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Aviation enthusiast launches first photography exhibition

Tom Mercer, from Hook, has his work featured in the Farnborough Air Sciences Trust Museum in Farnborough

Tom Mercer with Sir Gerald Howard MP

An aviation enthusiast has had his photography featured at a Farnborough museum.

Tom Mercer, 24, an IT Consultant and freelance aviation photojournalist, from Hook, launched his first photography exhibition at the Farnborough Air Sciences Trust (FAST) Museum, in Farnborough Road, on March 7.

The exhibition, entitled '2013 - A Year In Aviation', features a collection of 63 prints which showcase a number of aviation events from the last 12 months as well as unseen photography from the Chinook Display Team, based at RAF Odiham.

Having grown up near to the RAF Odiham base, Mr Mercer developed an interest in aviation photography around four years ago.

He said: "Last year was when it all kicked off when I wrote a letter to RAF Odiham to enquire about photographing the display team.

"I have lived in Hook my whole life so it's just down the road and I’ve always had the Chinooks going overhead.

"From the letter I went to an interview then we discussed what to do from the season and I decided to do a behind the scenes of the team at The Royal International Air Tattoo [in July last year].

"We spent the whole day together for the behind the scenes shots and they wanted to have something to take away with them.

"From there I photographed a lot of other events and it went from strength to strength, the initial letter to RAF Odiham opened a lot of doors for me."

Mr Mercer studied fine art photography at The Sixth Form College, Farnborough, and went on to do a degree in computer science at Cardiff University.

He said: "I didn't take photography any further as I couldn't see a career in it then my passion for aviation came about and the two go together."

'2013 - A Year in Aviation' can also be viewed on March 15 and 16 too.

Sir Gerald Howarth, MP for Aldershot, attended the exhibition along with Councillor John Wall, representing Farnborough South for Hampshire County Council, and group captain Richard Maddison, station commander for RAF Odiham.

Richard Gardner, chairman of the FAST Museum, said: "We are very pleased to host Tom Mercer's photo exhibition at the museum.

"The quality and variety of his aviation pictures is really excellent, and not only shows some fine images of many different aircraft, but in particular highlights the machines and crews of the Chinook helicopters from our neighbouring operational air station, RAF Odiham.

"We are proud to retain close links with those RAF squadrons who share a common heritage with us at Farnborough, and Tom's photo record helps to highlight the vital work that such units are still undertaking all over the world."

 

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