Great pix, amazing photogs & intriguing stories: Mark Seliger’s “Capture”
Funny cat vids, a seemingly infinite number of SNL clips and annoying pop-up ads may have you wondering at times, “Is this whole YouTube thing really worth my time?” Watch even a single episode of “Capture” with host Mark Seliger, though, and your answer can’t be anything other than a resounding “Hell yeah, this is why they invented the Net!”
For the past several years superstar photog Seliger has been mounting what has to be one of the most insightful looks into photography that anyone’s attempted. The fact that “Capture” is on YouTube, of course, means you’ll have to resist the urge to click over to a Johnny Carson clip, but be strong and resist the temptation because this is really, REALLY worth it.
The premise is simple: Seliger invites an A-list professional photographer and a celebrity amateur into his studio for a friendly chat. It’s extremely unpretentious: the set almost makes the production values of “Between Two Ferns” look extravagant by comparison. And, while no one’s going to confuse Mark Seliger with Charlie Rose or Bill Moyers, he’s a thoroughly competent host who puts his guests at ease with absolutely no I’m-a-photography-big-shot airs whatsoever. The vibe is extremely collegial…just three people who happen to love photography (and do it very well!) sitting around talking about what they do and why they do it.
It’s fascinating to hear Bob Gruen talk about how he created the iconic image of John Lennon wearing the “New York City” T-shirt, or Kevin Bacon describe being on the road with his rock band and the photo opportunities these trips create. I love Albert Watson because he’s such a character but he’s also a walking (or, in this case sitting) treasure trove of stories about life as a big-league professional shooter. And who wouldn’t want to hear Platon describe the serendipitous circumstances surrounding his portrait session with Muammar Gaddafi at the U.N.?
This is right up my alley! I am the “inside baseball” guy who loves concert videos that include all that “making of” bonus material. Yeah, I love the show…but what went on behind the show? What makes the show possible? And what the heck are some of those songs about, anyhow?
Same with “Capture.” If you love photography, this is great stuff and absolutely must-see TV. There are currently a dozen episodes of “Capture” online, so start watching…and enjoy!