John Spies

Mae Hong Son, Thailand

I am an Australian expat living in the hills of Mae Hong Son province Thailand (please visit I photograph almost...

I was born in Sydney, but have spent the last 30 plus years as a resident in Thailand. My home for the past 25 years has been Cave Lodge ( for more pics and info), a guest house I built in a Shan village near the Burmese border in the far northwestern corner of Thailand.This once-remote mountainous region is home to many ethnic minorities, called ‘hilltribes’, the infamous opium growers of the Golden Triangle. My backyard consists of rugged limestone landscapes pocketed with hundreds of extraordinary caves,
disappearing streams and small villages. The hilltribes and their environment triggered my original interest in photography, and over the decades I have had many excellent opportunities and plenty of inspiration to pursue my interest. I have tried to capture traditional scenes and lifestyles along with the wild places and wild times I have survived. Some members may recognise a few images from old copies of Australian Geo. Many of the photographs that I am uploading on Red Bubble were taken in the 1970s and 80s and are of historical significance. Incidentally, Red Bubble is the first internet site that I have uploaded my images to. I hope you enjoy them.

One of my most popular images.

One of my favourite Thai caves.

This image of a hilltribe man seeing his photograph for the first time is another favourite of mine.

Featured photographs:

CALENDARS: I have created a few calendars, but I would be delighted to create a CUSTOM MADE CALENDAR just for you. Just bubblemail me a list of 13 of my images that you would like on a calendar, select one for the cover, or for every month if you like, and I will create it, then, if you like it, it is all yours for my usual meagre mark up of 40%. If you don’t want it then I might delete it, or maybe someone else would like your selection.

Here is one I have added to my collection. It is Tribal Women. Please check out my other calendars.

  • Joined: April 2009


Custom-made calendars

I am sure this is not new, but I have pondered on the idea of being able to select anyone’s images to create my own calendar. It will probably be a while before the RB team can get their act together to implement this idea, which would generate more sales for everyone…so, in the meantime, I have decided to create custom-made calendars for anyone who wants one. Just bubblemail me your …
Posted over 9 years – 4 comments

Homepage feature

Been a good week, with another homepage feature. My Shwedagon Pagoda shot of three Burmese monks is up there with some other great shots. And a few days ago, Lost Art, my photo of now-rubbed-out rock art in Lod Cave, Thailand was first in the Hunter-gatherer society challenge. Thanks again to you all for all of the positive feedback and support. John
Posted over 9 years – 14 comments

Made it on Home Page

It came as a bit of a surprise this morning when I found out a monochrome photo ‘smashed into pieces’ of a few of the poor old Apostles was featured on home page. I feel honoured. Since joining RB in April 2009, I have had a lot of fun uploading more than 200 images, searching through old slides, being a little creative and being inspired to shoot more. I have entered challenges all o…
Posted over 9 years – 20 comments

More sales for everyone!

As a newcomer to Red Bubble, I am not sure if this topic has been raised before or would be more appropriately raised ina forum, but I have a couple of ideas that could make us and RB a bit richer. There is an abundance of incredible art on this site, and I would love a calendar, or a simply-bound book of images from various artists that I could choose myself. For instance, imagine a calendar of …
Posted over 9 years – 7 comments
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