Ross Sta Maria

Architecture | Last Updated: February 23, 2021

My name is Ross Sta Maria, my photography stage name, Nitehawk. I am an Architect and have worked on major hotels around the world specialising in hotel interiors.

My real passion is photography. As an architectural student many decades ago my first camera was a Nikon FE, I spent most of my free time taking architectural photos and did the original film processing in dark rooms. My career has allowed me to travel the globe from Shanghai to Dubai to Europe and many parts of southeast Asia.

I find photography soul-fulfilling as it allows me to be creative and to share my vision with the rest of the world. Being an architect, I understand that it is all about light. Light transforms colours in many ways and details in photography display one’s sense of ‘capture of the moment’ when light and composition hit the glass.

To me, the camera has been my best friend and allows me to express myself from the images that I see, allowing a sense of immortality in my captured visions.

My love for photography was initially about buildings and interiors. It then moved me to street photography and later, on to landscapes. The lenses that I use are Canon, Sigma, and the latest, a Chinese Laowa lens that has pleasantly surprised me with its low light capabilities.

I have used many cameras, including Sony, Nikon, Canon 7D, Canon 6D and have ended up, for now, with the Canon EOS R. I am impressed with mirrorless cameras, having seen the evolution of the SLR’s over the years.


Canon EOS R
I have adhered to Canon, for its affordability and quality in its lens produced colour.


Canon EOS-R RF Lens Adaptor
The EF adaptor has allowed me to keep my lenses collected over the years.

Canon EF 24-105mm f/4
This is my favourite travel lens for ease of use and not having to sacrifice picture quality.

Sigma 24-105mm f/4
This is my favourite low light lens for sunrise and evening shots. At f/4, most evening photographs are handheld.

Canon EF 135mm f/2
I use this for portraits and sharp images, especially for birds, flora and fauna.

Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM
This is my favourite interiors lens for display homes and hotel interiors. It is reliable and light for travel.

Sigma 60-600mm f/22-32
This is my ‘bazooka’ lens for close-ups on nature and sport. Although heavy, I have handheld this lens successfully, without any camera shake.

Sigma Art 24-35mm f/2
For crisp landscape and detailed images, the Art series in Sigma is impressive and reliable.

Laowa 15mm f/2
This was my latest addition and takes incredible landscape shots, with next to no distortion. With minimal Lightroom post-production work, images and impressions.


DJI Mavic Pro 2
I started Drone photography a year ago and have had hours of delightful photo and video capture. Looking at the world from a different view-point opens up many creative compositions for me. The Hasselblad lens is sharp and impressive.


My bag of choice is the Pelican S115. Tripods include Manfrotto TM2624L, Slik U550 and Joby Gorillapod.


Apple  Macbook Pro 13″
My everyday laptop used for post-production work.

Apple Ipad Pro
This is my travel computer to use while overseas for post-production work.

iPhone Xs Max


Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop and Snapseed for the iPhone.

Capturing the moment is what I thrive on, as it allows my creativity to be shared. Photography is one of the few disciplines that entwines art and science, as is architecture, hence knowledge of camera equipment, lenses, light and artistic compositions, all come into play to produce good photography.

Finally, like a mirror from the images that one captures, it allows one to see one’s soul, the type of artist that they are.

Flickr | @nitehawke11

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