Member Spotlight: Rain Bengis
Creativity in the Car Wash. A few months ago, PWP member, Rain Bengis, found herself in the passenger seat of a car going through the Bear Falls Car Wash in Walnut Creek, CA with psychedelic flashing lights shining through splashes of sudsy water. A car wash for teens she thought at first! Then she got that visceral feeling in her gut telling her this may turn out to be an interesting photo shoot. Having experimented with abstract photography for several years, Rain was immediately excited by the potential for a unique photo shoot. How intriguing that these images only exist for a brief moment in time never to be captured in this exact way again.
Rain knew she had only a few minutes to capture the fleeting interplay between the bright lights and sudsy water before the car exited the car wash so she grabbed her iPhone 11. By the end of the shoot, her car was cleaner than it had ever been because Rain asked her partner to drive through the car wash again and again to capture as many shots as she could.
Post-processing was done in photoshop, mainly cropping and intensifying colors. This project involved a lot of elimination of photos that either didn’t work or were duplicates.
Rain sees In the Car Wash #1 as two powerful forces converging and yet repelling each other. The blue and yellow, reminiscent of propane flames, add to the movement. She loves the thin beads of water running down throughout. At times, the blue forms seem to evoke strange creatures falling into the flames, adding to the mystery and intrigue of the image.
Color, movement, the power of water, and texture all come to mind when describing In the Car Wash #2. The slanted, horizontal orange line on top adds tension to the whole. Rain used the saturation tool to enhance the orange color, and the contrast tool to darken the black and brown tones to add more contrast to the image.
The simplicity and harmony of the green, black and lavender In the Car Wash #3 are as pleasing to the eye as the pattern created by the lines. Are the lines pointing downward or are they spreading out in an upward direction? Rain added a few lines on the left side to make the image more symmetrical.
In the Car Wash #4 is Rain’s favorite image of this series. She sees it as wild, sea water churning in every direction with some amber life form above, maybe fish, swimming about. The white adds light and life to the image. The original colors were dark blue on bottom and a dull grey on top but Rain used the NIK colorize filter to experiment with color, until she was happy with these final tones.
Beautiful colors, pinks, yellows, blues, greens permeate In the Car Wash #5 in a feathery, light way. The feathery quality is a result of the shapes and water drops in and around the colors. The black background enhances the colors even more, and the sudsy water against the car window appears ephemeral and wispy forming elegant shapes.
Visit www.rainbengisphotos.com to learn more about Rain and her work, and follow here on Instagram: @rainbengisphotography