Shayne Nienaber is a professional freelance photographer on the Gold Coast, Australia, with a style consisting of creative and energetic imagery. Shayne has travelled much of the world with camera in hand, capturing some of the most epic high performance surf images as seen in Surfing Life Mag, Swellnet and a South African surf mag, ZigZag (just to name a few). We asked Shayne some questions about his recent stint at the Macaronis Surf Resort in the Ments as well as his first experience at the URBNSURF lagoon in Melbourne.
Hey Shayne! Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions for us. We’re big fans of your work as seen on Surfing Life, Swellnet and the like. Are these some of the biggest brands/surf media you’ve done work for?
My absolute pleasure and thank you so much for having me on Surf Visuals. Yes, SurfingLife and Swellnet have been significant surf brands I have had the pleasure of working with; as well as the long-standing South African Surf mag, ZigZag.
How did you get into photography and how long have you been doing it for?
My first ever surf boat trip was too New Caledonia with some of my best mates. After injuring myself, I had to sit out the last day of the trip, so my mate handed me his camera and told me to keep myself occupied. It sure did and after seeing their reactions of what I had captured, was amazing and it changed my life that day. After arriving back in Australia, I bought my first Nikon DSLR camera and lens and 14 years later have continued to challenge myself in all aspects of photography.
Where abouts are you from?
I was born in Durban, South Africa and lived there for 29 years before immigrating to Australia, where the Gold Coast, Australia is my home.
I notice you’ve recently spent a fair bit of time at Macaronis Surf Resort in the Ments. I was there for a little bit last year, it’s a pretty epic set up. How was your time here?
Yeah. I had an absolute amazing time over there. The Mentawais and the Resort have a special place in my heart and definitely will not miss an opportunity to visit it. My brother, Clayton, runs a Surf Coaching Clinic at the Macaronis Resort and this year the waves where non-stop for 5 weeks. We also scored Green Bush for 6 hours straight. A day and a trip to remember for sure.
Fave wave in the Ments?
Definitely Red Nuts.
I noticed you recently had a few sessions at URBNSURF Melbourne. Was this your first session there? How did you find it?
Yes. It's the first time I've been to the pool and can highly recommend it. I was blown away by how consistently the waves just keep coming. It accommodates 16 surfers on the lefts and 16 surfers on the rights and it runs from 6am to the last wave at 10pm. The beast mode is definitely one to have a crack at.
Where else has your camera taken you?
The Maldives, Philippines, Fiji, Portugal, Spain, France, South Africa and New Zealand.
Fave wave in the world?
JBay and Kirra for sure
What equipment are you shooting with at the moment?
My Nikon D500 DSLR and Nikon 200-500mm lens, Nikon D850 DSLR and Nikon 24-70mm lens. Aquatech water housing.
Do you find time to surf in-between all the shoots?
Haha. Yes. I'm always trying to sneak a surf in where I can. I've lost count how many unridden waves I've seen whilst shooting. So when I do get that chance I take it.
Plans for 2020?
A few weddings, formals and boat trips.
Thank you guys.