This is the moment.
Make it last.

Learn More

Albert is an extraordinary master craftsman

Notes of a photographic journey in Spain, from Jerez to Santander

We challenged ourselves to make The Macallan Masters of Photography Edition 2 quite different from the Rankin Edition, and so we were delighted to give this project to Albert Watson to be shot in a very filmic way with a fine art dimension.

Following the journey of our exceptional oak casks from the cool forests of northern Spain, to the baking heat of our cooperage in Jerez, then to the magnificence of the Highlands of Scotland, ending up at the holy grail that is The Macallan Estate was always going to be a challenge; but telling an art noire story of discovery and effectively shooting an exhibition of fine art prints has been mind bogglingly difficult.

Arriving in Jerez last Sunday with a crew of 14 plus 27 equipment cases was already a logistical challenge, but each location had its own issues to be overcome.

Albert is an extraordinary master craftsman, with an uncanny, rapid and decisive eye for a shot, but most importantly the skill to almost paint with light that is a forgotten art. As we sped around the Spanish countryside with what was effectively a studio to be packed and unpacked at each location, it was a marvel to see the speed and precision at which he worked.

The cooperage, with its open fires and at times fog of sawdust and wood shavings, all in an outside temperature of 41 degrees, required supreme concentration and resolve from the sweat stained crew and models to get the desired result. All with the mantra of Albert looking for singular shots and not just shooting documentary footage.

The attempt to find vineyard locations was a physical challenge of dusty roads, furnace-like heat and disappointment, as our preferred location had dug up its vines two weeks before, rendering it useless. Ultimately, late in the afternoon on the second day we drove over a hill to see the perfect location and gorgeous light, and suddenly everything fell into place.

The contrast of asking the local zoo and botanical park to open up in the early morning, so that we could shoot the perfect tree, next to the White Tiger and peacock enclosures added an almost surreal and comic element to the proceedings.

Running out of time and searching determinedly with this vigorous and indefatigable genius for a moody shot in the cool, dark bodegas of Gonzalez Byass required stamina and skill to avoid the early summer tourists in our way. Once discovered, the ability to set up a romantic and cinematic shot with our hero and heroine, lit with Rembrandt like skill was astonishing.

The skilful management of a big crew, to keep their energy up and to get them on their game in seconds to execute a precise fine art shot was a skill in itself.

All the time the self imposed pressure was on our behind the scene film crew and me to tell the story of this remarkable undertaking in a way that no one has ever done before. Using real time documentary by producing a video blog every 2 days, a gallery of photographs daily and also to share via Twitter and audioboo sound bites of the action and tying it all together in a live gps map resulted in lots of action but little sleep.

The north of Spain, in the form of Santander, saw a cooler environment with a richness of textures and people but the problem of how to light a large dark sawmill and make it interesting. Glorious forest vistas were selected but then disaster as a cold weather front from the Atlantic brought leaden skies and chilling drizzle.

We returned the next day to a different climate from the baking heat of southern Spain. It took all of Albert's years of skill, in lighting, composition and perspective to escape with the bare minimum of shots needed for this part of our photographic journey.

And so, after six months planning, the Spanish leg of our trip is over and we have enough shots to tell the story of our art noire, evocative road trip and, just as importantly, the precious fine art shots for our exhibition.

Then the long journey from Santander to Elgin, arriving exhausted at 1am but up with the lark to see what the Scottish part of our journey brings. Keep reading to find out.

The Macallan Residence

tweet thumbnail
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

#Sneaker fans; our final obsessive is one for you, head to our Instagram to learn more https://t.co/LOhjAEgLu8 https://t.co/u3jbL5ikUV

27 Jun 16
tweet thumbnail
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

Calling all #Leica fans: Visit our Instagram to see the latest in our series on #Obsessions https://t.co/jGp1wverbZ https://t.co/4Jxm3bTbWB

22 Jun 16
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

Good news: Whisky emoji has launched Bad news: It's not on your phone yet Good news: Will have to stick with the real thing for now

22 Jun 16
tweet thumbnail
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

Dads: Our suggested activity for you this #FathersDay https://t.co/FFNlfB8mLe

19 Jun 16
tweet thumbnail
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

As obsessed with #vinyl as you are with #whisky? You should check our Instagram this week https://t.co/V18mNfo1yT https://t.co/t7UV1xnFgF

16 Jun 16
tweet thumbnail
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

Cheers to Chef’s Choice Award winner, Joan Roca & the team at @CanRocaCeller, named in the #Worlds50Best Restaurants https://t.co/KL7myPwltN

14 Jun 16
tweet thumbnail
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

#FathersDay is just one week away. We asked our Head of Education @DarylHaldane what the day means to him https://t.co/OxQcgY6k4a

12 Jun 16
tweet thumbnail
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

Thanks to our fans who shared q's for Charlene Dawes. Make sure to check out her bar Angel's Share when in #HongKong https://t.co/4QItjGRrcP

10 Jun 16
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

Macallan 12 YO Fine Oak is matured in sherry & bourbon casks - a great combination, perfect for beginners – CD https://t.co/0Xak7dSlII

10 Jun 16
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

I'd suggest Macallan Estate Reserve. Deep flavours from sherry hogshead casks reminiscent of Sherry Oak 18 YO – CD https://t.co/u3W0HQi9pJ

10 Jun 16
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

I started drinking whisky, then collecting, visited Scotland twice & learned the history behind each distillery - CD https://t.co/lnaSjcst32

09 Jun 16
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

I'd suggest Macallan 12 Sherry Oak, 18 SO, then a 15 Fine Oak. You can compare the influence of each cask & age – CD https://t.co/J2dDuWSKyc

08 Jun 16
tweet thumbnail
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

#Whisky obsessive Charlene Dawes is here to answer your questions this week. Tag your q's #AskCharlene https://t.co/zineWtIY6v

06 Jun 16
tweet thumbnail
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

Want to learn more about #whisky? Charlene Dawes went from whisky fan to bar owner. Tweet your q's to #AskCharlene https://t.co/fqKuvzgNC5

04 Jun 16
tweet thumbnail
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

We’re in Tel Aviv for this week’s #TheToast. Bar Shira from @imperialcocktailbar shows us his ‘Stormy Old Fashioned' https://t.co/QXW43pDKFq

03 Jun 16
tweet thumbnail
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

The incredible whisky collections just keep on coming. Here's one from @tdm.be on Instagram #Obsessions https://t.co/L9oBXqIpLL

02 Jun 16
tweet thumbnail
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

#PeerlessSpirit is officially unveiled in Hong Kong tonight. Here's a sneak peak inside the event https://t.co/odO9YXZXRp

01 Jun 16
tweet thumbnail
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

Artist @chidywayne turns his skill to capturing #PeerlessSpirit - what do you think? https://t.co/2w1jiNdiE1

30 May 16

Roja Dove

The Macallan perfectly poured with MR PORTER

Mario Testino

Dram Fine Food

The Macallan glass by Lalique

The Masters of Photography: Mario Testino Edition

Introducing The 1824 Masters Series

EXPANSION AT THE HOME OF THE MACALLAN

The Macallan Lifestyle Lounge Launches in Harrods

Jordi Roca

Josep Roca

Joan Roca

Behind the scenes at El Celler De Can Roca

The Winners

El Celler de Can Roca

The Shortlist

The Macallan Attends SXSWi

Masters of Photography: Master Class

The Macallan’s characters captured continued...

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

By entering our website you agree to our
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

 

 

Please drink responsibly.

The Macallan