Happy opium poppy farmer by John Spies

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A Mien woman in the mountains of Northern Thailand scrapes raw opium from mature poppy seedpods. It is a laborious process but this woman, standing amongst her colourful and healthy flowers, knows it will be a good harvest. Oblivious to the fact that her opium could well end up in the veins of heroin addicts in developed countries, she grows her traditional cash crop with pride.
Taken in the early 1980s with negative film, a Nikon FM2, nikkor 28mm lense.

I am an Australian expat living in the hills of Mae Hong Son province Thailand (please visit cavelodge.com). I photograph almost everything, above and below ground.

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  • allisefountain
    allisefountainover 4 years ago

    wow, nice shot, it really feels like you are there with her!

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  • She was lovely, it was a perfect day and the opium has a very sappy odour…

    – John Spies

  • fezoj64
    fezoj64over 4 years ago
    Splendid shot John .Nice portrait . ..Jozef
  • With a naturally elegant subject in such surroundings it was hard to go wrong, except i was shooting film…so i was lucky.

    – John Spies

  • F.A. Moore
    F.A. Mooreover 4 years ago

    John, it’s good to see this new post and YOU. Wow, what a gorgeous image. I can’t imagine dressing that way to “check my poppies”. The pinks and reds are a delight!

  • It was a very captivating scene. Her pants, which we can’t see in this shot, are covered with fine cross stitch embroidery, as colourful as her poppies. Thanks for your nice comment.

    – John Spies

  • artwhiz47
    artwhiz47over 4 years ago

    Surroundings, surroundings, surroundings – variation on the ‘location’ theme, I guess. Another remarkable shot. One woman’s trash, another’s treasure.

  • Erika Gouws
    Erika Gouwsover 4 years ago

    Good to see your work again!

  • ..and nice to hear from you Erika

    – John Spies

  • jazzdevil
    jazzdevilover 4 years ago

  • Margaret Harris
    Margaret Harrisover 4 years ago

    Now there’s something I don’t see everyday ! Beautiful work !!

  • The days of happy poppy farmers are finished in Thailand…so I can also no longer see this. Thanks Margaret.

    – John Spies

  • Angie Muccillo
    Angie Muccilloover 4 years ago

    She’s so gorgeous! And what a magnificent field!

  • jazzdevil
    jazzdevilover 4 years ago

  • Thanks a lot for the feature

    – John Spies

  • Trish Meyer
    Trish Meyerabout 4 years ago

    Congrats on your feature of this great shot John!

  • Thanks for all of your supportive and positive comments Trish.

    – John Spies

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