On location...

Her work as video/photo pro and dive instructor for PADI, SDI/TDI has taken her to some remote places of the world. 

  • 2 years video/photo pro for Scubapix
  • 16 years as video/photo pro for Mike Ball Dive Expeditions including six months on Paradise Sport in Papua New Guinea, to Milne Bay, Kimbe Bay and Kavieng regions.

  • 2 Years photo/video staff at Stuart Cove’s in The Bahamas, filming sharks and shark feeds every day.
  • Expedition photographer/videographer for Silentworld Foundation on three major expeditions in association with Australian National Maritime Museum


Film & Photography Awards

Julia’s underwater footage has been used in documentaries by BBC, Discovery Channel, Channel 4 England, National Geographic Channel, Netflix, ABC and SBS, and received a number of awards for her imagery:

QLD Australian Cinematographers Society (ACS) Awards 2021

Gold Award - Ron Taylor AM ACS & Valerie Taylor AM Wildlife & Nature Award for "Fight For Our Reef"

Beneath The Seas Festival

1st Prize - Underwater Photography Competition, Marine Life Category, New York, 2016

Australian Geographic Photographer of the Year Award

Short List - August 2017

OZTEK Underwater Photography Competition

3rd Prize - OZTEK Underwater Photography Competition - Marine Life Category, 2017

Mission Beach Film Short Festival

Gold Award - Mission Beach Film Short Festival, 2009


Adventure has taken her to some amazing places

  • 2009 & 2010 – Ogasawara Islands, Japan Amongst the 1st group of people to witness and film sperm whales eating parts of a giant squid (viewing available on request). Footage has been used in 4 different natural history documentaries for BBC, Discovery Channel, National Geographic Channel and Channel 4 in UK.
  • 2010, 2013 & 2016 – Far Northern Sections of The Great Barrier Reef and Torres Straits, explored rarely visited reefs and significant shipwrecks such as RMS Quetta, HMAS Warrnambool, HMAS Pandora.
  • 2010 – present date – Conducted an on-going video/photo survey of the changes of the shipwreck SS Yongala.
  • 2012 – Marissa Sri Lanka, one of the first permits issued to film in water with blue whales. 
  • 2007 – present day – Worked closely with Dwarf Minke Whale Project, data collection and over 200 hours in water with whales.
  • 2015 – 2016 – Partial completion photogrammetry of SS Yongala in 2015 and coral bleaching sites from 2016, software and construction done with assistance of Dr Robin Beaman James Cook University.

  • 2016 –  Silentworld Expedition and Australian National Maritime Museum to the Southern Coral Sea, Kenn Reef, where 17 anchors, 7 canons and one ships bell was discovered and published to National Geographic’s website.
  • 2017 – Bremer Canyon, Western Australia, photographing Orca and Sperm Whale populations
  • 2017 OctoberSilentworld Expedition to Pitcairn Island group, South Pacific and filmed/photographed The Bounty. Collected photographic digital data of artifacts of The Bounty for Silentworld Museum.
  • 2018 April Beqa Adventure Divers, Beqa Lagoon, Fiji. Bull shark dive.
  • 2018 DecemberSilentworld Expedition and Australian National Maritime Museum to the Far Northern Coral Sea, Boot Reef Expedition. Discovery of a new shipwreck from 1820’s.
  • March 2019 OZTEK Technical Dive Conference – International Convention Centre Sydney – Guest Speaker – Shipwrecks of The Great Barrier Reef & Coral Sea – A photographic journey of discoveries.


As a dedication to keep on adding new ways of presenting ocean environments and shipwrecks in digital formats to the world, Julia has recently undertaken

  • UNITWIN Conference in 3D Modeling and photogrammetry for underwater marine archeology, including workshops, Flinders University, Nov 2016
  • Learning to fly with drones and shoot with 360˚ camera’s, 2016 – Present
  • Further skills in mapping and photogrammetry of shipwrecks and dive sites, using Agisoftware
  • Underwater Cinematography with Gin Clear Film, Jon Shaw, 2015
  • GUE Fundamentals Dive Course – Living Seas, Indonesia, 2016
  • Gates STO (Setup/Test/Operate) RED Cameras. Gates STO Training Certification sends the student forth as a Gates Ambassador with a resume skill to help secure work on TV / Cinema / Natural History productions, shooting underwater with RED 4K cinema cameras and Gates Housings. Sydney, July 2017

  • Gates STO (Setup/Test/Operate) RED Cameras on location, Fiji – Operating 5K, 6K and 8K systems in conjunction with Gates Underwater camera housings at Beqa Lagoon. With world class Instructors: Sean Ruggeri (RED Camera – Senior Camera Technician for productions such as The Amazing Spiderman, House of Cards, Game of Thrones, Gone Girl, Stanger Things), Becky Kagan–Schott (Emmy Award winning underwater videographer, DP, photographer, 3D camera operator, and technical diver) and Peter Lightowler  (Certified Colour grader with Davinci Resolve for underwater filming). April 2018
  • DaVinci Resolve video editing software for the underwater filmmaker James Cook University. September 2018

scientific data collection

Ongoing support of scientific data collection for marine life Julia has been involved with

  • The Minke Whale Project since 2007 with photo ID database providing videos and photos. Assist in conducting minke whale expeditions as required by Australian Government Standards.
  • Project Manta since 2015 with photo ID data base providing videos and photos and helped to photo ID 54 new individual manta rays
  • Providing data and images for marine archeologists of remote and significant shipwrecks for preserving Australia’s Heritage
  • Catlin Seaview Survey, contributed footage for data collection on corals which included., cyclone damage on corals, scouting support and data for the award winning documentary “Chasing Coral 

  • Received certificate’s of appreciation from Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and Minke Whale Project for the work done with Dwarf Minke whales
  • Collated data major fish spawnings and aggregations on The Great Barrier Reef and The Coral Sea. Digital data collection.  Collaborate with several scientists and experts future expeditions.
  • Collaborated with scientists during the 2015 and 2016 coral bleaching events and monitoring of the catastrophic event.


Julia’s photographic work has been featured by many major magazine publishers and online publishers

Club Marine Magazine - Nine page photographic feature “Sunken Treasure – Australia’s top dive site – SS Yongala.

National Geographic Website – Mysterious New Wrecks Found in Australian waters – featured article about Kenn Reef Expedition in conjunction with Silentworld Foundation and Australian national Maritime Foundation.

Ocean, The World of Luxury Yachting Magazine - Lens Flare – Featured photographer gallery 8 page feature, plus Silentworld Foundation Feature on Kenn Reef Expedition 4 page article.

Signals Magazine publication for The Australia National Maritime Museum Issue 126 - 8 page featured article on The Boot Reef Expedition in conjunction with The Silentworld Foundation and Australian National Maritime Museum.

Dive Photo Guide – Underwater Photography Website - An Underwater Photographer’s Guide to the Great Barrier Reef.

Dive Photo Guide - Underwater Photography Website – DPG’s best travel stories of 2019.

Internazionale Magazine - Italian lifestyle and travel publication issue 1360.

Dive Photo Guide - Underwater Photography Website – Videographer of the month.

Dive Photo Guide - Underwater Photography Website – North Direction Island, Fighting for space on the limestone shelf.

The Last Sea Treasure

In January 2016 a short film/documentary “The Last Sea Treasure”, was made by Blue Bottle Films and The Australian Marine Conservation Society, about Julia Sumerling and Valerie Taylor and ongoing conservation of The Coral Sea.


During the lockdowns in 2020, Julia collaborated with several classical musicians, composers and film directors on several short films

  • April 2020 – “Fight for our Reef – Still Great” Directed and produced by Matt Raimondo for Australian Marine Conservation Society, underwater footage by Julia Sumerling.
  • May 2020 – “3000 Reefs” Music performed by world renowned contemporary string quartet, The Kronos Quartet from San Francisco, USA. Music composed by Aftab Darvishi. Filmed and produced by Julia Sumerling.

  • June 2020 – Jubjoté – Music composed and performed on The Melbourne Town Hall’s Grand Organ, by Musician J.P. Shilo for a live performance. Video commissioned by The Melbourne Town Hall, produced and edited by L.J. Spruyt Photography, Underwater footage by Julia Sumerling.
  • June 2020 – “3000 Reefs” was broadcast live as part of The Kronos Quartet’s online Film Festival.