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Good Things Come in Small Packages
New Zealand's tiniest tavern meets the tilt shift lens

Troy Goodall by Troy Goodall on April 13, 2020


The jury may still be out on whether or not good things come in small packages, but if Emerson’s Tiny Pub is anything to go by, the phrase certainly rings true.

The Tiny Pub is the brainchild of Dunedin-based Emerson’s Brewery, who wanted New Zealander’s to gain a true appreciation for their beer by providing the perfect environment to drink it in — “everything you need to enjoy the perfect beer, and nothing more”.

In this case, a tiny tavern big enough for two (plus the bartender) with a rustic, old-fashioned, homely vibe and Emerson’s famous (and NZ’s oldest) craft beer on tap.

Needless to say, I required no convincing to get involved.

The campaign approach built on the concept of enjoying Emerson’s in the perfect environment. Since the Tiny Pub was mobile, this involved shooting at a few accessible but remote locations (i.e. Mangawhai) that showcased the beauty of New Zealand’s landscape — aka the ideal spots to enjoy a quality brew.

The main challenge for me was scaling. I really wanted to emphasize the size (or lack thereof) of the pub and its contents, as well as highlight the contrast in magnitude between it and the surrounding landscape.

With this in mind, I came up with the idea of using a tilt-shift lens. I hadn’t used one in my own work before, but had previously seen one used outside of its main purpose — correcting perspective in architectural photography — to make normal-sized things look miniature.

The transformation was immediate: trophies turned into trinkets, portraits became pocket-sized, and pints shrunk to shot glasses. If Lego was to make a bar-themed kit, this would be it.


Best of all, I was able to achieve the scale contrast I wanted — retaining the Tiny Pub as the focus of the shot while still capturing the vastness and aesthetic value of the surrounding scenery.

The final result? Pint-sized brews with unbeatable views.




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More About Troy Goodall

Troy GoodallTroy has the unique and advantageous ability to find the photo in everything. Sure, he can shoot the perfect studio shot, or create the impossible from different elements. That’s not unique. But, you can throw Troy into eight foot surf with a floating rig that doesn’t float and shadowy sub-aquatic shapes that may or may not be sharks, and he’ll get the shot. Send him into an equally treacherous on-set environment working around a prima-donna director and he’ll get the shot. You’ll know you’re asking the ridiculous, and the conditions seem impossible, and the lighting is wrong, but he still comes back with the shots.

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