The perpetual movement of waves falling on the shores of lakes and oceans around the globe provides you a chance to discover summary shapes and colours whereas experimenting with composition and kind. The reflective qualities of water are distinctive for capturing repetition within the colours and shapes of the environment and environment. On the identical time, the main strains of concentrically closing waves typically create a dynamic pure body for wildlife, surfers, landscapes, coastal topics and sunsets or sunrises.

Not many individuals can declare “rock star” as their fallback profession, however when Hawaiian native Stan Moniz left for the mainland in 2000 to spend a decade touring together with his band Nationwide Product, the self-proclaimed “water child” was pressured to put aside his photographic aspirations and depart the ocean behind. Previous to signing with a serious label, Moniz was an novice photographer and knowledgeable bodyboarder—a pure alternative for a child who spent all his free time within the surf. So when his band known as it quits in 2010, Moniz was free to make his manner again to the seaside—this time in California—and refocus his artistic power on the water.

Like many aspiring wave photographers, Moniz began capturing with a GoPro digital camera. In contrast to most, although, he rapidly discovered the flexibility and picture high quality lagging behind his quickly bettering ability set. He upgraded to a Sony NEX-5N and thought of it a revelation, regardless that he was utilizing a makeshift waterproof housing discovered on eBay. When the budding photographer was launched to Alan Love, proprietor of housing maker AquaTech, it modified his life.

“Proper earlier than the Nikon D7100 got here out,” Moniz says, “Alan stated, ‘Get the digital camera, and we’ll get you a housing.’ I shoot with a Nikon D7100 now, and my housing is an AquaTech Compac. The NEX-5N was superior, however simply having a digital camera with a bigger sensor and no optical low-pass filter, the colour spectrum was off the chain! A lot extra life in shade and vibrancy. The pictures appeared extra true to the second. That change helped me develop and grow to be the kind of photographer I’m at this time.”

Love launched Moniz to Greg Napoli from Kenko Tokina USA, who was so impressed with the photographer’s power that he provided to mortgage him any lens he needed. Whereas lots of his colleagues depend on fish-eyes, Moniz made a calculated option to set his work aside.

“Everybody shoots with the fish-eye,” he says, “however I needed to be totally different, so I obtained the 11-16mm. I stayed away from that fish-eye look particularly to drive myself to create one thing new that not many are going after.”

Up for a problem, Moniz additionally makes use of a telephoto within the surf, the Tokina AT-X M100 macro. He makes use of it to isolate the gorgeous particulars of curling waves and for the depth created with a delicate background.

“I like being totally different,” Moniz says, “and doing totally different stuff. During the last 12 months, I’ve began utilizing the 100mm macro. As soon as I obtained it, I used to be, like, holy moly. It is an previous lens, however I like it. I just like the super-soft bokeh background, so I am going to go right down to ƒ/2.Eight if I can. Within the morning, I am going to begin at 1/1600th at ISO 100, and that can give me ƒ/2.8. I like that look, the pop. It appears actually three-dimensional. There’s a lot texture to the background, it appears like patterns. It appears like you may contact it. It appears painted.



Photographer and bodyboarder Stan Moniz has made a profession in and round water. He avoids the standard fish-eye look in favor of a extra normal wide-angle view to include extra of the environmental environment. He additionally makes use of a telephoto macro lens to problem himself compositionally.

“With the 100mm, I am in autofocus,” he notes. “That is the cool factor in regards to the Compac housing: It has a pistol grip with two buttons. The highest button is an autofocus monitor button. I am going to at all times put my focus level a bit off to the correct. I by no means middle something; it is a Rule of Thirds sort of deal. So I monitor the wave on the highest, so it locks it, after which I begin firing with the underside button. My digital camera shoots six frames per second. With the 100mm lens, there’s extra method, however the photographs are simply exceptional.”

Moniz says his two favourite lenses require distinctly totally different capturing methods. “With the 11-16mm,” Moniz explains, “you must have a housing with a flat port as a result of a dome port has distortion. I put the 11-16mm in guide focus, measure three toes and lock it. That is principally the candy spot for water pictures. With a wide-angle, you do not need something beneath ƒ/5.6 as a result of it is simply too delicate. I at all times keep between ƒ/7.1 and ƒ/11. That is my candy spot. I am going to by no means go over 1/1200th shutter pace. You do not even have to go over 1/1000th; that stops the wave sufficient. I normally shoot between 200 and 400 ISO to maintain my aperture between ƒ/7.1 and ƒ/11, and I am at all times in shutter precedence. The opposite secret that lots of people do not know is publicity compensation. Lots of people don’t love capturing into the solar at dawn as a result of it will get blown out. I inform these guys to drop their publicity compensation by two-thirds. That reinforces your aperture. And when you overexpose, that is going to deliver your aperture down. Even on foggy days, I am at all times at two-thirds.”

As a result of wealthy shade is so vital, Moniz steadily makes use of a Speedlight in an AquaTech Strike housing to drop the ambient publicity and deepen the depth of dawn and sundown shade.

“You sort of get burned out capturing with the identical sort of lens in broad daylight,” Moniz says. “Each wave is totally different, and I need to get extra totally different. Just like the ‘Lime Wedge,’ that was shot throughout a ravishing dawn, however I used the SB-900 Speedlight. Lots of people will high-power every thing, however that is not the trick. You have to down it two-thirds or perhaps a full cease. You are gonna kill the ambient gentle when you’re too excessive. I’ve sort of obtained that down now, and my digital camera syncs at 1/320th, however I can go as much as 1/1000th and even larger as a result of it is a Speedlight. I take advantage of the rear sync, too, and it is stopping every thing. I am going to play with the publicity as a result of I’ve it on TTL. I am going to play with the publicity because the solar regularly comes up as a result of I need the dawn and sundown colours to be actually pronounced and saturated. I do not love to do an excessive amount of put up. Earlier than, I used to do far more put up than I am doing now. I believe it is simply because I do know my settings now.”

Again on dry land, Moniz runs his RAW pictures by way of a reasonably easy postprocessing routine. Whereas his pictures are saturated and detailed, he is cautious to retain the fact of the waves and light-weight.

“I was so loopy with the GoPro,” he says. “You’d need to do all these totally different layers to masks the unhealthy decision and stuff. However in put up now, principally I am going to go to Curves and enhance distinction and play with it from there. There’s an S curve in there, that is among the best ones. After which I am going to go to Vibrance, particularly on a dismal day. I will not overdo it. When you may inform it is trying faux, that is if you pull it again. I will not go previous 20 or 25 with the Vibrance except it is a actually darkish day. And I preserve the Saturation at 0.

“With the 11-16mm, you continue to typically get delicate focus,” Moniz provides, “so I am going to duplicate the layer and do a Excessive Cross filter. I am going to set it at a Radius of about 3.0, after which I am going to change the layer mode to Overlay and convey the opacity down, in all probability by no means over 50%. That brings out insane element. However typically it will probably look too faux. Typically folks like that surreal look. I prefer it extra actual. It is very simple to cross that boundary.”

See extra of Stan Moniz‘s dynamic wave pictures at www.stanmoniz.com.

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