Saturday, April 25, 2015

POSTED: Sunday, July 6, 2014, 6:45 AM

What a weekend. On Independence Day I covered parades in Philadelphia and New Jersey, then early Saturday, I was awakened with a phone call: "We had a fatal fire overnight. Four kids killed. Need you to get there."

Tom Gralish @ 6:45 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Monday, June 23, 2014, 8:51 AM


I was asked "How did you take that picture?"  a few times this past week.

Tom Gralish @ 8:51 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Monday, April 7, 2014, 1:50 AM

This blog was born with the express purpose of documenting a series of weekly road trips I took, during the summer of 2007, leaving on a different highway out of Philadelphia to simply enjoy and photograph the journey. To be honest, I was just trying to replicate a wonderful road trip I made in 2002 retracing the route of Lewis and Clark in the west (and here in Philadelphia).

Nowadays, my trips are mostly just drives between assignments, but like lots of people on real Road Trips, I like to collect travel mementos. Once it was just "collecting" the right to say "I've been to all fifty states." I completed that goal with Maine in 1984 (I was covering the New Hampshire Primary and in Portsmouth, for a campaign rally, so I drove across the border to Kittery for lunch).

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POSTED: Thursday, March 27, 2014, 2:31 AM

As predicted, we did get snow again yesterday. And as I suspected, it started to fall, not in the morning before my shift, but in the evening as I was working into the night.  I was finishing up an assignment in the Northwest as the snow flurries began, so figured I would drive down Ridge Avenue through Roxborough hoping to see something along the way back toward Center City. I didn't.


It just wasn't coming down hard enough to photograph, and with the diffused lighting of a cloudy day at twilight, not enough contrast to see the snowflakes.

Tom Gralish @ 2:31 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Monday, March 24, 2014, 11:37 PM

Forecasters are saying snow coming tomorrow, five days after spring arrived.

It will be the 15th day this winter with at least 1 inch of snow. We tied a record (for second most) at 14 days with the winter of 1898-99. 

Tom Gralish @ 11:37 PM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Tuesday, December 31, 2013, 5:08 AM

Okay, so I know you're not supposed to begin any letter, email, correspondence, intercommunication, note, dispatch, card.. or blog post with the phrase, "sorry I didn't write earlier." 

It has been a while. But here, included in a gallery of my favorite photos of the year 2013 are many of the photos I might have talked about. If I had posted earlier.

Tom Gralish @ 5:08 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Wednesday, August 21, 2013, 10:56 AM

The iconic 20-foot high statue of Benjamin Franklin inside the rotunda of the Franklin Institute gets a special protective polyethylene cover.

Ben is actually the Benjamin Franklin National Memorial, as designated by the United States Congress in 1972 as the official national memorial to Franklin. It was sculpted by James Earle Fraser, and weighs 30 tons, sitting on a 92-ton pedestal of white Seravezza marble. Originally opened in 1938, the rotunda was designed by architect John T. Windrim and modeled after the Pantheon in Rome.

Tom Gralish @ 10:56 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
POSTED: Monday, August 12, 2013, 8:00 AM
So what is that catches a photographer's eye? That question is one of the things that makes photography so personal. What we see is as much a part of an individual photographer's style as how we see; which lens do we use, our choice of depth of field, use of a tripod or the standing on a chair, bending our knees, or using a fast or slow shutter speed. What makes something call our attention, cause us to lift a camera to our eye? Is it the faces of people? Shadow and light, scenery, animals, cars? Long before we even develop a style of shooting, before we even become photographers, we have already "decided" what we like to point at. 
That's what makes each of us go in our own direction. We become studio or nature or sports shooters, antique farm equipment photographers, or closeup focusers. 
But even when we've drifted into a category, say photojournalism, each of us still notice some things that others completely ignore. 

What is it that catches a photographer's eye? That question is one of the things that makes photography so personal.

Tom Gralish @ 8:00 AM  Permalink | 0 comments
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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