“Sun Times photographer James Masters won an Ontario Newspaper Award on the weekend.
Masters won his award in feature photography (under 25,000 circulation). The photo he submitted was of raw milk producer Michael Schmidt and his four-year-old son William in the doorway of Schmidt’s store at their Durham-area farm.
The photograph accompanied a story about the start of Schmidt’s hunger strike protesting a court decision finding him guilty of charges related to the distribution of raw milk.
Masters said he went to Schmidt’s farm to take some pictures of him to go with the story about the hunger strike. Masters said he took some pictures of Schmidt as they toured around his farm, but the picture that won him his award wasn’t taken until Masters was leaving. He turned to say goodbye to Schmidt, who was standing in the doorway with his son.
“I was struck by the worry and determination on Michael’s face and the protective way he was holding his son,” said Masters Judge Susan Brophy Down of Newspapers Canada said that great newspaper photos always tell stories and the photo by Masters does that.
“Masters saw the visual value of the surroundings — the weathered barn siding and the rusty horseshoe above the entry,” Brophy Down said.
“His outstanding shot of the father and son in the doorway perfectly captures the context of a story about the raw milk issue and makes for a timeless illustration of rural life.”
Sun Times editor Doug Edgar said it is gratifying to see the judges again recognize the talent Masters consistently brings to The Sun Times.
“The photo in question, of local raw milk crusader Michael Schmidt and his son, almost has the look of a posed portrait, but in fact James spotted the two in the doorway as he was leaving Schmidt’s farm after Schmidt announced he was going on a hunger strike over his conviction on charges of distributing unpasteurized milk,” Edgar said.
“I especially like this photo because it shows Schmidt in his world, plus the difference in expression between the boy and the man can be seen to illustrate how seriously Schmidt takes his beliefs. It’s the ability to see such images that makes James one of the best shooters in the business.”…”