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 perfectly poured with MR PORTER

The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

The 2015 Ultimate Spirits Challenge rated our exquisite Rare Cask as ‘Extraordinary’... http://t.co/1Mg2ISRvi1

26 Mar 15
tweet thumbnail
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

Feast your eyes on our delectable cocktails perfectly poured in partnership with @MRPORTERLIVE http://t.co/7LshGImpGE http://t.co/sdUBVVwDFS

26 Mar 15
tweet thumbnail
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

Maximum chill, minimum dilution - guaranteed with our ice ball maker. Purchase yours at http://t.co/GPyHee4LtJ http://t.co/j2gxW0Kwuq

25 Mar 15
tweet thumbnail
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

As today marks #WorldWaterDay, we raise a dram of @LALIQUE Cire Perdue to our friends @charitywater... http://t.co/oiD7YW7EP3

22 Mar 15
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

To celebrate @Spirit_Speyside festival we've partnered with @angelshareglass to create The Macallan whisky angel http://t.co/rIvplXnXG1

20 Mar 15
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

To celebrate @Spirit_Speyside festival we've partnered with @Angelsshareglass to create The Macallan whisky angel http://t.co/rIvplXnXG1

20 Mar 15
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

#HappyBirthday to our friend @JosepPituRoca! Discover how you can celebrate with him at our Ultimate Dinner... http://t.co/MC4l5YkAsT

19 Mar 15
tweet thumbnail
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

¡Feliz Día del Padre, amigos! Brindemos con una copa de The Macallan M #DiaDelPadre http://t.co/bAYpeMNXlW

19 Mar 15
tweet thumbnail
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

Today, we're raising a dram of our rich Ruby to say #HappyMothersDay - Sláinte! http://t.co/5HdmSWlOMd

15 Mar 15
tweet thumbnail
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

This is our idea of the perfect whisky & wardrobe pairing; Gold, @HugoBoss gloves, scarf & a @Borsalino_World fedora! http://t.co/kqq47b3xR0

13 Mar 15
tweet thumbnail
The Macallan twitter avatar

V&A

@V_and_A

RT @V_and_A: Preparations begin for Alexander @WorldMcQueen #SavageBeauty Fashion Gala, presented by @AmexUK @KeringGroup http://t.co/9s9jM

12 Mar 15
tweet thumbnail
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

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
tweet thumbnail
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

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
tweet thumbnail
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

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

27 Feb 15
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

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

26 Feb 15
tweet thumbnail
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

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
tweet thumbnail
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

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

20 Feb 15
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

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

19 Feb 15
tweet thumbnail
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

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

18 Feb 15
tweet thumbnail
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

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

14 Feb 15
The Macallan twitter avatar

The Macallan

@the_macallan

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

13 Feb 15

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...

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

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