Ann Britton – Outback Photography

Ann Britton, a noted outback photographer, has been capturing the fleeting moments of the Australian countryside for the better part of her life.

Ann selfie 5 mile 2

It might be the vast and ever-changing scenery or farm life and its interesting characters that inspire the photographs, but Ann loves it and says it is her connection to life.

Situated on Goodwood Station, near Boulia, life is never dull.

From bore running and cattle mustering, to the daily running of the household and managing the paperwork, any spare moments are dedicated to photographing her surroundings.

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It was through governessing in 1981-1985 when her love for the outback and station life blossomed. Ann’s first governess placing, at the age of 15, to one of the biggest company-run cattle properties in Australia, is a memorable moment.

“I was as green as, but thankfully the family took me in and I had an incredible two years,” she said.

Prior to moving to a big farming operation, Ann spent as much time as she could on a friend’s property in the Lockyer Valley, helping with cattle work and growing crops.

Throughout school holidays, jobs were found picking fruit and vegetables for $5 an hour, taking every moment to learn about agriculture.

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The move from Brisbane to the middle of the Northern Territory ended up with Ann spending five years governessing, learning, growing and having amazing experiences.

“My first employer, the manager’s wife of the Territory property, Shirley Gough, I have to thank for first believing in me as a 15-year-old, putting up with me as a 15-year-old and letting me be me for the two years I was in their employ,” she said.

winding cattle

winding cattle

Ann’s final place to governess, south of Boulia, was spent with her future husband Rick Britton.

“Rick came to work where I was during the year. I was engaged to Rick by this stage and we planned to marry at the end of that year.”

Years later, with two grown children, Claire, 25, who has come back to live and work on one of the properties, and Thomas, 27, working and studying in Townsville, Ann reflects on a poignant memory of the kindness of strangers.

“I sincerely believe that my foundation in the outback came with Shirley, her husband Brian, and their two children, Amanda and Kathi’s, acceptance of me in their home and lives.”

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On days that are usually filled with chores at home, general housekeeping, cooking and the endless paperwork (like any farm or business based at home), the need to go out and help with cattle work also means photo opportunities.

“These days I truly enjoy a day out of the house.

“Photography is my therapy. When life gets a bit stressful, grabbing my camera and either walking to capture the sunset or jumping in the car to do a bore run is a great release.

“I capture anything to do with our farm life – the landscape, outback events, I have captured PBR rodeo in Townsville and enjoy very much taking photos at Isa Rodeo for the local paper every year.

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“But my biggest challenge is the light of the outback, to capture it as I see it.

“I pride myself in giving those that view my photography a sense of being there.”

Ann’s involvement with the well-known social media page, Outback Paparazzi, is due to another Australian rural photographer, Bush Babe of Oz, aka Amanda Salisbury, gathering farm photographers from across Australia to share their stories.

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“We have lost three of the girls, all of whom were from WA, so there are three left, Fleur McDonald from WA, Bush Babe from around Monto, Queensland, and myself.”

Photography is also Ann’s way of agvocating – being an agricultural advocate.

“I started my website mainly to do this – to let people who have no idea of our beef business, rural communities, outback life, and its history, learn a little knowledge through my photos about it.”

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My website http://www.annbrittonphotography.com.au

My photography Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/annbrittonphoto/photos_stream

I am also one of three ladies that admin https://www.facebook.com/outbackpaparazzi?ref=hl Outback Paparazzi

I also post my photos on Twitter https://twitter.com/annbritton

 

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