Interview with Susanne Baumgartner about making the twisted arm street photograph, which was nominated as finalist at the Miami 2018 and Italian SPF 2019.
Bern, 2017 – Photo by Susanne Baumgartner

About Susanne Baumgartner

Susanne Baumgartner is an active street photographer from Switzerland. Since 2013 she successfully takes place in international street photography contest and is actively involved within the @womeninstreet community. Susanne lives near Bern where she often goes to for shooting street. In our Making of Interview she talks about capturing the photo of a young man twisting his arm in a extreme way. The image was nominated as finalist in the single image contest of the 2018 Miami and 2019 Italian Street Photography Festival.

Making Of Interview

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

The photo was shot in Bern, Switzerland, on the 31st of December 2017. Bern is the closest, bigger City to my hometown. If I go out shooting, I go to Bern and for that, it was not a new location, I know the place very well.

What was happening in the situation and what inspired you to start photographing?

On this day, I was on the way home, with so far nothing in particular that would have caught my attention and interesting enough to shoot, just another boring, cold winter day. Close to the train station, there is a fountain. A young guy stood in front of it, doing some exercises like I never had seen before. He twisted, turned and stretched his joints and limbs in an excessive way, really fascinating. If you meet such a situation, it is out of question, you must press the shutter.

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

It was a very spontaneous moment. I was so surprised by what the young man was doing, I keep watching for some time before pressing the shutter, but immediately knowing it was a very special moment, exactly the way I love it – a single, isolated situation.

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

Working the scene, I just stood behind or beside him, trying to get an interesting angle.

Bern, 2017 - Photo by Susanne Baumgartner
Bern, 2017 – Photo by Susanne Baumgartner
Bern, 2017 - Photo by Susanne Baumgartner
Bern, 2017 – Photo by Susanne Baumgartner
Bern, 2017 - Photo by Susanne Baumgartner
Bern, 2017 – Photo by Susanne Baumgartner
Bern, 2017 – Photo by Susanne Baumgartner

What camera, lens, and settings did you choose?

Sony 7s, 35mm, 1/250, f 2.8, ISO 400

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

Of course, I’m always happy when I get a such a special picture. I liked the situation, but did not think about the final photo. At home, I had a look of what I got that day and realized then, that one move looked strange, a bit weird but funny. And my very personal interpretation, he points at the number 18. As it was the last day of 2017, he pointed toward the New Year – 2018. This photo was twice a Finalist, at the Miami Street Photography Festival 2018 and at the Italian Street Photo Festival in Rome 2019.

What post-processing did you do, if any?

I cropped it a bit and made a few adjustments for more contrast.

What did you take away (learn) from making this picture?

Never give up, always be alert, the best things happen when you least expect it and always get more than one frame!

Thank you very much for this Interview Susanne!

Links to Susanne Baumgartner

Website –
Instagram –
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