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Masters of Photography: The Story of Whisky Casks

From Spain to Scotland, or what sherry-seasoned oak has to do with transmedia storytelling.

Two years ago, iconic Scottish whisky brand The Macallan recruited celebrity photographer Rankin in an ambitious project — to capture The Macallan story in 1,000 black-and-white Polaroids over the course of six days, which were to be turned into 1,000 limited-edition bottle labels. Dubbed Masters of Photography, the effort turned the whiskey bottles into prized collector’s items around the world, each of which came with the original Rankin Polaroid and set the owner back by $1,695.

This year, The Macallan is back with Masters of Photography 2, this time enlisting world-famous photographer Albert Watson (yes, he of Kate Moss nudes fame) to create artful storytelling inspired by the wood The Macallan uses to make the precious casks in which the Scottish Single Malt is matured.

There needs to be some art of photography here. And that’s…that’s what you need to look for. It’s like finding a needle in a haystack. It’s the art of photography that you’re looking for and that’s always a mystery. It’s always under a leaf somewhere.” ~ Albert Watson

The casks originate in Spain, so Watson is following their journey from tree to distillery over the course of ten days, from the South of Spain to the North of Scotland, documenting the people and landscapes behind the elaborate production process.

You can catch the full journey on The Macallan YouTube channel. The images from Masters of Photography 2 are to once again be turned into a limited-edition bottle series at the end of this year.

The project offers a fascinating behind-the-scenes glimpse of the creative craftsmanship of a brand’s story, a captivating marriage of art and commerce in the age of transmedia storytelling.

Published July 21, 2010




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