotels in the country’
This vibrant photograph shows the ‘last throes of autumn’ in East Sussex’s Friston Forest
Commenting on how he finds new landscapes to capture, Lane, pictured, says: ‘I’m grateful to have a patient partner, who occasionally gets dragged around by me to help scout new locations, sometimes in exchange for a nice pub lunch’