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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.

Enjoy!

Ken Grier, Director of Malts

Mario Testino

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What better way to start the weekend than with a dram of The Macallan? Which fine single malt will you pick? http://t.co/fDDVyqZqJc

06 Mar 15
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With notes of dried fruits and sweet toffee, our 12 Years Old Sherry Oak is one to be savoured by the fire… http://t.co/mgEJejUbDi

05 Mar 15
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With hints of oranges and apples, our Sienna pairs perfectly with lobster tropical salad this #FineFoodFriday... http://t.co/GKiwue0tqk

27 Feb 15
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Join @AmericanPhoto for a behind the scenes look at our specially created #MacallanMasters @MarioTestino Edition... http://t.co/wCF3fqRcYk

26 Feb 15
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Today we dedicate #WhiskyWednesday to @GWR 'most expensive whisky ever sold at auction', The Macallan M 6-litre... http://t.co/nn9weuLvQ6

25 Feb 15
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This #FineFoodFriday we've paired our rich Ruby with pork loin, Angolian vegetables and old mustard sauce... http://t.co/aKRlf9T89X

20 Feb 15
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Happy #ChineseNewYear! @MaryinVancity has all the inspiration you need to celebrate with The Macallan http://t.co/x0rh8JjmS8

19 Feb 15
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Happy #WhiskyWednesday! Today we focus on our sophisticated Fine Oak collection. Which expression is your favourite? http://t.co/bUFCMX8qFe

18 Feb 15
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#HappyValentinesDay Macallan fans! Now this is our idea of the perfect pair...Photo via @_Bjornus http://t.co/qIVT8bLcLC

14 Feb 15
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.@Spirit_Speyside tickets are selling in record breaking time, find out more about our coveted tours here: http://t.co/mGj5JWzywW

13 Feb 15
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Looking for Valentine's Day inspiration? Our aroma candles, created with @RojaDove, are perfect for your loved one... http://t.co/RAUMWA1Mhu

12 Feb 15
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Our 12 Years Old was included in @drinkmemag's top 10 whiskies of 2014. Which Macallan dram was your favourite? http://t.co/tOBBJOfbKp

06 Feb 15
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Journey through our dark & complex whiskies within our 1824 Masters Series with @RobbReport http://t.co/vUbjWUVLir http://t.co/JrpGBlM6Vm

05 Feb 15
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This #WhiskyWednesday we're toasting our perfectly crafted M, created from the rarest whiskies at our distillery... http://t.co/RqirLtqqVH

04 Feb 15
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This #FilmFriday, join us as we look back at the glamourous #MacallanMasters @MarioTestino launch in NYC http://t.co/d04gyaOPUd

30 Jan 15
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'Catch it while you can'. Discover our #MacallanMasters of Photography:@MarioTestino edition via @Forbes http://t.co/1Fnv7wMcbT

29 Jan 15
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With a rush of ginger and nutmeg, we’re serving up the rich Macallan Ruby this #WhiskyWednesday... http://t.co/bBY0iClLfw

28 Jan 15
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Happy #BurnsNight! What better way to celebrate than with a dram of Scotland’s very own #TheMacallan... http://t.co/IdpW9oo9d6

25 Jan 15
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Join @GiveTruly as they sit down with Ken Grier to find out more about the upcoming Ultimate Dinner @CanRocaCeller: http://t.co/eTHkQaPSrF

22 Jan 15
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We’re appreciating our deliciously smooth 12 Years Old this #WhiskyWednesday. Which Macallan dram are you savouring? http://t.co/deNBMrWXc3

21 Jan 15
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Congratulations @derekmcnulty & @chrisweston, you have both won a pair of VIP tickets to @LondonArtFair. Please DM us your email address

20 Jan 15
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We'll be @LondonArtFair, to celebrate we’re offering 2 followers the chance to win 2 VIP tickets. RT to win [UK ONLY] http://t.co/xTdBm3lkkx

19 Jan 15
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Join @TimeforWhisky for an inside look at the Hong Kong launch of our Masters of Photography @MarioTestino edition http://t.co/YjjsZcmLQH

16 Jan 15
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Today, we invite you to ‘Meet the Master’ behind the lens of #MacallanMasters of Photography 5, @MarioTestino: http://t.co/5A1s5Lff4r

15 Jan 15

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Explore the Macallan I am of legal drinking age in my country

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