Hello, reader. I’m Tommy Allen, and I live in a little unincorporated area named Divide, Colorado. I was born in Thailand to a Thai mother and American father, but I spent most of my youth in Southern California. I’m a retired United States Army veteran with a little over 22 years of service under my belt.
When I was in my mid-teens, my mother introduced me to photography. On her Canon A-1, I learned the rules of composition and manual setting manipulation. In her darkroom, I learned to process black and white film and develop prints. I became so enchanted with photography that Mom eventually bought me my own camera so I’d stop disappearing with hers.
In the Army, I was able to exercise and further develop my photography in places like Somalia and Haiti. I continued to gain experience in that practical application through numerous small scale contingencies and on through deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.
But I also never stopped learning. When the digital revolution effected photography and videography, my little corner of the Army embraced the advances. I found myself learning new ways to gather and process video and still imagery captured in electrons instead of on film or tape. I’m a geek, so I loved it! And I chased down every opportunity to learn more.
I nurse a healthy does of wanderlust in my life. Following my retirement, it hasn’t been uncommon for me to get in my Jeep to go get groceries and suddenly find myself at some distant state or national park. Good thing I typically keep go-bag in my Jeep and a camera nearby for surprise encounters and unexpected detours!
After retiring, I started a small film studio and soon found myself creating corporate promotion and training videos. I hated it. I was already burned out from creating content to meet an operational objective or political agenda. But I was doing the same thing under a different set of puppeteers. So I eventually closed my production company and am now chasing around projects that I find satisfying and enjoyable.