By Rob Allanson

Welcome to Whisky Magazine

Here at Whisky Towers we have been receiving lots and lots of your lovely images for our inaugural photographic competition. I have to say that there is some talent out there and I have been very impressed with the quality.

Of course the subject matter also helps. Whisky, her distilleries and the landscapes surrounding them are possibly some of the most beautiful and photogenic scenes.

From the rugged beauty of the Highlands and Islands to the pastoral delights of the Lowlands, from the rolling horse country of Kentucky to the clean designs of Japan’s distillery cathedrals, and of course everything in between.

Recently I had the good fortune to buy a decent digital SLR camera, such items are a useful addition to the journalist’s armour as we try to bring you some of the best stories and high quality pictures, and using it recently got me thinking.
See before this I have been using my dad’s 1980s Olympus OM-1 film camera. A cracking camera with good quality lenses. But the shift into the digital world got me thinking about the immediacy of the whole thing.

With film I had to think about what I was photographing. Take my time, think about exposures and aperture settings, particularly with the Olympus. A roll of black and white would be 36 frames and too precious to waste by snapping happily away. Also it feels that there was a little more art to using film, you have to wait to see the results, whether your timings and shutter settings have been appropriate, whether it’s in focus as well.

Now with the digital age it’s all there. Just look on the back of the camera and if you dont like it, delete and start again.
Then there is the impressive capacity of memory cards. If you shoot on a low setting you can have thousands of pictures. Imagine the camera bag in the old days with that much film, it would weigh quite a lot and you would rattle like a bottle of pills.

I remember once coming back from a trip to Egypt and I had shot about 10 rolls. That nervous anticipation handing a shopping bag laden with the precious rolls over to the developers and waiting.

Perhaps it’s not the death of photographic art, it’s just evolving it, democratising it. Rather like the internet has done for writing and reporting. Now pretty much anyone with an eye for detail can turn their hand to photography and with a little time and effort come up with some impressive results.

That said I have not shaken off the celluloid shackles of the past. I still really enjoy using the film camera for my own pleasure, but only with black and white film these days. It does confuse my daughter though, as she cannot see the pictures on the back. There is a satisfying feeling to the camera, its smooth metal surfaces and grips. Also the clockwork noises and lenses have the ghosts of decades of family holidays hidden among them.

One subtle change here at Whisky Magazine, we have moved from a woodfree paper to a mechanical paper. This means the paper is manufactured at the Myllykoski Mill in Finland, who are accredited with FSC environmental certifications for well managed and responsible forestry procedures.

Investment drams

Elaine Cruickshank

Whisky Section Leader, Gordon & Macphail, Elgin, Scotland

What whisky have you bought to keep?
The Rosebank 12 Years Old (Flora & Fauna) – We’ve not stocked it for a year now and its value has already doubled.

What whisky will you sell or open soon?
I’d drink my Glendronach 33 Years Old. I’ve finished one already but could open another after a few glasses of wine with friends.