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.

Mario Testino

tweet thumbnail
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

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

28 Jan 15
tweet thumbnail
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

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

25 Jan 15
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

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
tweet thumbnail
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

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

21 Jan 15
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

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

20 Jan 15
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

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
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

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
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

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

15 Jan 15
tweet thumbnail
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

Why not savour The Macallan with friends this #WhiskyWednesday? @Photoadams24 enjoyed our Select Oak... http://t.co/CZeIkDCkKk

14 Jan 15
tweet thumbnail
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

It’s #FineFoodFriday & we’re pairing Sienna with a chocolate pot & vanilla bean ice cream from @TheMillhousesa http://t.co/6ubGYWYXba

09 Jan 15
tweet thumbnail
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

This #WhiskyWednesday we’re savouring The Macallan ‘Infinitely’ cocktail, an elegant twist on a Manhattan http://t.co/qzxaKvBPMI

07 Jan 15
tweet thumbnail
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

Savour M in our nosing glass by @Lalique. Reply & @ mention a friend using #Mac12days for you both to win glasses http://t.co/LwLRwY8SIF

05 Jan 15
tweet thumbnail
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

It’s the start of a new week, in a brand new year, no better reason for a dram of Amber... http://t.co/wNvb6mVbF8

05 Jan 15
tweet thumbnail
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

Serve Ruby neat & savour the flavours! Reply & @ mention a friend using #Mac12days for you both to win our glasses http://t.co/bplWOFjYik

04 Jan 15
tweet thumbnail
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

Savour Old Gold cocktails in style. Reply & @ mention a friend using #Mac12days for you both to win our tumblers http://t.co/bawmNEKd0x

03 Jan 15
tweet thumbnail
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

Add a splash of water to release Fine Oak 21's flavours. Reply & @ mention a friend using #Mac12days to win glasses http://t.co/h6Xnj0lrfj

02 Jan 15
tweet thumbnail
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

Toast the New Year with 25 Year Old neat in M glasses.Reply & @ mention a friend using #Mac12days for you both to win http://t.co/hweJ7D4bhd

01 Jan 15
tweet thumbnail
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

Happy New Year! How will you serve up The Macallan to toast the New Year? http://t.co/jIz9ap214E

01 Jan 15
tweet thumbnail
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

For maximum chill serve Gold over ice ball. Reply & @ mention a friend using #Mac12days for you both to win tumblers http://t.co/uiCoCc06Uf

31 Dec 14
tweet thumbnail
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

Today, we’re raising a dram of our rich Ruby for #Hogmanay... Sláinte! http://t.co/DSu9iw0HeB

31 Dec 14
tweet thumbnail
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

Nose & taste sumptuous Sienna. Reply & @ mention a friend using #Mac12days for you both to win a nosing glass http://t.co/1dftMsuRzo

30 Dec 14

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...

The Macallan’s characters captured

The Straits Adventure

Meeting Elliott Erwitt by Leica’s Robin Sinha

Elliott Erwitt brings his Great Scottish Adventure to Mexico

Sean Lee-Davies captures the character of Hong Kong

Vladimir Vyatkin captures the character of Russia

The Macallan Masters of Photography: Elliott Erwitt Edition UK launch

The Macallan Masters of Photography: Elliott Erwitt Edition LA launch

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