Saturday, February 13, 2016

Not From Around Here

If a photo falls in the wrong part of the forest, does it make a sound?

Not From Around Here


This was my favorite photo of the day. Unfortunately, he's not from our part of the state so he doesn't make the newspaper. That's Tyler Brooks from Daniel Boone Area High School in Birdsboro. He was warming up in the grass infield, doing some sprints and skipping around in preparation for the triple-jump.

I was covering the opening day of the state high school track and field championships at Shippensburg University. As I've mentioned a few times, in recent years I haven't shot much sports.

Thankfully Inquirer sports writer Keith Pompey, who was already covering early field events when I arrived, had gone through the program and gave me a cheat sheet with names - and the numbers even - of some boys and girls from our area who were expected to do well. Even with his help, I found myself visually overwhelmed, trying to switch between runners and jumpers.

I was waiting so shoot Methacton HS senior Carlton Lavong. He had carved an LJ and TJ into the side of his blond Mohawk haircut (left) signifying his long-jump and triple-jump events. He ended up breaking the triple-jump state-meet record in a preliminary heat. I missed it, as I was shooting the girl's long-jump final across the field. I did come running up just in time to get him reacting to the officials posting his jump - 50 feet, 5 inches.

Just like at the Stotesbury Regatta a few weeks ago - the last sporting event I covered - I ended up shooting non-action photos. As along the river, here I liked the colors of the athletes' tents and panned with the girls running in the 1600 meters. At the regatta it was reflections. I guess at my next sporting event I'll have to go with silhouettes.

Inquirer Staff Photographer
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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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