Street Photography: Black & White Challenge

I’ve been nominated by Desley Jane at Musings of a Frequent Flying Scientist to participate in the 5 Photos / 5 Stories Black and White Photo Challenge. You must check her blog. She’s indeed a scientist, photographer and writer and a frequent flier. You will be delighted to travel with her through her photography and to learn easy and fun science’s experiments, that even you can do. And the icing on the cake is to hear what she has to say about all of that.

At the same time, I’ve been also nominated by Janet at Sustainabilitea to join the 5-day Black and White Challenge. I’m sure you will love to check her blog where she looks at life through her writings and photography. Janet makes stunning photos with her smart phone that makes people wonder why having a DSLR.

I’m combining the two nominations; this is my 2nd post for the double 5-day challenge.

Are you asking yourself what’s that? It’s a male’s street toilet in Amsterdam. You can see them everywhere, as well as a modern and uglier plastic version, which is more open than this. But wait, don’t judge the idea as yet. Why do they exist? There is a reason for everything, isn’t it? I didn’t find anything but Google’s unverified knowledge to share with you, though. Here we go.

Amsterdam has 39 Krullen (Krul), the curled pissoir, or urinal. The Krul has been in Amsterdam since 1880. As men and boys used canals, trees, and monuments to release themselves, someone had the idea to create the krul.

Apparently there is a fine of 90 euros if you use the canals as toilets, which is not a safe idea for drunks anyways. I found out that each year, on average, 15 people die when making this mistake.  Especially during night time, drunks loose balance and fall in the canals, and if no one sees that, they may die there.

Whilst researching about this extremely scientific subject, I found out another interesting fact. The Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport has one of the most famous urinals in the world because all the urinals have a small black fly in the target area. Someone, possibly a psychologist, advised that cleanliness would improve with a target. Check these pictures.


Amsterdam airport urinal. Amsterdam airport urinal, detail showing the picture of the fly.

If you found this deserving of further reading, you may read this article “When Humans Need a Nudge Toward Rationality” by Jeff Sommer, “THE flies in the men’s-room urinals of the Amsterdam airport have been enshrined in the academic literature on economics and psychology. The flies — images of flies, actually — were etched in the porcelain near the urinal drains in an experiment in human behavior. After the flies were added, ‘spillage’ on the men’s-room floor fell by 80 percent. ‘Men evidently like to aim at targets,’ said Richard Thaler of the University of Chicago, an irreverent pioneer in the increasingly influential field of behavioral economics. Mr. Thaler says the flies are his favorite example of a ‘nudge’ — a harmless bit of engineering that manages to ‘attract people’s attention and alter their behavior in a positive way, without actually requiring anyone to do anything at all.'”

Apparently, Victorian-era English also decorated urinals with pictures of bees. I guess is enough for now.

Without further ado, for day two, I nominated my fellow photography buddy Nalinki at Angle and Views to join me in this challenge.

The rules of the 5 Photos-5 Stories challenge are:
1) To post a photo every day for 5 days
2) To write a story to accompany your photo for 5 days (this can be fiction or non-fiction, a page, a paragraph or a poem)
3) To nominate a different person each day

I’m also linking this street photography to the fabulous Eclectic Corner of my friend Justine at Ecleticoddsnsods



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Sharing sights & insights captured with diverse angles. Ex-corporate, now my own boss. Cycling, hiking, cooking, reading, yoga, writing and photography, are no longer only hobbies listed on my resume. It's what I do when I want.

22 thoughts on “Street Photography: Black & White Challenge

    1. Well, I saw this question coming. We have to find a cafe and pay most of the times around 50 cents to 1 euro to use the premises.
      These open toilets are known for being dirty, a bacteria temple.
      Besides being grungy!
      Happy to make you happy!!


  1. Oh what an interesting post! I’ve never seen a krul before nor knew of their existence! I suppose it’s less dangerous than the canals indeed!
    And the fly is a curious target! I can see though the subtle hint at cleanliness though!
    Cheers and hugs to you my dear!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Still the drunk guys use the canals.
      And if there is a national holiday and street party, like the King’s day, we see the guys all over the canals.

      Cheers to you and have a lovely week! How’re the temps in the city?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh wow! That King’s Day celebration must be interesting!
        Here it’s snowing now… But being March 1 gives me hope that spring really is near… The temps should rise later this week… Thanks for asking!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. It’s a very busy day in the whole country. Celebrations everywhere.
          Kids take old toys to sell in the streets and also perform whatever talent they have to make pocket money. The canals are jammed with boats. Parks full. Concerts everywhere. And lots of tourists.
          If I’m around this year, I’ll shoot some pics and send to you. You see the craziest things happening.
          Most of the times I leave the city.
          It’s funny to watch though.

          You’re having a tough winter. Let’s hope that temps start rising. Keep warm and safe.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Oh please do post pics if you’re in town for the party! Sounds like a festival for all ages! Cute idea about kids selling old toys and performing! Wish we had something like that here in NYC…
            Yes this winter has been rough but I’m optimistic that the warmth is coming… I promise not to complain about the heat this summer!
            Xoxo Much love,


  2. The first thing I saw on this post was a loo and I thought oh my what is Lucile up to haha. I wouodnt want to see a man in the open one peeing why can’t they be like British men and hold on to their bladders hehe.

    As for me targets its recommended to train kids this way when they are learning to pee, well j mean boys and you can get a floating ball with a face that they have to get. I’m not sure about the fly however to me it just makes or highlights ho dirty an area it is yuk!!! Maybe I am germ phobic!

    Thank you for a most enlightening street life post haha your entries are always exciting x


    1. While my friend Jussie entertained herself writing poetry, here I’m writing about mundane life subjects, and more specifically, the open loos of my city. One cannot have it all!!
      You need to know that these loos are packed with Brits who come here to drink themselves to death as Auntie Betty doesn’t let them stay too long at their home pubs!
      The last one who fell at a canal and died for being drunk, well, err, was British…
      But yes, I admit that the Brits, if sober, behave better than our lot.
      So you say that these psychologists are wrong with this target theory? How interesting!
      Hey, thanks for always bringing lively comments.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hah no the targets work as we use it for little boys when learning to pee hehe and it does work. Yes the Brits when drunk are awful and I guess the youth of today when sober sometimes challenging I am still stuck in the good old days. My son asked me if there was electricity when I was young!!!!! Faints

        Liked by 1 person

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