I have never been one to worry about technology.

A few years ago a colleague told me about shooting RAW. I’d avoided doing it because the images filled up my cards too quickly, and took up too much room on my laptop. Lazy reasons, I know.

But I tried, and as luck would have it, the decision turned out to most fortuitous a week later, when I covered an NCAA basketball selection Sunday party.

The room was so dark, I needed a flash, but I turned it off, and dialed down my shutter to capture the glow from all the players cell phones as they were taking selfies and pictures of each other.

As the time for the announcement neared, I cranked the shutter back up - but forgot to turn my flash back on.

The monitor on the back of my camera showed nothing of the split second the players reacted. Even the jpeg was too dark to make anything out.

But, when I corrected the exposure on the RAW file I could not believe I suddenly had an image suitable for publication. Faces and all:

I have kind of marveled at the reviews of camera and lenses that analyze test images or camera spec sheets.

This past week I was leaving after a stop at a (very clean, and accessible) public restroom (knowing their locations in the city is a skill as valuable as any I might have as a photographer).

As I started to walk the two blocks to my car, I looked ahead and saw kids climbing on a new public art sculpture installation I had not photographed since covering its installation just a month ago.

I was only carrying a single camera body with a 24-70mm lens (I was only making a pit stop, so no second body with my usual 70-200mm).

The sculpture was a full block away, too far to make a picture without a telephoto, but I ran ahead anyway, just to get past some distracting utility poles and a traffic stopped at the light.

I paused and made a few frames. Then ran ahead another 30 feet closer, making this picture:

On assignments for the newspaper, shooting full-frame and not cropping much, I could easily get by with a nothing fancy, basic 12 MP camera.

My current camera - a Nikon Z6II mirrorless SLR produces a 6048 × 4024 pixel image (24.34 MP file). For the newspaper I usually downsize the edited versions of photos to 3000 x 2000 pixels (17MB).

The picture I made from half a block away - the one at the very top here - is one of the largest enlargements, or greatest crops I’ve made since back in the day when I would reverse the column on my enlarger so I could project the negative and make my black and white print on the floor of the darkroom.

So I am grateful somebody sweated the specs to make a camera that could handle such a big blowup.

Since 1998, a black-and-white photo has appeared every Monday in staff photographer Tom Gralish’s “Scene Through the Lens” photo column in The Inquirer’s local news section. Here are the most recent, in color:

» SEE MORE: Archived columns and Twenty years of a photo column