RIVERINE HERALD photographer Luke Hemer has won the prestigious Cricket Victoria Country Cricket Media Award.
It is highly prized within the industry as it is a category open to photos and video as well as stories in print and on digital platforms.
Luke’s photo of Echuca South batsman Hugh Nelson diving to avoid a run-out was deemed the best single entry to tell the cricket story.
The presentation was held at Junction Oval in Melbourne last week with former international cricketer Damien Fleming the MC.
“It was a bit of a surprise to get this award against such a diverse and talented field of photographers and writers,” Luke said.
“It was late in the innings and South was swinging at everything and running,” he said.
“I watched them make a couple of dives and knew it could be a good photo if they did it at the end I was covering.”
And five minutes later that’s exactly what happened and now the amazing shot of the bat ploughing through the dirt in a vain attempt to beat the throw is one Luke won’t forget for a while.
Luke has been a newspaper photographer for 16 years, having worked in Adelaide, Melbourne and Mildura before coming to Echuca-Moama.
He also covers the Australian Open for three weeks every year as an official photographer for Tennis Australia as well as the Stawell Gift, where he is also an official photographer.
Luke was a member of the Riverine Herald team that received a Quill award in March.
McPherson Media group editor (non-dailies) Andrew Mole said Luke had quickly established himself as a cornerstone of the paper’s coverage of local news, sport and features.
He said as a photographer Luke excelled across the spectrum.
‘‘Not only does he deliver outstanding sporting photos, he has been a major award winner in news in his time with us and his work in products such as Bella and echucamoama is the equal of anything in the media industry,’’ Andrew added.
‘‘It has been a bonus for us and the local community to have him at the paper.’’