The Locations

On this page of Ed's Photos, you can jump directly
to information about Thailand, Japan, China, and America.

Map of Thailand

Map of Thailand, with detail of the north.

My first experience with Thailand was as a student at Chiang Mai University in 1994, studying Thai language, culture and history. I returned to the states to finish my degree, put in a three year stint in Japan, and then returned to Thailand for what was supposed to be a six month vacation. I ended up staying for two years. The draw of Thailand, both as a place for living and taking photographs, is obvious.

Colorful, scenic, a good climate, friendly people, inexpensive, care free... these are a few of the words that people choose when describing Thailand. I've also heard the other side--it's too hot, the people are untrustworthy and lazy and corrupt, the environment is a mess, too many cheap wares and trinkets. Each person will have his or her own take on what is existence in Thailand. There are many foreigners here and each has carved out a life that is by turns idyllic, hellish, self-sadistic, and contentedly hazy. For those who think Thais are lazy, try spending a week on a farm doing the work they do or setting up hidden cameras to see how harsh the conditions can be. If you think they are corrupt, think about what you would do if you earned US$100 a month from an exploitative employer.

My point is that there are many Thailands to see. And each will choose her or her own according to taste.

For a more factual overview of Thailand, see the CIA Fact Book for Thailand.

Japan, Yamagata, Yamagata Prefecture, Yonezawa, Yonezawa City, Kyoto, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Hokkaido Prefecture, map of Japan, Japan map, Japanese map, photos of Japan, Japan photos, Japan photography, photography Japan, Japanese lifestyle, Japanese culture,

Map of Japan with areas marked that are depicted on
Ed's Photos of Japan.

While some of the pics on Ed's Photos of Japan have been taken in various parts of Japan, the vast majority depict Yamagata Prefecture in general (marked in red on the map above) and Yonezawa City in particular.

The Sun Festival gallery shows Sukagawa in neighboring Fukushima Prefecure; the Sapporo Challenge was taken in Sapporo, Hokkaido; and a few of the pics from the People and Scenery galleries were shot in Kyoto.

But of course, I mostly photographed the area where I lived in Japan, in Yonezawa City, Yamagata Prefecture. Those three years were interesting to say the least, and I hope that the photographs I have chosen to show here impart some of the flavor of a rural, "undiscovered" area of northern Japan.

Yamagata Prefecture consists of four regions, the southernmost being Okitama. Yonezawa City seems to be the anchor of Okitama, with a population of about 90,000, and though somewhat countrified there is plenty to see and do. In my role as a photographer I had much material to shoot, and when I was done for the day there was a healthy nightlife to be found--if your expectations are not too high! I hope that my photographs convey to you some sense of the culture in southern Yamagata Prefecture. To give you a fuller idea of the life there, I will list some facts from the famous Yamagata Prefecture "best of" list.


Red Bridge in Yonezawa City,
Yamagata Prefecture.

Biggest, Bestest, Mostest in all Japan!

Largest household size: average 3.45 people
Highest percentage of three-generation households: 28.6%
Highest percentage of parents who both work outside the home: 47.1%
Highest average annual household income: 736,000 yen
Highest average household floor space: 158.9 square meters
Number one annual per capita whiskey consumption: 10,800 yen's worth
Number one home karakoke machine ownership: 26.1% of households
Producer of the most cherries, western pears, and astringent persimmons
Largest zelkova tree: 28m tall, 16m circumference, 5m diameter
Largest dahlia park: 18,000 plants
Largest iris park: one million blooms
Most waterfalls over 1.5m in height: 230
Longest continuously burning flame: over 1000 years
Hottest recorded temperature: 40.8 degrees Celsius
Tallest average height of 2nd year junior high school girls: 156.2cm
And the coolest (hottest?) tidbit: every city, town and village in Yamagata Prefecture has a hot spring.

*Many thanks to the Association for International
Relations in Yamagata for these figures.

So after reading all of this, all I have to say is... what the hell is a zelkova tree?

Map of China
Map of China with detail of Yunnan Province, right, and Hong Kong, lower left.
Water Pipe
Early in the year 2000 visitors to Ed's Photos were given the opportunity to vote for which country they wanted to see next on these pages. The votes were tallied on June 10 with China as the winner, and on June 11 I left for Kunming, Yunnan Province for five days of shooting.

The result was the gallery Assignment Kunming. Kunming is a large city of more than three million people, encompassing both city scapes and natural scenery on its outskirts--ripe for taking photos but also a nice city to visit. The streets and the air were clean, the food was supremely satisfying and I hope to someday return for a longer photo shoot.

In August 2000 I took a quick business trip to Hong Kong and the result of one day of shooting was the gallery Hong Kong Weekend. Even though I was there on business, I found out that it is more than just that--in addition to the joys of taking photos there, I enjoyed the restaurants.

Though I haven't lived in China like I have Japan and Thailand, I hope I will be able to return for some serious shooting--you'll see the results here if I do.

Though it is my home country, there are few galleries on Ed's Photos that were shot in America.

The US Army Officer Candidate gallery was shot in Columbus, GA, at Ft Benning while I was a candidate there. The Malvern and Omaha gallery was shot in those cities in Iowa and Nebraska, resepectively, on a four day weekend liberty. And the gallery Steel Rain was shot in Ft Sill, OK, the home of the United States Army Field Artillery.