My name is Carson Allmon, a St. Louis-based photographer. I’ve been around photography most of my life, having a father who was a photographer.
About six years ago, I started to take the art seriously. I studied photography in Seattle, WA, shooting local street life, musicians and artists. I was shooting digital, until my camera was stolen while traveling abroad – a momentary blow that turned out to be an opportunity to improve my craft.
Luckily for me, my brother’s father-in-law, also a photographer, gifted me a couple Nikon FM’s. These cameras came to be known (to me) as my “therapy cameras”. They weren’t digital, obviously, but something to keep me shooting. It was from this, that I fell in love with shooting film.
There’s something about not having the luxury of a 64gb memory card and thousands of outtakes that makes those handful of film exposures much more precious.
I find that the fewer exposures I’m afforded, the more time I take with my shots, and the more thought I put into finding the right subject.
It took a couple of years from that point to be handed down my most prized camera, my dad’s Hasselblad 500cm. Shooting 120 film, aside from the large negative, and abundance of visual information, gives your images a different, more lively, deeper feel than the normal 35mm.
My time with the Hasselblad spawned an affinity for medium-format cameras, and my collection eventually expanded to a 645 (Bronica ETRSi) and most recently 67 (Mamiya RZ67 Pro II).
With lenses, I steer towards primes. The broad range of apertures, sharpness, and compact design, are hard to beat.
While they may not be as flexible as variable lenses, in terms of having a myriad of focal lengths at hand, I find that being confined to a certain focal length pushes me to compose within my given limits. It also helps me fight laziness by requiring me to move my feet to get closer to a subject.
I find it enjoyable to make otherwise mundane subject matter interesting. To me, it’s a form of photographic sparring. If a photographer can make something uninteresting interesting, then their abilities only grow from there.
Nikon FM (x2)
Voigtlander 40mm f/2
Nikkor 50mm f/1.8
Nikkor 35mm f/2.8
Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8
Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8
Zenzanon-PE 75mm f/2.8
ETR 120 film backs (x2)
Carl Zeiss T* Planar 80mm f/2.8
Carl Zeiss T* Sonnar 150mm f/4
A12 120 film backs (x2)
Mamiya RZ67 Pro II
Mamiya Sekor-Z 90mm f/3.5
Mamiya 120 film backs (x2)
Sekonic L-758 DR