The Macallan Masters of Photography: Rankin

Rankin interprets The Macallan whisky brand in a unique project comprising 1,000 Polaroid images.

Photography Incoming
One of Rankin's favourite shots from the project.
One of Rankin's favourite shots from the project. Click on the gallery for more images that will not be in the exhibition.
By making a connection between the art of making a fine whisky and the art of capturing moments, whisky brand The Macallan decided to partner up with the Scottish-born photographer Rankin for their first Masters of Photography project. In a few days during the summer, Rankin spent time on the estate of Easter Elchies House in Moray Scotland the spiritual home of The Macallan and shot over 2,000 Polaroids, exploring every crevice of the grounds and distillery with his fiance Tuuli featured in a majority of the shots. Editing down to 1,000 images that all depict a specific moment of the estate, each unique Polaroid will be encased in a black leather box together with a bottle of Macallan's Fine Oak 30 year old whisky and printed with a label to match the specific Polaroid that will be available for sale.

Dazed Digital: Tell us more about the project and why you wanted to shoot using Polaroid?
Rankin: Going through all my polaroids for a previous exhibition I had done, I had this idea that I could do one more Polaroid project before it all finishes.  Macallen is all about heritage, it's all about time, spending 25 years and allowing the whisky to develop.  Because of that, it was nice to do something that encapsulates a moment in time of the estate and to capture that in something that is immediate and something that you can't reproduce.  
The challenge for me was to do an exhibition and a project of images that were all equally good.  I wanted to do 1000 images that were all equally exciting because they're all going to be owned by someone as a momento of the time I spent there.

DD: How did you convince your fiance Tuuli to do the shoot and in what way is she your muse with regards to this project?
Rankin: I didn't really convice her, she just wanted to do it. It was a nightmare for her.  It was really bad weather for the whole time we were there and it was right in the middle of the midge (a type of mosquito) season and she got bitten all over her body. It was kind of like measles and you can see up close in the shots that she had bites on her body.
Muse, to me it's kind of quite a patronising expression to use for someone you collaborate with.  She happens to be something I am with who I like photographing.  
I wanted to combine an idea of sensuality with the way that people talk about the whisky as though it were a love affair.
I felt the best way for me to encompass some form of sensuality that I would feel within the images was to combine her (Tuuli) with the estate. The estate was really beautiful and I'm Scottish and for me it was really great to go back and spend time in Scotland.

DD: Tell us a bit about your favourite shot?
Rankin: It was an accident. It's a double exposure. That was down to the assistants not having pulled the Polaroid at the right time. It's quite interesting when you get something like that and it was a really nice moment with her.  

DD: How much whisky did you actually consume during the shoot?
Rankin: Quite a lot!  What was really interesting, when drinking the really really old whisky, the stuff that is £800 a shot, you could see that that type of whisky was another world.  I'm not a big whisky drinker, but when I drank that, I could understand why people love whisky and that it can taste incredible. 

The Masters of Photography Rankin Edition will run as a free exhibition open to the public from Friday 14th until Sunday 16th  November at Huntingdon Project Space, 28 Redchurch Street, London E2
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