Upminster teenager, Tom Bell, 16 shows off his talent for photography
PUBLISHED: 18:07 01 August 2011 | UPDATED: 17:21 02 August 2011
Take a look at these stunning nature photographs.
You might be forgiven for thinking that they were the handiwork of wildlife expert and photographer, Chris Packham but they are the workmanship of 16-year-old Tom Bell.
But what makes the student from Corbets Tey School in Harwood Hall Lane, Upminster so special is that he suffers from autism.
Tom’s dad, Steven said: “He does have autism but he is normal and I think that’s the way everyone else sees him.
“I do not think of him as autistic and he is seen just like any other kid.”
Tom started taking his first photographs when he was 13 with a camera given to him by his grandparents.
Since then it has never been far away.
Steven said: “He won’t put it down, he takes it to school with him and wherever he goes it goes with him.”
For a while it looked like Tom’s photographs were just going to be of birds, but after a talk with his grandad, he soon discovered a new artistry.
Added to this his parents also brought him a new camera for Christmas.
Steven said: “I never realised that there were so many birds.
“He has really educated me on bird watching and he can even recognise birds by the sound they make.
“But it was his grandad that told him that he needed to broaden his horizons and take pictures of things other than birds.
“Since then he has been taking pictures of landscape and he loves the different shades and the colours.”
Tom is hoping that he will be able take his love of photography even further by enrolling on a evening photography course at Havering College.
Steven said: “His camera has so many different functions but he only really uses a few of them so a course would be good so that he can learn more.
“I would like to think that he could pursue a career in photography but his first passion is definitely for birds.”
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