In the surf space Woody Gooch is recognised as a lateral thinking photographer with a knack for finding unique ways to shoot his surfing subjects. While Woody loves nothing more than being neck deep in salt water with a stylish surfer in his sights, he recently embarked on a book project, which involved documenting his travels through Nepal. Above Else is a collaboration between Woody and Quinn Matthews.

Below, Woody talks about why a surf nut from Noosa wanted to climb into the Himalayas and explore the mysteries of the people who inhabit the region.           

Why Nepal?
We initially thought this was a great country to break the ice for these ' annual trips ' we wanted to do each year - It was all really quite unplanned and highly spontaneous from the day we wanted to go to Nepal. This specific trip has had a dramatic impact on our drive to do these annual trips.

Weirdest/craziest thing you saw?
We ended up staying a few nights with a nodamic tribe by the name of the 'Untoucahbles' which clearly explains what they go by. Myself, my brother and Quinn were all split up after having dinner with the four families to experience everything just a little bit more. When we all thought eating guppies out of the muddy creek, wild asparagus and fermented curd with alcohol was well and truly enough  ( hopefully coming to an end ) I was offered to smoke an opium Joint. Right after I was then told that having sex in front of any visitors was something that I should accept as it occurs most times.

What about the language barrier?
There was a lot of charades played. We had a local guide with us who was translating conversations.

How satisfying is it to have a book as a finished product?
To have complete creative control over your own book is hard to describe. It just feels so good in your hands.

Is the return to the ocean even better when you have been somewhere wild and landlocked?
Of course - The one conversation was through physically showing them photos and what we do at home  - this is exactly why I love doing what I do - I don't even need to start the conversation - the images of the ocean do. That’s why I love knowing I have a return date to the ocean.