Interview with self-taught Street Photographer Magdalena Orylska about making her Decisive Moment shot on the beach.
Streetphototip Making Of Interview with Magdalena Orylska
Photo by Magdalena Orylska, Virginia Beach, US 2016

About Magdalena Orylska

Magdalena is an active and self taught street photographer who lives in Wrocław, Poland. In her work she shows “pure emotions and the sweet reality of everyday life.” Her decisive moment beach photograph of two men exercising won the 7. Leica Gallery Street Photo in 2017 and was nominated as finalist in the Italian SPF 2018.

Making Of Interview

Where and when did you make the photo, was it a familiar or new location to you?

It’s been made at Virginia Beach, US while visiting my friends in september 2016. This was totally new location and environment for me to be honest it was my first time in the US. There were so many people, positive vibes, great light so I knew I had to go and take some photographs.

What was happening in the situation and what did you see that inspired you to photograph?

While walking a long promenade I’ve noticed an outdoor gym at the beach. There were few people exercise but one couple of men draw my attention. They were trying diffrent excercises. I stopped for a while admiring their strength and flexibility trying to do some interesting shots. I found that the light was perfect so it making a good photo was just a question of right angle, distance and prediction of unexpected situation ;)

What were your thoughts and actions up until you pressed the shutter? Did you prepare or was it spontaneous?

I really liked the light and the shadows there. I’ve tried couple framing combination different angels there was a lot of action going on as well as a lot of audience. I really wanted to have a clear shot. I found this spot where the framing seemed perfect as well as light. It was just a question when something will happen. I think I stayed there for about 10 minutes.

In case you made more than one exposure, could you please share some of them and describe how you “worked the scene”?

Making Of Interview Magdalena Orylska
Photographs by Magdalena Orylska, Virginia Beach, US 2016

As I mentioned before I found the empty spot where I liked the light and shadow combination, besides that I really liked the framing made by pipes. I did a couple of other interesting shots but this one seemed for me as one of the most unobvious, surprising and with the right timing.

What camera, lens, and settings did you choose?

It was a Nikon d610 with 24-35 mm Sigma Art lens @ 35mm. Although Im not using it this combination anymore, it was too heavy for me. Recently for street photography I am using a Fujifilm x100f which I absolutely adore so far.

Were you happy with the image, did it come out as you imagined?

Yes. I was very happy with the result, but at that time I didn’t think I will share it anywhere, not mentioning about any contests.

Why is it a successful photograph in your opinion?

I think the the way how the light and shadows play together, the framing from the pipes does the job, there is also o lot of symmetry on the photography and of course this (un)fortunate jump. I think those factors draw attention to this photo.

What post-processing did you do, if any?

Not much, just a bit of basic adjustments. I worked with the contrast a bit and with a white balance. I have also straighten it a little bit. This is mostly what I have done with the photograph.

What did you take away from making this picture?

Nothing was taken of. The scene is as it was seen.

Thank You very much for your time and the Interview Magdalena!

Links to Magdalena Orylska

Website –
Instagram – 
Facebook –