Gray’s Anatomy – Alice Cooper gets the Grunge treatment


Yes, it’s Friday again and to all The App Whisperer fans it means only one thing, Richard Gray’s brilliantly written humorous mobile photography column, Gray’s Anatomy. This week, Richard has been in quite a spooky mood and has written a great Halloween themed feature, take it away Richard… (forward by Joanne).


‘I’m not that keen on Halloween myself so hadn’t planned to blog about anything particularly goulish this week. But I went to take some photos of Alice Cooper’s Night of Fear gig at Wembley Arena for a magazine. And it resulted in this Halloween-themed blog: whooohaaah! (that was meant to sound scary). And a pleasant iPhoneography surprise.

There were about ten other photographers in the photo pit and during the four songs that we were allowed, I got about 300 shots. I reviewed what I’d got when I got home. Some nice ones here, some bad ones there. A particularly mean scowl, some nice gnashing of teeth, good one of Alice in his red-and-black top hat. Before sending off my selection of 20 or so images I checked a couple of the agencies and they already had a fair number from the gig. As I scrolled through mine, they looked remarkably similar to those of the other photographers’. Using our professional cameras, we’d all got some nice crisp shots. But I felt slightly under-whelmed by them. Alice has been around a while and we’ve seen lots of photos of him in his scary goth make-up. How about – I thought, putting on my iphoneographer’s hat – if I apped up one or two of them? Give some of them a bit of a goth treatment.

So I emailed myself a couple of the images, opened them on the iPhone, tweaked them a little and added a couple of grunge filters. Nothing fancy. Seemed appropriate for Alice and for Halloween. And I slipped two of the resulting images into the 20 that I sent to the magazine. And to my pleasant surprise, they chose one of them as their main photo to accompany their review, see here.

DSLR cameras are great at capturing reality increasingly faithfully. iPhone cameras can’t compete on faithful reproduction. What they’re good at is precisely the opposite: images that are very different from reality. We see reality all the time with our own eyes, so sometimes it gets a bit boring. Even in heavy goth make-up and a red-and-black top hat’.

With or without grunge? Which is the scarier?


© Richard Gray




© Richard Gray


Richard's mobile photography has been exhibited around the world and published in various magazines and on many websites. He launched the world's first live course in iPhone photography in early 2012 with Kensington and Chelsea College. He has given workshops with The Photographers' Gallery and British Journal of Photography. Sport England recently commissioned him to cover various of its Sportivate initiatives with the iPhone. A keen observer of this new photographic genre, his writing has been widely published (most notably in The Guardian) and he writes a blog (iphoggy-bloggy). With a big camera, he specialises in music photography ( and syndicates to Press Association (with both big and small cameras).