Sunday, March 29, 2015

It's News to Me

Is it news when snow falls in the winter?

It's News to Me

Last winter's unprecedented amount of snow was really big news. The winter of 2009-10's total of 78.7 inches was the snowiest season ever in Philadelphia, beating the old record by over a foot.

And while this year we probably won't come close to that, we have already set a new record for snow in back-to-back seasons. According to the Inquirer's weather guy, Tony Wood, that two-season total could even top the 100-inch mark before spring – unprecedented in the 137-year period of record.

But is it news every time it snows now?

I made the three photos above while pursuing that thought. I was out in the early morning on assignment to “cover” the overnight snowfall when I found a jogger along the Cooper River in Pennsauken. He was accommodating – by running in circles around the track instead of along the river path – so as a photographer who often needs two or three tries to get it right, I was able to shoot a variety of views of the scene with fresh snow.

In Philadelphia and South Jersey, it only amounted to about an inch (see the benches above). In the previous “storms,” I’d tried to shoot drivers who left home failing to clear their windshields. Not enough snow this time to make a picture, but...

...meanwhile, out in those "northern and western suburbs" we hear about all the time on radio weather reports, they ended up with 2-4 inches, and my fellow photographer Clem Murray nailed it with a perfectly cleared windshield snow peep hole while driving in West Chester...

Tom Gralish Inquirer Staff Photographer
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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