Spc_2These underground toilets in Elizabeth Street have just been heritage listed. They're not on my usual map of the city but I popped in to have a look last Friday afternoon in town. Quite convenient, as it happened. Apparently they were a major engineering feat back in the day. Clean and less cramped than the Myer ladies. The decor is a mishmash of various eras but the terrazo floor is quite spesh, as is the "No Spitting" sign. I also rather liked that there was a row of stools to sit on rather than the usual battle for mirror space above the sink. And somewhere to put your stuff. Not a bad place to drag a brush through your hair or reorganise your bag.

There was hardly anyone there and I felt OK about playing with the camera for a little while. This one was taken from the top of the hand dryer across the room, using the timer. And the LCD screen that is now upside down when you swivel it around to frame a shot. Which is OK from a distance, so I've discovered. The light was difficult and although I've recently learnt* how to set the white balance on my camera for diffrerent types of indoor light, it wasn't so comfortable down there that I felt like faffing for ever. Back home of course, I wished that I'd spent just a little more time taking the pictures but I am more confident of taking photos in public that i used to be. Last night I tried a few different effects in photoshop elements to try and improve on the original , but ended up liking the infrared black and white the best. I think it captures the underground and slightly seedy feeling of the space. But like I said before, it was quite clean. Something that has been noted about Melbourne public toilets before. Apparently.

Visit more bathrooms here.

*CAE photoshop elements course, highly recommended if you're a beginner and interested in that sort of thing. I learnt so much, now I can halfway understand what the books and manuals are talking about. Opening the door to a whole new world of faffing.


  1. Hi Muppinstuff,
    I just wanted to compliment you on your engaging blog and the way you approach your photography.You are inspiring me to branch out and be more experimental with my own camera and tell richer stories. Great stuff!

  2. this is fabulous! i like all three versions of it :)
    it's got to be the coolest public loo i've ever seen!

  3. Hi Janet,
    I thought you looked almost Geisha like in this the white and dark look much more so your face looks like a Geisha about to apply her 'mask'-I am envious of your secret art making...dramas getting in the way of much fun stuff happening at my house at the moment.
    Thanks for this

  4. Great pic. I would have been all jumpy, sitting there just WAITING for someone to walk in as I photographed myself ...
    Love the economist's article about our loos!

  5. way cool pics
    in a very different setting
    i thought I was the only one who took photos of toilets (well interesting ones anyhow)
    I must find that one in NZ and drag out the pics and post on it
    you might like it

  6. No Spitting!?! How hilarious. I thought only men spat. Lovely, lovely photo

  7. Great picture...I love the how big and open it is.

  8. Great photo. Really fantastic!

  9. I love this one. It feels so lonely.

  10. Please send me A4 size print of this photo. I will pay money. Email me! Oh, by the way, I love this photo.

  11. I love this, Janet. it looks more like a place to eat a quick meal than a loo.
    PS: I loved your apricot tree pic. I'd never seen the way they fruit before.

  12. This photo has its own music.
    I love this photo.
    This is about the 100th time I've looked at it. I just keep coming back.

  13. I should take a course. Husband has taken the SLR away forever,and left me with this *great8 new camera, that cannot do macro, despite the fact I see plenty of people doing macro on my camera on flikr.
    Obviously, it's me, and it *is* supposed to be a good camera. I'm so crap at attending classes though......

  14. this is a beautiful shot, one of my favorites this week

  15. Hi! Great photo! I find it very Hopperesque! Check out Edward Hopper's "Nighthawks" and see if you don't agree! Copy and paste the mess below!