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The Macallan Masters of Photography

Meeting Elliott Erwitt by Leica’s Robin Sinha

Leica Akademie Tutor, Robin Sinha shares his account of meeting Elliott Erwitt, the world’s most influential living photographer and reflects on his chance to capture his icon’s character...

 "On hearing Elliott Erwitt's name muttered in a conversation, my ears suddenly pricked up. It seems like a very long time ago that I first came across his work while studying for my photography degree. Back then, I never would have believed that one day I would be taking this iconic photographer's portrait. 

 News of Elliott Erwitt visiting the Leica Store Mayfair for a special event with The Macallan was met with huge excitement and disbelief: 'So Elliott Erwitt, the legendary Magnum photographer who worked alongside Henri Cartier-Bresson (often cited as the father of photojournalism), will ACTUALLY, PHYSICALLY be coming to the Leica Store Mayfair?!?'  Working as the Leica Mayfair Akademie Tutor, I was asked whether I would be available to take some photographs of the special event and perhaps take a portrait of Elliott himself. I didn't have to be asked twice! 

 On the day of the event, I arrived at the Akademie just after 2pm. There was already a queue of journalists forming at the door. Clara, a Leica colleague, whispered, "He's in there", pointing to the main Akademie room. I unsubtly shuffled past the door and, sure enough, Elliott was in there munching on some fruit. The team from The Macallan warned that he was rather tired after travelling from Paris, and that there may not be an opportunity to take a portrait. Remaining ever hopeful, the adjacent studio was set up. After Elliott had finished his interviews, he stood up, wrapped his scarf around his neck and started heading towards the door. My heart sank before one of The Macallan team swiftly asked, 'Would you mind posing for a couple of quick photos?’ to which Elliott replied, 'Sure, why not?!'. Elliott was in good spirits and was happy to see me using a Leica! I had chosen to shoot with the Leica S as its medium format qualities would ensure top-notch resolution. My one hope was that I could capture his sense of humour. 

 The evening event, held in the Leica Studio-S, featured a private view of Elliott's photographs shot for the 'Masters of Photography' project. I had been tasked with documenting the event while sporadically e-mailing off photos for live uploads. For this job, I opted to shoot with the Leica M, following in the footsteps of Elliott and Henri themselves! Its silent and discreet nature made it ideal for weaving through the crowd and picking off shots of guests enjoying The Macallan's exquisite refreshments. Towards the end of the night, I managed to have a few words with Elliott and he happily agreed to sign my book. A fantastic end to an unforgettable day. 

The Leica Akademie operates internationally offering a unique collection of educational workshops that inspire creativity and strengthen photographic skills. Open to photographers of all levels, you can choose one-on-one sessions or intimate group workshops. 

 Feeling inspired by Robin? Grab your camera, capture the character of your land and enter our Masters of Photography competition.  Why not reward yourself with ‘The Elliott’ cocktail? In a whisky tumbler simply stir in The Macallan Amber with 20ml of Bols Dry Orange and a dash of barrel aged bitters and enjoy.

In addition to the United Kingdom, Leica Akademies can be found in Australia, North America, Russia and Southeast Asia. Further locations will be announced soon.

For more information, please visit:

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How would you drink #DoubleCask 12 Years Old?

16 Sep 16
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Notes of vanilla from American oak combined with rich fruit tones of European oak casks - welcome #DoubleCask 12 YO https://t.co/7lLfBGAJFm

14 Sep 16
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Why not try making the The Sherry Julep? Oloroso Sherry, maple & mint - a great mix to join #DoubleCask 12 Years Old https://t.co/RG7ueKlHQO

12 Sep 16
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Neat, over ice or mixed - The Macallan #DoubleCask 12 Years Old is one of our most versatile whiskies yet https://t.co/nJcmuoProE

09 Sep 16
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Clear some shelf space - The Macallan #DoubleCask 12 Years Old can now join Sherry Oak 12 YO and Fine Oak 12 YO https://t.co/wYw5otgtnt

07 Sep 16
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Matured in the perfect balance of sherry seasoned European and American oak casks, #DoubleCask 12 is coming soon https://t.co/2kp4JljqKh

06 Sep 16
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Introducing The Macallan #DoubleCask 12 Years Old. The perfect balance of European and American oak casks https://t.co/zJTr1litiw

05 Sep 16
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Heading back in time with some vintage Macallan for the weekend. Image from our own Master Distiller @nickJsavage https://t.co/mo1H3pRaxR

02 Sep 16
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Ok, let's play fantasy #WhiskyWednesday. This is your collection, you can pick just one, what's it going to be? https://t.co/gZsJt9ze4Z

31 Aug 16
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Monday #WhiskyEnvy arrives from @Dan_Pittet . Tag your posts of The Macallan #MyMacallan to feature https://t.co/qqaufPzSoV

29 Aug 16
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Quick #TwitterPoll. Since they launched last year, which of these have you tried?

27 Aug 16
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Friday night, why not mix up the #CrowdSourcedCocktail you created last month? https://t.co/vBURK8DVV4

26 Aug 16
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Has it really been a year since The Macallan Rare Cask Black launched? Good time for this @chidywayne repost https://t.co/0u8OiXPOBx

24 Aug 16
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Another new member of the #EasterElchies team. New General Manager, Jody Marshall, will show you a warm welcome https://t.co/n4vDIVcgcr

23 Aug 16
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Travelling via Amsterdam Airport Schiphol soon? The Macallan is Malt of the Month in duty free #AnyExcuse https://t.co/FNj2j12JpA

22 Aug 16
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Throwback to behind-the-scenes of Masters of Photography 5 with @mariotestino #WorldPhotoDay https://t.co/gvZDny9VNi

19 Aug 16
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Today we raise a glass to Willie Bremner our former ghillie, who sadly passed away this week https://t.co/f01qo0cmaf

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