Meet Tokina Ambassador Stan Moniz

Meet Tokina Ambassador Stan Moniz

Why we love him:

Stan’s star trails, night skies and wave curls are unique to his life experience and eye for nature. His passion for the ocean and adventure meld perfectly with his passion for photography. He inspires us to get out and see the beauty of the world around us.

Favorite Camera:

My current favorite camera bodies that I use on a daily are the Sony a7sII and the Sony a6300. I like the Sony a7sII for night photography and most of my video work. I absolutely love how great the a7sII handles in low light situations.

I use the Sony a6300 primarily for my surf photography where I need that 11 fps so I don’t miss a beat in the action. The auto focusing on the a6300 is fantastic as well. The a6300 is probably the fastest focusing camera I’ve ever used.

I also use both cameras side by side for my time-lapse photography.

Years behind the camera:

8 years and counting.

What three words describe your photography style:

Inspiring, natural, technical.

We know you like being different. What inspires you to try new styles?

There are so many amazing photographers out there that it’s hard to separate myself from the pack. Experimenting with different filters combos along with taking advantage of new technologies in my photography has really helped me grow my personal style.

I’m embracing the use of the cool downloadable Sony applications to help me pull off imagery that might not be possible for my landscape and night photography. I have also been using Hoya filters in my surf photography, which is something I don’t see anyone else doing. I like to try anything that can help me achieve my creative goals. It never hurts to try something new.

What was the best piece of photo advice you were given when you were first starting out?

The best advice was to keep growing and experimenting with different techniques. I was once considered a one trick pony focusing everything on my surf photography. And that’s wasn’t a bad place to be, but these days I consider myself a well-rounded creator in the arts.

Over the years, my passion and photographic techniques have caught up with my desire to explore and have adventures. I wanted to hit the road and explore new areas and share those inspiring images with the world. The ocean will always be my first love, but I don’t regret spreading my wings to improve my craft. It has only improved every aspect of my photography.

One look at your feed and we’ve never seen the sky looks so good. What are your tips for shooting the night sky?

Next to capturing those special moments in the ocean, the night sky is my other passion. I can’t live without it! I could write a 10-page essay on this topic that’s for sure!

One of the most important tips is to learn the 500 rule which is available on my website Understanding this technique will noticeably help you achieve spectacularly sharp star images of the Milky Way and the night sky.

Another helpful tip is to do your homework before you head out the location you are planning to shoot. In the past, I’ve lost so much shooting time because I didn’t plan out a specific shot or had a bearing on what the night sky would look like at a given time.

From your art shows around Huntington Beach we know you are someone who understands the power of printing out your experiences. What would be your best advice for transferring photos from digital to print?

Transferring images from digital to print can be quite tricky at first. One small problem I had at first was the translation of the post edit to paper, canvas, or steel. Making sure the blacks were black enough, whites white enough, etc. Teaming up with a printer can save you a ton of time and money. Which in time is what I did. As you both grow together you understand what kind of edit you have to make to bring life to your imagery on print. It only gets easier from there.

Why is photography important to you?

In a weird way photography is like therapy for me. As far back as I can remember my mind was always occupied with crazy ideas and visions of grandeur. Photography has helped me to achieve those personal goals and making these pictures in my head come to life. It’s so crazy to think that I’m actually living the dream that I had for myself at a younger age. For example, I have a trip to Iceland planned in October of 2016. I’ve been dreaming about visiting that island for years.

Name 3 people you follow and why.

  1. Chris Burkard –I follow him because, like him, I share the same interest in adventure and we both come from a surfing background. His travels and stories are inspirational and like Chris I travel the same passion, but I have the beat of my own drum.
  1. Clark Little –I follow him because he is a fellow Hawaiian native that shares the same interest in capturing the power, energy and beauty of a shore breaking wave. He is one of the first guys to make a career out of shooting an empty wave. He showed us to look at shore break as a piece of fine art and not only a moment in time.
  1. Andy Best –I follow him because of his love of landscape and travel. A great photographer of the night sky. And someone that’s not afraid of weather and will go that extra mile in capturing a captivating moment in time.

You can check out more of Stan’s work at and follow his feed on Instagram @stanmoniz.

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