Years ago, the vast majority of people in Britain lived and worked on estates, generally owned by vastly wealthy and powerful aristocrats. Unlike much of the rest of the world, the estate remains, to this day, central to the way property is divided in the United Kingdom, especially in rural areas.
An estate comprises the houses and outbuildings and supporting farmland and woods that surround the grounds of a very large property, such as a country house. It is an “estate” because the profits from its produce and rents are sufficient to support the household in the house at its centre. Hundreds of thousands of people in this country still live and work in the industries associated with estates i.e. farming, fishing, hunting and associated sports. In Scotland, many estates produce whisky.
The Macallan single malt whisky was first distilled in 1824 at the Macallan Distillery near Easter Elchies House in Craigellachie, which lies to the north of Aberdeen, in the shire. As a celebration of its estate and the whisky it produces, The Macallan began the Masters of Photography commission series. In its first year, the photographer Rankin was commissioned by The Macallan to create a limited edition set of photographs for the first year of the landmark catalogue.
The results are spectacular. Rankin manages to capture not only the stunning natural beauty of the estate and its environs but also the strong community base of the estate and those who work on it. The project is all the more impressive for the medium used: Polaroid.