street photography

Street Art by Usamah Khan

I've had the good fortune to be able to travel a lot in my life. One thing I always look out for is the local street art. I grew up with friends who tagged a lot and what I remember most about them was how they prepared. They'd show up, late night, notepads full of sketches and designs they would refine over and over. Sometimes they painted to make a statement, sometimes it was just to practice on a wall. Whatever it was it was always a really organic form of expression that I used to love watching.

Fast-forward a few years to when I moved to Montréal. I came and was blown away by how this city embraced their unused walls and once a year opened them up for the best artists to paint at Mural Fest. These are colourful, detailed works of art that bring so much light and vibrance to the city. So I love biking around and finding some murals tucked away in an alley or underpass and when I do try to always grab a photo.

Street Photography with my new OM-1 by Usamah Khan

The shutter speed dial stopped working on my trusty and lovely OM-2n so outside of bright sunny days, I was having a hard time getting the shots I've been wanting out of it. I decided that since I have a decent few lenses, I'd just pick up another OM body and shoot with that. I found an OM-1 in great condition and have been putting it to use.

The most interesting thing I've found is that I didn't realize how the body makes such a difference. On my OM-2 (my Dad's OM-2) my dad told me about a mod he made in the late 80's that allows for a finer grained less contrast-y image. After a couple of films I've found my OM-1, even with low speed film, end up with more contrast in comparison.

While this has it's downsides, it's been great for some B&W street photo sessions and I had a great one documenting the Portuguese Euro celebration festival.


This was a fun day. Maybe one of the few times I finished a whole roll in less than 3 hours..with the cost of development I like to take my time..

I still think my OM-2n is my favourite camera body but the OM-1 has been fun for some sessions where i wanna be a little more rough with it. My OM-G feels a little flimsy and I'm too scared with the OM-2 but the sturdiness and stripped back configuration of the OM-1 has made it my go to for when I'm running out the door. If you can find one with a 50mm f/1.8 you'll honestly have a great time. Speaking of which, the focusing rings on those lenses feel great. In fact, compared to my 55mm f/1.2 in that regard I like it a whole lot. Funny how these things work