Gray’s Anatomy – Chop off Grandad’s head for Christmas

It’s Friday again and that means it’s time for Richard Gray’s, Gray’s Anatomy column. This week Richard fill us with festive cheer and gives some great tips on how to survive it all, don’t miss this. (Foreword by Joanne Carter).



“Are you secretly not looking forward to watching Morecambe and Wise this Christmas? Apologies to our non-UK readers, but suffice to say, it’s a show from the 70s shown every Christmas Day in the UK which it is against the law not to watch. But provided you are in the same room as a television showing the show, you are technically within the law. And so you are legally free to fiddle around with whatever useless gadget you received for Christmas – or with a photo app on your iPhone!

So here are three mobile photo tricks that might help to ease the boredom and impress your snooty cousins over the festive period:

1) Headless grandad. Elements required: Juxtaposer, paper hat, grandad. Take a photo of grandad with outstretched hands with paper hat on and then use Juxtaposer to chop off his head and paste it onto his hands. Ask him to give a demonic cackle for effect. Basic steps: 1) Take photo of grandad as indicated above; 2) take a photo of the same scene without grandad; 3) Make a stamp in Juxtaposer from grandad’s demonic head in photo 1; 4) Open photo 2 as your base image, and photo 1 on top, delete grandad’s head. Save; 5) In new session, open photo from 4, and place demonic head stamp, ideally enlarged, on grandad’s hands. Guaranteed to get a chuckle from anyone, even Auntie Maud. Alternative: graft turkey onto grandad’s headless body.

2) Action! Elements required: Action Shot, excitable teenager, new toy providing movement (eg skateboard, roller blades, bike). Go outside (good excuse to escape the sauna-like environment of the overly-centrally-heated family home) and ask your teenager to skateboard/roller-blade/cycle on the road in front of you (be sure to check for traffic – accidental fatalities are not the best on Christmas Day). The instructions on Action Shot are pretty easy. Resulting image is sure to ellicit a “That’s so sick, uncle/auntie/mum/dad/grandad/grandma!” from your teenager.

3) The identical triplets trick. Elements required: Blender, one small child, empty dining room. After Mum has cleared the dining room and retired to her bedroom exhausted and slightly resentful that no-one helped, take your small child and ask it to pose in three different non-overlapping places in the room, being careful to make sure the camera is in exactly the same position for each shot. Ideally one shot should be with the child standing precariously on the dining table (tell them, it’s OK, it’s for art) and one with their face up close to the camera, again a demonic expression is good. Steps: 1) open photo 1 on left and photo 2 on right; move slider to far right; 2) delete all of photo 2 apart from the small child; save; 3) repeat steps with photo from step 2 and photo 3.

A very Merry Christmas to all Gray’s Anatomy readers – see you in the new year!”



© Richard Gray – ‘The triplets trick: sure to brighten up the dullest Christmas’

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).