Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Life goes on

Getting back a sense of normalcy was important after the Boston Marathon bombings.

Life goes on

Just as after Columbine, 9-11, Oklahoma City, Sandy Hook Sandy Hook Elementary, or Aurora, getting back a sense of normalcy was important after the Boston Marathon bombings. Continuing to do what we do every day gives us a sense of security after those terrible things happen to people while doing just that: going to school, working in a high rise building, dropping kids off at daycare, seeing a movie, or going to watch friends and family run in a race.

I took a lot of comfort this week in photographing the day to day happenings at schools, senior centers, and neighborhoods.

Finally, take a read of Ken Jarecke's excellent commentary on the still enduring power of the still image when captured by a professional visual journalist. He talks about the first images taken by Boston Globe staff photographer John Tlumacki of the fallen runner with Boston cops reacting right behind him. Ken describes how easy it is for the untrained citizen journalist to miss everything using as an example, the endlessly-shown on television video of the marathon finish line immediately after the first bomb goes off: "The video fails on most levels. but most strikingly when it pans away from the scene so perfectly captured by Tlumacki and instead tilts skyward at smoke and broken windows. The video shows us little of what’s happening at street level." One thing the video does show, for a fraction of a second anyway, is Tlumacki running up taking pictures (we also see him later in the video helping pull the barricades on the sidewalk out of the way for arriving first responders).

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 tgralish@phillynews.com.

Tom Gralish Inquirer Staff Photographer
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