8 September, 2015 8 September, 2015

Shot Bru Turns 50 000

South Africa’s most popular user generated surf gallery – shotbru.co.za – has recently turned 50 000. That’s right, the 50 000th image was uploaded to our reader photo portal last month, and to celebrate Shot Bru’s sponsor Oakley have awarded a prize* to the member who took us past the landmark.

Shot Bru member Sean Thompson uploaded the 50 000th image – featuring Justin Stevens.

With 273 of his own photos uploaded to Shot Bru, Cape Town’s Sean Thompson is one of our most passionate members, and it was his batch of photos submitted in August that took us past the 50 000 images mark. The photo above of Justin Stevens to be exact.

And every photo has a story, so we asked Sean – who featured last week as one of our Sharp Shooters – what the story was behind this shot of Justin.

“I took my habitual drive to the Deep South in search of waves,” said Sean. “This was the only break that offered something on this day, so my wife and I walked down the beach to the corner and nestled in amongst the rocks in hope of catching some action on the inside bowl section. Initially there wasn’t much happening on the surfing front, but after a while I picked up on one guy that was tearing the wave apart and going for big airs and hard turns. I kept my lens firmly trained on him and snagged a few decent shots – albeit into the sun.”

Another photo of Justin Stevens by Sean Thompson from the same session.

“Shortly after he left the water I called it a day,” continued Sean. “We packed up and started heading back toward the car. I walked a detour to where the surfer was playing with his two young kids under the watchful eye of his wife to get his details, so that I could share the shots with him. As I walked up to him he turned to me and said – ‘Sean’ – I was surprised that he knew me. He introduced himself as Justin. I had shared shots via Facebook with him before. He said ‘nice to meet in the in the flesh. I saw you and your daughter sitting in the corner shooting.’ He instantly won brownie points with my wife.”

What started 18 years ago in the magazine as a way for our readers and underground rippers across the country to be featured in Zigzag (readers submitting their slides or prints via mail), Shot Bru has become an active online community of shooters totalling 2570 members – some prolific, others only sharing their golden images from time to time.

Shot Bru as it appeared in Zigzag 21.6 (Nov/Dec 1997). Click image to view larger.

Before progressing and becoming professional photographers, many of SA’s top surf lensman had their first photos published in Shot Bru. Zag’s own Alan van Gysen for example, and East London snapper Bruce Viaene reminded us the same when we saw him in J-Bay in July. And still today Zag is discovering and encouraging talented photographers on Shot Bru, which has continued to grow from strength to strength since humble beginnings in 1997.

* For uploading the 50 000th image to Shot Bru, Sean Thompson wins an epic travel bag compliments of sponsors Oakley. Two winning photos published in each issue of Zigzag are also awarded a prize by Oakley; one being a travel bag and a pair of polarised sunnies valued at R2000, and the other a lekker Oakley tee and cap combo.

Go to shotbru.co.za to view thousands of epic photos uploaded by our readers across SA and abroad, or to upload your own surfing snaps for a chance to be featured and win.


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