Saturday, November 28, 2015

Archive: March, 2009

POSTED: Monday, March 30, 2009, 6:18 AM

 My bio blurb on the right says I do self-generated feature photos. Every once in a while someone asks me, “what does that mean?”  At newspapers that usually means going out in search of a picture that can break up all the grey space on the pages – on a slow news day.  It traditionally means finding kids playing in a park, joggers running by a river, or anyone outside dealing with heat, cold, wind, rain, or snow. 

This past week, I was called on to “find something” for the local section of the paper. I took three different paths on each of the three days I went looking, with three different photo results.

POSTED: Tuesday, March 17, 2009, 6:54 AM

Kindergartners at the J. Hampton Moore School in the Northeast wait on stage to practice their St. Patrick's Day Irish dance program. Click here or on the picture for a gallery of more photos.

POSTED: Monday, March 16, 2009, 11:24 PM

A federal jury finds Vincent J. Fumo to be a corrupt politician who abused his power to enrich himself.  The former state senator, a feared and admired power in Philadelphia and Harrisburg politics for decades, could end up with a prison term of more than 10 years. Click on the photo for a slide show of Inquirer and Daily News photos from outside the federal courthouse Monday.

POSTED: Wednesday, March 4, 2009, 8:17 AM

British Transport Police Constables patrolled 30th Street Station Tuesday, working with Amtrak Police as part of an exchange of counterterrorism best practices and security tactics between Britian and the United States.

During a break, the Brits wanted a spot of coffee. Unfortunately for their hosts, the Bobbies didn't head to Au Bon Pain or Cosi - but to the Dunkin' Donuts. The good natured Amtrak Police Officers didn't want to cause an international incident in front of the cameras - mine and AP photographer Matt Rourke's - so they politely followed their guests toward the Cop Photo Op.

While we couldn't resist photographing the chagrined officers, we did promise not to use their names.

Click here or on the photo for a slide show of more of their transatlantic safety and security session.

As the Daily Mail in London quipped, when British officers show their American colleagues around London, presumably in the spirit of cultural exchange, they'll also start the day with some essential English fried cuisine - a bacon sarnie or a fry-up.

POSTED: Wednesday, March 4, 2009, 2:38 AM

Michael Viola was one of the corps already at the Inquirer when Gary Haynes hired a dozen young weaned-on-35mm photographers as the newspaper expanded in the early 1980's. Mike was easily the most universally loved and respected member of this veteran group of shooters who learned to take a key photo with a single 4x5 negative instead of by the whir of a motor drive. We were all awed by his ability - and his impeccable dress - but it was his enthusiasm for the daily work of a photojournalist that inspires many of us to this day.

Mr. Viola retired in 1988, and this is one of his most memorable weather front-page news photos. Mike made it in his own Manayunk neighborhood during a blizzard in February of 1978.

About this blog

Tom Gralish is a general assignment photographer at The Inquirer, concentrating on local news and self-generated feature photos.

He has been at the paper since 1983, photographing everything from revolution in the Philippines to George W. Bush’s road to the White House to homeless people living on the street right outside his newspaper's front door. For his photo essay on Philadelphia’s homeless, he was awarded both the Pulitzer Prize and the Robert F. Kennedy Award.

His weekly newspaper column, "Scene Through the Lens," takes a look at Philadelphia's urban landscape.

Gralish, along with Inquirer colleague and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Michael Vitez, spent a year visiting the Philadelphia Museum of Art to capture the stories and photos of "Rocky runners" who come from all over the world to climb the steps - just as Sylvester Stallone did in the Academy Award winning film, Rocky. Their book, Rocky Stories: Tales of Love, Hope and Happiness at America’s Most Famous Steps, was published in November 2006.

Reach Tom at

Tom Gralish Inquirer Staff Photographer
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