Australian photographer Woody Gooch’s work would be equally at home in a modern art gallery or a surf magazine. His aesthetic doesn’t often cater to the high-action, high-zoom imagery, and his favorite subjects aren’t plastered all over high performance-driven advertisements. He’s not concerned with the latest tricks or the number of stickers on one’s surfboard. Instead, his goal is to immerse the viewer in a moment that feels tangible and relatable - as though you were watching the moment happen right before your very eyes.


Over the past few years, photography has led Woody around the world, from the far stretches of Indonesia and Morocco, back to his beautiful home zone of Noosa, and through the western world, too. With subjects ranging from Ryan Callinan and Dusty Payne to Harrison Roach and Derrick Disney, enjoy this little voyage through the lens of one of surf photography’s modern nomads and imagine yourself in each moment, as if you were swimming in those waters, or standing alongside, feet in the sand. -Garrett James


Title Photo & Above: Derrick Disney, Morocco. "You can see how sharp the rocks are that line the shore at this spot. The guys were coming in at dark after one of our first sessions. They’d missed a few opportunities and keyholes to lip in, so they basically had to ride up on to these rocks to get out. As Kai [Hing] was getting out, the wave he rode up had washed out and caught his footing, making him fall backwards down toward the water. It was so sketchy. We were scared because those rocks are so sharp, they’ll go straight through your head. He came out with a few cuts and was fine."

Derrick Disney, Harrison Roach, and Kai Hing, Morocco. "There’s this crazy cactus field in Morocco that you have to walk through to get to and from the lineup. This was after a surf. The guys had to get out because it was blowing too hard offshore. But you’re dodging cacti, rocks, and glass that locals break while walking through this field. Add winds of about 100 knots, and it gets tricky."

Desert Point. "This was my first time visiting Desert Point. We had been on this two-year mission to create the newest Deus film and Dustin Humphries had us load up and set off for Desert’s from Lakey Peak because he saw this huge swell coming. That drive took about 24 hours or so by car, and when we got there, it was flat like a lake. We woke up the next day and it was still flat. But within four hours it went from two-foot, to six-foot, to eight-to-ten foot, and even maxing out at like ten-to-twelve foot. I was so shocked at how a wave could transform from its polar opposite so quickly."

Harrison Roach, Morocco

Ryan Callinan, Lakey Peak. "Ryan is one of the most consistent and all-around amazing surfers I’ve ever had the privilege of working with, or just watching surf. Big waves, big turns, big airs, big barrels - he is incredible at it all. I was posted on this left a lot during this trip, trying to capture that exact way he surfs. He’s so quick, but so stylish, and this is a routine turn for him."

Josh Kerr, Rocky Point

Harrison Roach, South Sumatra. "We had checked this spot earlier on this day, but it was a bit funky. So we left and had some coffee, and when we came back in the afternoon we found it absolutely cooking. Harrison and I were the first ones on it, sprinting along the reef shelf as fast as we could to get out. It was just Harrison and me, before the rest of the crew paddled out, and we were screaming with joy the entire time. That afternoon was one of the best experiences I’ve ever shared with a friend in the water."

Harrison Roach, Morocco

Dusty Payne, Lakey Peak

Morocco. "We checked this wave frequently during our trip, and on this day we caught it cooking, but it was quite fast. We called it Mystos because it was this mysterious and mystical wave that we knew nothing about. It would look so good, but we weren’t sure just how good it was. There was nobody around. It was dead quiet. We could never decide whether to paddle out or not."

South Sumatra

Thomas Beckson, North Noosa. "This is my favorite place in the world. This is where I got hooked on surfing. You can only get to it on low tide because you have to drive on the beach. But when the swell is right, the sand is right, the wind is right, the tide is right, and everything falls into place, you get some of the longest waves of your life. This is a fun little novelty day, but it can get bigger and barrel. I’ve dreamt of this wave over and over again."

Dusty Payne, Lakey Peak

Derrick Disney, Morocco