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Creators: Drop into the magical world of Hawaiian Stan Moniz




Creators Profiles

From music to photography, discover the life of Stan Moniz

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 17 April, 2016 - Photographer Stan Moniz was raised in Waialua, Hawaii and collected his first memories of the world while being in the ocean. He became a professional bodyboarder into his late teens and remains connected to the ocean to this day.

His passion for music brought him to Southern California in 2000 and after a very successful career in a professional touring band. Then he ultimately set his sights on his other great passion: photography. In 2010, he reacquainted himself with his love for the ocean, adventure and capturing the beauty of the world we live in. 

Stan, now equipped with a camera, travels the planet, capturing those timeless moments to share with the world.

Where are you from and what do you shoot with? 

I was born and raised on Oahu, Hawaii living on the North Shore for most of my life. I later moved to Orange County, California in 2001. I currently shoot with a Sony A7rII and Aquatech Elite housing. My lens setup are a Tokina 11-20mm f2.8 / 24-70mm f2.8 / 100mm macro f2.8 and a Sony 28mm f2.0

How did surf photography start for you? 

Growing up in Hawaii I was a water baby at birth. My family would take me to the beach back as far as I can remember. I picked up Surfing and Bodyboarding at the age of 11 turning Professional in the sport of Bodyboarding at the age of 17.

So fast forwarding to many years later I guess you could say I transcended to another art form involving the beauty of the ocean and waves. 

As a child and in my teen years I always was fascinated with those Fuji waterproof disposable cameras. I would gather up all my allowance and lunch money and pick one up at the local drug store in Haleiwa. Jump on the bus and head out to Rocky Point or Off the Wall.

Jam out into the water for sunset, get what I could get jump back on the bus and return home. I would drop of the camera at one of those 24 hour film drop off centers and couldn't wait to return the next day to see what I captured on film.

Tell us something most people don¹t know about surf photography?

Exposure compensation is something that many people starting out in water photography or in any form of photography as a matter of fact don't know about. It's a huge part of surf photography manly because a lot of time you might be shooting into the sun. 

Dropping your exposure comp by a stop or stop and a half can help maintain detail in your images. Helping out with the Highlights and shadows and relieving some of that blow out that the sun can cause in a photo.  

Share with us your heaviest experience in the surf or while traveling?

My heaviest experience in the surf was back home on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii about four years ago. I recently proposed to my wife at Haleiwa the day before and we couldn't be more happier. The very next day we were scheduled to fly back to California at around 8pm.

So that gave me some time in the morning to jump back in the water one last time before heading back to my new home in California. 

I woke up at 5:30am and was in the water by sunrise. Any local can tell you that the surf in Hawaii can turn on a dime! I was out shooting shore break all alone with not a soul in sight in do-able 4-8 foot faces then all of a sudden a predicted swell which was suppose to hit later that day came in early at full force!!! Easy 10-15 faces maybe even larger.

Let me tell you I'm glad I trained a bit in California before heading back to Hawaii. I got absoultly punished! Seeing stars practically blacking out. Wave after wave crashing on my head with hardly no chance to rise to the surface.

The entire time I was thinking I have to make it back to the beach I cant give up now I just got engaged to the women of my dreams! I was really that close to the end of my rope. I can't remember a worse beat down even in my younger years when I would charge surf this large on a daily.

End of story, I finally made it back in kissing the sand I stood on. A life experience I will never forget.

Name one photographic image you saw that changed the way you approach photography?

One image that has changed my approach to photography is a sort of recent photograph by Chris Burkhard that graced the cover of Surfer Magazine. A beautiful image that merged the art of surfing and exotic landscape captured in a sort of way that had never been done before. 

What has been your proudest moment as a photographer?

Gracing the cover of the prestigous Outdoor photographer magazine. It had been a long time dream come true. Being the first surf photographer to be featured on the cover along with a full story was a true blessing. 


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Hawaiian, Photographer, Stan Moniz, Travel, Extreme, Waialua
Bryan Dickerson

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