Getting the right locations and then executing truly original shots
Final notes on a photographic journey from Santander to Speyside
This week saw the conclusion on the shooting of the Albert Watson edition for The Macallan Masters of Photography. Visit this post to view all our video diary short and our flickr gallery to see the making-of stills.
After a 15 hour journey from Santander to Elgin, shooting began at a grey and drizzly Macallan Estate last Monday. First on the agenda was a 2 hour recce so that Albert could use his gimlet eye to meet the challenge of creating images with a real point of difference to exhibition quality.
First stop was still house 1 for a repeat image shot of our stills, followed by a stunning image of our spirit stills as if they were a plate in a book, and finally evocative shots of our talent in situ.
Getting the right locations and then executing truly original shots was a real challenge but a dunnage warehouse, exquisite lighting and some Amber nectar enabled him to work his magic for the next image. A breathtakingly moody image in the marrying warehouse was followed by some extraordinary shots of Easter Elchies house in a wild and gothic form.
Then the ultimate challenge: a 2 hour and excruciatingly difficult still life in our Oak Hall, with homage to Josef Sudek that was literally a pain in the neck for our leading lady. Finally at 9.30 it was a 'wrap' and the team, hungry had a restaurateur screaming at us to get there before the chef exited!
The next day at The Macallan saw dense cloud and heavy rain, but Albert battled on with platinum print standard and hauntingly beautiful shots of the Estate. The scenic shot was tricky, involving two sturdy men from the filling store manhandling a sherry butt over a barbed wire fence into a field. Stunning vintage bottle still lives, portraits and artefacts saw us close off The Macallan Estate shooting. Unfortunately I had to head South for a meeting with our American partners and could play no part in the final two days of the shoot.
My men on the ground tell me that shooting in Mallaig and Glenfinnan produced some of the most evocative shots of the Highlands possible, and saw Albert at his happiest.
So, although the art and limited edition outcome will not see the light of day until later this year we are very proud of what we have achieved for The Macallan so far: A unique set of 72 images that will tell our secrets through a portfolio shot by one of the best photographers ever, available to be bought and enjoyed by you, our drinkers.
In addition, we have shared with you the process of The Macallan in a transparent way that no other drinks brand has ever done before. Over 5,000 of you have viewed our 6 video diary clips, countless others have enjoyed the pictures and my twitter/audioboo reporting. You can even go and recreate the shoot yourself using the google map on our blog.
Above all, we will have a superb limited edition bottling available that is different from but hopefully as successful as the Rankin Edition.
Ken Grier, Director of Malts