Watching 'Capture' with Mark Seliger

Anyone out there seen the Reserve Channel on YouTube? It's pretty good, sort of like an American BBC4, only not quite as good, obviously. It has low-budget web friendly shows like going fishing expedition in Louisianna with Bunk from The Wire, which is obviously excellent given actor Wendell Pierce's high levels of awesome.

But the main thing is that it has a series called 'Capture' with Mark Seliger, a pretty renowned photographer for Vanity Fair. It's kind of a chat show on the subject of photography and each week Seliger swaps stories with two guests. On one side sits a pretty big photographer; a few examples thus far being Martin Schoeller, Platon and Ed Keating. (The show generally keeps a healthy mix of portrait photographers, war reporters, social-documentarians, etc.)

The other guest - and here's the gimmick - is a celebrity genuinely keen on photography. They're usually actors, but one outsider was Lauren Bush. (Yes, of that Bush family.) Their level of work varies but all of them show a sincere enthusiasm for the medium. Among the other guests number Matthew Modine, Kevin Bacon, Thomas Haden Church, Alan Cumming and rather wonderfully Aaron Eckhart, whose social documentary photographs are genuinely compelling.

It's a laid back show, revolving around amusing annecdotes and inspirational origin stories and although it can be a little too hip at times, the slow-burning amiable exchange is unforced and engaging. And unlike 90% of photography related stuff on the net it's about vision rather than gear, which earns bonus points from me. Each episode clocks in at 25 minutes, and frankly it could easily do with being a smidgeon longer as Seliger tends to finish episodes rather abruptly with a random question round, which sadly proves rarely illuminating.

Still, it's well worth a watch and its pretty cool seeing some great actors talk about being on the other side of a camera. Watch it so you'll be around for the inevitable Jeff Bridges installment - a great actor who's getting increasingly known for the power of his photographs too.

 Check out my favourite installment thus far, being a double whammy of excellence with Peter van Agtmael and Aaron Eckhart...