Above & Below Photography Workshop Series

Prepare yourself for a photography workshop series unlike any other. Seamlessly blending astrophotography, underwater photography, and landscape photography into one incredible week of hands on learning with 2 very special guest workshop leaders – Stan Moniz and Jay Clue. Throughout this series they will take you on a journey to some of the most breathtaking locations  and give you front row seats to some of the best ocean encounters on earth. Our first workshop in the series takes you to witness the magic of Baja California Sur and experience the largest aggregation of rays on our planet. Over the coming weeks we’ll be releasing the next programs in the Above & Below series including taking you to experience whale sharks, sea lion puppies, humpback whales, striped marlin, sharks, mantas, and so much more.

Mexico’s Baja California peninsula is a land of striking contrasts. The waters around its coast were nicknamed the World’s aquarium by the legendary ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau for their unmatched biodiversity and abundance of life. They play host to one third of the worlds marine mammal species and are said to have more migratory marine species than anywhere else on earth. Above the rich, neon turquoise waters you’ll find cactus forests, mangroves, dunes, and terracotta colored ragged desert mountains that reach up towards the heavens. On top of this Baja ranks as one of the best locations for astrophotography due to its dry semi desert climate and wealth of clear skies – on average it sees 350 days of clear skies every year. Add this to many areas having little to no light pollution and it creates perfectly dark skies dotted with millions of stars and clear views of the Milky Way. Join us today.

The Experience

Each program in this series has been handcrafted by pro photographers Stan Moniz and Jay Clue to not only experience these awe inspiring encounters, but to get you the best chances for taking incredible shots of them. Throughout the week Jay & Stan will be hosting presentations and hands-on workshops to help you learn and improve your photography. Whether you’re a beginner just starting your journey into photography or a seasoned photographer looking to fine tune your craft they will be there to help. You’ll learn how to shoot beautiful underwater shots, time lapses, star trails, Milky Way shots, stunning golden hour landscapes and so much more. Plus they’ll be hosting Adobe Lightroom workshops on workflow and editing for underwater, landscape, & astro photos to take your shots to the next level. All of this while exploring a different beautiful location with jaw dropping ocean encounters for each program in the Above & Below series.

Above & Below Photography workshops in Baja California Sur, Mexico. Landscape photography by Stan Moniz

Your Workshop Instructors

Sony Alpha ambassador - Stan Moniz - Above & Below Photography Workshop Series

Stan Moniz

Sony Alpha Collective | www.StanMoniz.com | @stanmoniz

Born and raised in Oahu, Hawaii Stan was a child of the ocean. His passion for the waves led him to a career as a professional bodyboarder which transitioned into the creative space of capturing the beautiful moving ocean through photography and film. Now living in Orange County, California Stan is a published photographer with more than 15 years of experience. The surf now isn’t the only thing on his mind.

As a Sony ambassador and 1 of only 100 photographers in the world holding the prestigious Sony Alpha Collective title, he continues to push boundaries in the creative arts. With his infectious positive love for adventure, Stan has adapted a nature journalist approach to his content creation.  At a moment’s notice, Stan will drop everything to chase those awe-inspiring images. He seeks to move people and encourages them to get out there and experience what this big beautiful world has to offer and to appreciate the time we have here on planet Earth.

Versed in a variety of photo and video techniques, Stan works with many clients in making their artistic visions become a reality. He regularly leads some of the most incredible photography workshops taking guests all over the world from capturing the waves of Hawaii to the jaw dropping night skies of Iceland. His shots have been seen on everything from Apple to Patagonia and everywhere in between.

 

Jay Clue - Above & Below Photography Workshop Series

Jay Clue

Award Winning Underwater Photographer | www.JayClue.com | @jayclue

A true citizen of the world, Jay Clue has made a name for himself exploring some of the most sought after ocean encounters around the globe while fighting to protect them. Making his pro photo debut only 2 short years after picking up a camera Jay has taken the underwater photography world by storm. His unique style has seen his shots being featured in multiple heavy hitter publications such as National Geographic Traveller, Newsweek, Scuba Diving Magazine, and many more.

Jay is a born educator and a passionate conservationist. He aims to capture the beauty of our planets oceans through photography in hopes of inspiring the next generation of ocean defenders to take up arms. His work concentrates largely on oceanic predators & marine megafauna which has led to him developing courses on whale conservation, apex predators, devil rays and sustainable tourism; as well as authoring numerous articles for magazines such as Oceanographic, Saving Earth, and more.

When not shooting photos his time is spent creating unique ecotourism platforms with the team at Dive Ninja Expeditions that aim to use tourism as a platform to further marine research, conservation, and environmental awareness. This passion for protecting the ocean has earned him numerous accolades including being recognized as a PADI Torchbearer, a Mares Mexicanos Photographer, an Ocean Culture Life Storyteller, and a Nakawe Project Closed Hook Ambassador

Upcoming Photography Workshops

La Paz

Whale Sharks, playful sea lion puppies, and beautiful terracotta desert landscapes contrasted by electric blue waters followed by neon sunsets and star filled nights! Plus a special super rare chance to shoot astro at Isla Espiritu Santo!

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Cat Island

Oceanic White Tip Sharks on a remote tropical island with some of the darkest skies on earth (Bortle 1) plus 250 year old plantation ruins, 8 miles of pink sand beaches, and so much more!

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Mobula Rays

Schools of thousands of mobula rays, whales, cactus forests, candy striped lighthouse, incredibly dark skies making he Milky Way glow and deep space workshops! Oh and did we mention the villa & private chef?

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Above & Below: La Paz, Mexico

Above & Below Photography Workshop in la Paz Mexico, Balandra Bay by Stan Moniz Whale shark photography workshop in La Paz Mexico. with Jay Clue & Stan Moniz

November 17-22, 2022

Join Stan & Jay for a very special workshop exploring the beauty of La Paz! Throughout this trip we’ll spend time out on the ocean snorkeling and freediving with the massive whale sharks, playful sea lion puppies, and gorgeous reefs. We’ve also received exclusive permission to host a very special sunset & astrophotography workshop on the incredible Espiritu Santo Island. Plus we’ll head out of the city to capture some of the areas remarkable desert landscapes and mind-blowing beaches – such as Balandra Bay – consistently voted as one of the top 10 most beautiful beaches in the world. Stan & Jay will be hosting workshops and presentations throughout the week on underwater photography, landscape photography, astrophotography, aerial photography, and a special session on underwater portraits — plus lots of hands on training to help you put it into action and get awesome shots.

Our 4 star hotel for this special trip is located right in the heart of La Paz right next to the beautiful La Paz Cathedral and only a couple minutes walk from the famous malecón. The space boasts onsite restaurant and bar, a gorgeous rooftop terrace with swimming pool, wifi, air conditioning, and much more. Sign up today for this incredible experience.

Price: $2,990 USD. Max Guests: 6 (SOLD OUT!!)

Reserve Your Space Now

Workshop Subjects:

Whale sharks, sea lion puppies, Espiritu Santo Island, desert landscapes, astrophotography, landscape photography, long exposure, beach & oceanscapes, reefscapes, underwater portraits, and how to create star trails. 

What’s Included:

The trip price includes 5 days of in-water & land activities, workshops & presentations throughout the week, 5 nights hotel accommodation on a shared double occupancy basis (private room upgrade available for $750 US), round trip transportation from Dive Ninjas HQ to/from La Paz, breakfast at hotel, lunch on boat tours, as well as snacks & drinks on land & boat activities. 

What’s Not Included:

The price does not include flights, transfers from/to airport to/from Dive Ninjas HQ, rental equipment, and crew gratuity/tips (10%-15% of trip price is customary but is at your discretion).

Reserve Your Space Now

Flights & Pre-Trip Activities Information

Our meeting point for these expedition is at Dive Ninja Expeditions HQ in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. The nearest airport is Los Cabos International Airport (airport code SJD).  Los Cabos International is also known as San Jose del Cabo International Airport by some airlines. Guests will meet at the Dive Ninjas office and be transferred to our accommodation and base camp about 2 hours north of Cabo. Our reservations team can help set up a transfer from the airport to the Dive Ninja HQ for you.  Los Cabos airport is serviced daily with domestic & international flights. We recommend arriving a day early to give you some time to relax and a little padding in case of any travel delays. Easy direct flights can be found from many cities in the US and Mexico. From the US flights are quite cheap – especially from the west coast and southwest US. From Europe flights are very affordable and usually include a layover in the southwest US or Mexico City. If transiting through the US please check in advance to see if you will need a US transit visa.

Since you will be visiting us at our home in Baja California there are numerous options to add on local diving, snorkeling or other activities in Los Cabos and the surrounding areas before and after your expedition. Another great option would be to take a freediving course in Los Cabos prior to the trip so that you can get even more out of the experience with the mobulas.  Give us a shout and we can set up add-on packages to extend your trip to Baja.

Anything Else?

Please note that this expedition is NOT scuba diving based. All the action takes place near the surface on average so there is no need for scuba equipment. Plus we have learned through experience that the encounters and interactions with the mobula rays are much more intimate and hundreds times better without scuba gear. Additionally, to better preserve the natural behaviors of these animals it is best done as a soft interaction without bubbles and heavy equipment. You do not need to be scuba certified or freediving certified to join these expeditions, but you do need to know how to swim and be comfortable swimming in the ocean. There are options to add-on scuba diving days if you’d like though. Please contact our team for more info. 

Full moon at dawn with cactus in Baja Mexico by Stan Moniz. Landscape photography workshopFull moon at dawn with cactus in Baja Mexico by Stan Moniz. Landscape photography workshop

Above & Below: Cat Island

scuba diving with oceanic white tips sharks at Cat Island in the Bahamas. Photo by Jay Clue
scuba diving with oceanic white tips sharks at Cat Island in the Bahamas. Photo by Jay Clue

April 16-23, 2023

Cat Island has quickly become one of Jay & Stan’s favorite spots on earth. Boasting some of the darkest skies on earth with miles of untouched pink sand beaches; and crystal clear shark-filled waters make it the perfect location for an Above & Below destination. Its warm blue waters play host to a healthy population of the beautiful and critically endangered Oceanic White Tip Shark. Cat Island is one of the only places on earth where you have solid chances to encounter groups of upwards of 6 or more of these remarkable animals. But it doesn’t end there. When the tropical sun sets beneath the horizon, the skies ignite. There is close to zero light pollution here, making the Milky Way and stars look like they are truly illuminating the sky. Plus, the area has incredible foreground subjects for astrophotography, from 300-year-old plantation ruins to a small castle-like building sitting atop the island’s tallest point.

To make this workshop extra special, we are limiting it to only 4 guests. This means more 1-on-1 time with Stan & Jay perfecting your craft, more space in the water with the sharks for getting awesome shots, and lots of hands-on workshops throughout the week.

Join us April 16-23, 2023 for this very special Above & Below photography workshop. Sign up now or visit our Cat Island expedition page for more information on the location.

Price: $4,900 USD.
Max Guests: 4 (ONLY 1 spaces left!)

RESERVE YOUR SPACE NOW

Workshop Subjects:

Oceanic White Tip Sharks, astrophotography, landscape photography, long exposure, beach & oceanscapes, and how to create star trails. 

What’s Included:

The trip price includes 6 days of in-water & land activities, workshops & presentations throughout the week, 7 nights hotel accommodation on a shared double occupancy basis (private room upgrade available for an extra charge), 3 meals per day (hot breakfast, lunch, dinner), shark diving with Oceanic White Tips, reef dive, transport to astro photography locations, all photo workshop sessions & activities, airport transfers to/from New Bight Cat Island airport to/from hotel, transfers to/from dive boat, weights, air fills and tanks.

What’s Not Included:

Flights, drinks (hotel has a full bar), rental gear, and crew gratuity/tips (10%-15% of trip price is customary but is at your discretion).

Reserve Your Space Now

Flights & Pre-Trip Activities Information

The easiest way into Cat Island is via Nassau. From Nassau, Western Air offers flights on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Jay & Stan will be on the Western Air flight on the 16th. 

This is a tiny airport with no facilities. Cat Island is a remote destination and has maintained the charm of the Bahamas from years ago. The island is pristine and the locals are super friendly. However, if there are things you require, like specialty dietary items or medications, we highly recommend bringing them with you.

Important Notes

For your safety this trip requires that you have good buoyancy while scuba diving, and you must be comfortable diving in open ocean. The Oceanic White Tip Shark dives take place about a half mile offshore on a deep channel. We will slowly drift dive in the blue following a big buoy while hovering at around 6-9m (20-30ft) underwater. The ocean bottom here is well over 1000m (3000ft) deep. So even though Cat Island has some of the clearest blue you’ll ever see, the one thing you will not be able to see is the bottom.

oceanic white tip shark diving
photography workshop Bahamas

Mobula Rays & Dark Skies 2023

Baja Mobula rays Above & Below Photography Workshop. Photo by Jay Clue for Dive Ninjas

May 17 – 22, 2023

Join Stan & Jay for this special workshop to witness the largest aggregation of rays on earth — Baja’s annual Mobula ray aggregation! Throughout this trip we’ll spend time out on the ocean snorkeling and freediving with the gigantic schools of rays and shooting them breaching. Plus we’ll head out on land to capture some of this special area’s beautiful desert landscapes, mind-blowing sunsets, and star filled night skies. Stan & Jay will be hosting workshops and presentations throughout the trip on underwater photography, wildlife photography, landscape photography and astrophotography  as well as hands on training to help you take home incredible shots for your portfolio. New for 2023 Stan will be teaching a special deep space workshop! 

Our accommodation for this special trip is a private villa located at the edge of remote town with incredible dark skies as well as a big jacuzzi for relaxing after the days activities and a beautiful roof terrace with a fireplace to relax next to while shooting deep space or just relaxing under the stars. The views from the villa are gorgeous and you can even see whales & mobula rays jumping from the ocean.  The space comes equipped with wifi, satellite tv, and air conditioning while boasting lots of beautiful areas to unwind and take in the warm Baja sun between photo sessions. Or you can head out on our sea kayaks or paddle boards, or snorkel right right off the beach to cool off. Our in house private chef will be preparing 3 delicious meals each day and the house has full supply of snacks, soft drinks, beer and wine. Sign up today for this incredible experience.

Price: $2,990 USD.
Max Guests: 6 (Available Now!)

Reserve Your Space Now

Workshop Subjects:

The largest aggregation of rays on earth – Baja’s annual Mobula Ray schools (shooting underwater, above water, & drone/aerial), desert landscapes, Milky Way/galactic core,  deep space objects (nebula, planets, etc), lighthouse, cactus forest, beach & oceanscapes, time-lapse, and how to create star trails. 

What’s Included:

The trip price includes 4 days of in-water & land activities, workshops & presentations throughout the week, 5 nights private villa accommodation in a private room, round trip transportation from Dive Ninjas HQ to/from the villa, chef prepared meals, soft drinks, beer and wine as well as use of kayaks and paddle boards on property. 

What’s Not Included:

The price does not include flights, transfers from/to airport to/from Dive Ninjas HQ, rental equipment, and crew gratuity/tips (10%-15% of trip price is customary but is at your discretion).

Reserve Your Space Now

Past Workshops

Mobula Rays & Dark Skies 2022

Baja Mobula rays Above & Below Photography Workshop. Photo by Jay Clue for Dive Ninjas

May 28 – June 2, 2022

Mobula Rays & Dark Skies

JOIN US IN 2023! CLICK HERE FOR INFO. Join Stan & Jay for this special workshop at the Dive Ninja private oceanfront villa to experience the largest aggregation of rays on earth — Baja California’s annual Mobula ray aggregation! Throughout this trip we’ll spend time out on the ocean snorkeling and freediving with the gigantic schools of rays and shooting them breaching. Plus we’ll head out on land to capture some of this special area’s beautiful desert landscapes, mind-blowing sunsets, and star filled night skies. Stan & Jay will be hosting workshops and presentations throughout the trip on underwater photography, wildlife photography, landscape photography and astrophotography  as well as hands on training to help you take home incredible shots for your portfolio. 

Our accommodation for this special trip is a private beachfront villa located only steps from the ocean where you can even see whales & mobula rays jumping from the terrace.  The space comes equipped with wifi, satellite tv, and air conditioning while boasting lots of beautiful areas to unwind and take in the warm Baja sun between photo sessions. Or you can head out on our sea kayaks or paddle boards, or snorkel right right off the beach to cool off. Our in house private chef will be preparing 3 delicious meals each day and the house has full supply of snacks, soft drinks, beer and wine. Sign up today for this incredible experience.

Workshop Subjects:

The largest aggregation of rays on earth – Baja’s annual Mobula Ray schools (shooting underwater, above water, & drone/aerial), desert landscapes, milkyway/galactic core,  lighthouse, cactus forest, beach & oceanscapes, time-lapse, and how to create star trails. 

What’s Included:

The trip price includes 4 days of in-water & land activities, workshops & presentations throughout the week, 5 nights hotel accommodation on a shared double occupancy basis (private room upgrade available for $750 US), round trip transportation from Dive Ninjas HQ to/from the villa, chef prepared meals, soft drinks, beer and wine as well as use of kayaks and paddle boards on property. 

What’s Not Included:

The price does not include flights, transfers from/to airport to/from Dive Ninjas HQ, rental equipment, and crew gratuity/tips (10%-15% of trip price is customary but is at your discretion).