On the streets with Olympus

Jerlijn Kasmani started to love photography when he and his wife started, some 25 years ago, travelling and discovering the world. But the real change occurs in November 2008 with the release of the first Micro Four Thirds camera, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1. Some cameras and years later, the M43 system is his choice to document what surround him. With his Olympus E-M1 MK II (and a handful of lenses) Jerlijn photographs macro, landscape, sunsets and do street photography as well. And street photography is what he likes the most, to tell stories and to enjoy the daily life sceneries and catch the special ones on camera.

My name is Jerlijn Kasmani and have been living on this beautiful earth for already 50 years. For my profession, I am the managing director of a software company where we develop a customer data platform.
With my beloved family, that is my wife and two sons, we live in a beautiful village named Maarssen that is situated in the center of the Netherlands between Amsterdam and Utrecht. We have a nice river running through the village where, in the summertime, we spend lots of time boating. A very nice way of enjoying the beautiful area and doing one of the things I most love to do which is photography.
Olympus E-M1 MK II . Zhongyi Mitakon F0.95 . f/0.95 . 1/100″ . ISO 2000
Olympus E-M1 MK II . Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mmF2.8 @12mm . f/4.0 . 1/60″ . ISO 200
My true love for photography started when I and my wife started traveling and discovering the world. Back then, some 25 years ago, the first place was Kenya doing safari driving in the Tsavo east national park and Amboseli national park. This was such a great experience that the only thing I wanted was somehow to also make a visual documentation in such a way it would be able to recall that same wonderful experience again and again.
I guess that is up to this day what I try to achieve with my photography. To capture wonderful moments telling the story as if you are there and part of the actual moment taking place. I call these ‘mesmerizing magical moments’.
Olympus E-M5 MK II . Zhongyi Mitakon F0.95 . f/0.95 . 1/1000″ . ISO 200
During the years many mesmerizing magical moments were created and documented in piles of photo books.
But my love for photography got to a next stage with the release of the first Micro Four Thirds camera back in November 2008, the Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1. A first so-called digital mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera. I was immediately fond of the idea to have such a small compact size camera but yet so much quality and great versatility for use. I ordered my blue G1 and my M43 Journey started.
Olympus E-M1 MK II . Olympus M.Zuiko 17mmF1.8 @17mm . f/5.6 . 1/60″ . ISO 400
I discovered the option to use adapters and put on other types of manual lenses for use on the camera. I experimented with 16mm (film) lenses and Canon FD mount lenses. During a period of 6 years, I have tried over 50 of these lenses on my camera’s to sometimes be very surprised on the rendering they did. The 16mm lenses delivering really nice swirly bokeh and some FD lenses really good creamy bokeh.
Meanwhile, I also upgraded a few times to newer Panasonic Micro Four Thirds cameras and at the time I was using a Panasonic G7. It was becoming more important for me to actually have a camera with in-body stabilization. I was shooting lots of macro and also did a lot of low light photography.
Olympus E-M10 MK II . Olympus M.Zuiko 17mmF1.8 @17mm . f/4.0 . 1/320″ . ISO 200
This is where my search brought me to Olympus and I decided to switch over. So, in 2017 I bought my first Olympus camera. This was the Olympus E-M5 Mark II. With already the many years of micro four-thirds experience I was used to this beautiful little camera in a few days and it was a perfect match for me. Small, beautiful, fashionable (I love the looks) and outstanding quality. I became a huge fan of Olympus cameras. It did not take long and, little over a year later, I sold the E-M5 Mark II and upgraded to the Olympus E-M1 Mark II flagship camera. A decision I never regret as the E-M1 II with the recent 3.1 firmware upgrade is a fantastic photo camera.
My lenses are the 7-14mm f2.8 Pro, 12-40mm f2.8 Pro, 17mm f1.8, 75-300mm f4.8-6.7 II, all Olympus. And I also still have a Lumix 14-140 left from my Pany time.
And besides, I also have some manual focus lenses like the M43 Zhongyi Speedmaster 25mm f0.95, Canon FD 200mm f4.0 Macro and the Tokina AT-X 90mm f2.5 Macro.
Olympus E-M1 MK II . Olympus M.Zuiko 17mmF1.8 @17mm . f/4.0 . 1/60″ . ISO 320
Olympus E-M1 MK II . Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mmF2.8 @12mm . f/2.8 . 1/60″ . ISO 2500
This is my main equipment I use to do different kinds of photography. What I like and do most is macro, landscape, sunset and street photography. The lens I use most on my camera is the 12-40mm f2.8 Pro, as this is such a versatile lens rendering great images. Although recently the Olympus 17mm f1.8 also became one of my favorite lenses to use. That is because I do mainly street photography nowadays and the size and focal length of this lens is perfect for that job. And it also has a superfast autofocus.
I like to walk on the streets looking around and capture what I call #mesmerizingmagicalmoments pictures, that tell a story or raise one’s curiosity. People are often the main subject in my photo’s because they represent daily life best. The nice thing about street photography is that you can do this anywhere at any time. So, going to my hometown, or while doing a city trip in Europe or on Holiday somewhere in Asia. The camera strapped and off I go enjoying the daily life sceneries and catching the special ones on camera. You see so much more of what is actually happening around you.
Olympus E-M1 MK II . Olympus M.Zuiko 17mmF1.8 @17mm . f/5.6 . 1/100″ . ISO 200
Olympus E-M1 MK II . Olympus M.Zuiko 17mmF1.8 @17mm . f/8 . 1/60″ . ISO 200
For my street photography I most of the time shoot in the Aperture priority exposure mode. Depending on the light I choose a smaller aperture. Although I like to shoot wide open. I take my time to find the right composition and take just one or two shots at the time. I never shoot a burst and hope for a lucky shot in there but rather wait for the right moment and capture that one special moment. Because of this way of photographing I often make direct eye contact with the people of subject in my photo’s. Followed with exchange of a friendly smile and confirming it is okay. In more intimate situations I ask for confirmation before I take the picture. In all the time I have never have anyone demanding to delete a photo.
I capture RAW and JPEG. The E-M1 Mark II has dual memory card slots and is easy to configure storing the RAWS with the fast UHS II SD slot and JPEGS with the ‘normal’ UHS I SD slot.
Olympus E-M5 MK II . Lumix G Vario 14-140mmF4.0-5.8 @91mm . f/6.3 . 1/200″ . ISO 640
While the JPEG rendering of Olympus is very good, I always choose to develop my RAW files using Lightroom to produce the final photo. Because the dynamic range in the RAW files is incredible it gives me lots of space to play with and develop the picture I saw and like.
I like to share my photo’s through my Instagram account. My way of doing this is by posting a mini-series of 3 photo’s every time. This also makes photographing more fun and challenging because it makes me think of creating a series. This can also mean that I have this one photo in my library that still needs two accompanying photos to complete the series. The fun is then to go out and hunt for these.
Olympus E-M1 MK II . Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mmF2.8 @40mm . f/2.8 . 1/8000″ . ISO 160
Olympus E-M1 MK II . Olympus M.Zuiko 17mmF1.8 @17mm . f/2.8 . 1/100″ . ISO 200
And most frustrating are those times you do not have your camera with you and spotting great opportunities for a photo.
For that reason, I recently bought an Olympus E-M10 Mark II as my second camera body. Terrific little camera to always have with you delivering that great Olympus quality. 90 per cent same menu as the E-M1 Mark II, so almost the same way of using. What makes it convenient.
This article was originally published on the 33th edition of our monthly magazine, which you can check here: Olympus Passion #33
Olympus E-M5 MK II . Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mmF2.8 @28mm . f/2.8 . 1/4000″ . ISO 200

"My name is Jerlijn Kasmani and have been living on this beautiful earth for already 50 years. For my profession, I am the managing director of a software company where we develop a customer data platform."


  1. I appreciate the story that you shared with us here. But the photos not really.
    Keep it up and all the best.

  2. I do not agree with the previous comment. In fact there are some great streethphoto’s between them. Guess it’s a matter of taste. Keep shooting and sharing!

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