At the car wash

at the car wash
washing the car can be a wonderful visual experience

“A quick wash and brush up, Madam – to refresh the exterior?”

Last week we took my old car to the car wash. I admit it is probably more than 5 years since I’d been through the strange experience of sitting in a car while the automated ‘wash and brush up’ whirred, rattled and rolled all about me. As I had my iPhone with me I decided to shoot the experience from the inside. After all it might be another 6 years before I get the chance again ;o)
So here is the journey into the surreal world of car wash.
We were quite relieved to find a car in front of us, as we couldn’t remember how it all worked – so we learned as it went through ahead of us.

waiting for the car wash
The car in front showed us what to do!

Once in the machine daylight vanishes. For an alarming moment you feel you might be in a crusher, as it feels the car body to estimate its size.

starting the car wash
The world darkens and the journey begins

And then, goodbye world – hello soap! An amazing array of soapy abstracts began to unfold across the windscreen……

soaping the car windscreen
The washing begins. Lots of soap bubble abstracts

Then it really got interesting, and just a little scary (it was so long since I’d been there) The ‘brush up’ was beginning……

car wash brushing the windscreen
The ‘brush up’ begins, with a jolt!

But I was absorbed in the drama that was playing out on the screen before my eyes. Soap suds and that giant brush…..

soap and brush in the car wash
soap gets in your eyes!

Then a quick rinse, and the world beyond the car wash was suddenly there again – but at the bottom of a watery pool…..

watery distortions through the glass
Seeing the world through the glass

Meanwhile the brushes were tackling the sides of the car. The inside was getting hot and the windows were steaming up…..

the side windows all steamed up
all steamed up! the side window view

And I found myself shooting myself in the side window …..

reflections in the side window
Mirrored in the side window as the brushes move past.

Then on to more wonderful watery distortions as the rinsing off began…..

watery world in the car wash
A watery abstract as the outside world re-emerges

And some great abstracts of the brushes. almost an oil painting…..

the car wash brushes at work
almost an oil painting it the textures

And the final stage – bring on the hair-dryer! Another crazy sequence of ripples…….

drying the windscreen
the ‘hair dryer’ at work offering another kind of watery abstract

Finally the world outside starts taking shape again…….

watery abstract
the world emerges as we near the end of the wash

Yes – the sun is still shining out there, though it looks like a heavy downpour from here…….

distortions through the windscreen
As we are almost free to drive away, the world is taking shape again.

The whole process only lasted about 10 minutes, but I took over 60 shots. It was an ever changing kaleidoscope of almost abstract visuals – and enormous fun! I think I’ll be back before another 5 years slip by!
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and more articles: Talking Digital Photography

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