Secluded Beach on Ishigaki Island, Part I
NOTE: Images with an icon next to them have been artificially shrunk to better fit your screen; click the icon to restore them, in place, to their regular size.
Ishigaki, Okinawa, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/640 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos

On the second day of our short trip to Ishigaki Island in the far south of Japan, just shy of Taiwan, after our stopover at a lovely scenic lookout for breathtaking views and ice cream, we continued north in search of a beach. It wasn't an arduous search, because it seems that most of island's entire coastline is beach.

We were heading for a specific beach we saw on the map, when – for just a moment during a bend in the road – we caught a glimpse of a gorgeous stretch of beach. It took a bit of searching, but we finally found an entrance...

Beach Entrance on the Left it's the almost-invisible break in the curb along the left, near the 2nd-closest utility pole -- Ishigaki, Okinawa, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/1000 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Beach Entrance on the Left
it's the almost-invisible break in the curb along the left, near the 2nd-closest utility pole

It's not marked at all, and unless you're looking (or lucky) you'd never notice it. Here's the view from the middle of the road....

Hidden -- Ishigaki, Okinawa, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 35 mm — 1/3200 sec, f/3.2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Hidden

But when you walk through that little clearing, you're greeted with this:

Your Very Own Private Beach ( this picture is also included in Part II of this post ) -- Ishigaki, Okinawa, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/500 sec, f/22, ISO 2500 — map & image datanearby photos
Your Very Own Private Beach
( this picture is also included in Part II of this post )

Fumie and I both burn easily – I can get a 2nd-degree sunburn simply by being exposed to a child's drawing of a sunny day – so after using copious amounts of sunscreen and the like, we let Anthony loose...

Testing the Waters -- Ishigaki, Okinawa, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/500 sec, f/22, ISO 2200 — map & image datanearby photos
Testing the Waters
Sand is Meant to be Dug -- Ishigaki, Okinawa, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/2500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Sand is Meant to be Dug
Toe-Deep in The East China Sea -- Ishigaki, Okinawa, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/800 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Toe-Deep in The East China Sea
Sand is Meant to be Thrown -- Ishigaki, Okinawa, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/2500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Sand is Meant to be Thrown

The little island-outcroppings visible behind Anthony were 100 yards off shore, and really added a wonderful dimension to the scene.

Tiny Islands -- Ishigaki, Okinawa, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200 mm — 1/1000 sec, f/5.6, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Tiny Islands

Anthony and I waded out to them....

Looking Back to the Beach ( Fumie is the dot on the beach just right of center; the blue thing is an old boat ) -- Ishigaki, Okinawa, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/640 sec, f/7.1, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Looking Back to the Beach
( Fumie is the dot on the beach just right of center; the blue thing is an old boat )

The outcroppings were made of very sharp rocks (old coral?)...

Ouchie! -- Ishigaki, Okinawa, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/500 sec, f/7.1, ISO 720 — map & image datanearby photos
Ouchie!

But, they also had shrubs and such, including the delicate flowers I posted the other day.

After taking the photo above, the polarization filter came off my lens as I adjusted it, and plopped right into the sea. I guess I didn't have it screwed on all the way, silly me. Amazingly, as it fluttered toward the bottom, I was able to reach down and actually grab it. That saved me from having to reach all the way to the bottom with one hand while attempting to keep an expensive camera out of the water with the other. I shoved the wet filter into my pocket and we headed back to shore where I dried it off with a T-shirt.

Fumie was relaxing...

Southward View as pristine and uncrowded as the northern view -- Ishigaki, Okinawa, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/2500 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Southward View
as pristine and uncrowded as the northern view

At one point I got this sort of exaggerated shot:

Sort of Dramatic -- Ishigaki, Okinawa, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/4000 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Sort of Dramatic

I'm not entirely sure where the strong colors or the vignetting come from. Unlike the other day when I got vignetting from a mis-sized lens, I think this came from the polarization filter not being screwed on all the way. But then, this was after I got back and I think I had dried the filter and put it back on, so I think I would have made sure to put it on tightly. I dunno. I may need to get a low-profile filter, or a larger size and a step-up ring.

Many of the photos taken at the beach with the filter had a slight amount of vignetting, which I found sufficiently annoying to crop away in all but the photo above.

Relaxation -- Ishigaki, Okinawa, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 24 mm — 1/4000 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Relaxation
Anthony Inspecting Sea Life there were all kinds of interesting things in the sand -- Ishigaki, Okinawa, Japan -- Copyright 2009 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D700 + Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 @ 70 mm — 1/500 sec, f/14, ISO 2000 — map & image datanearby photos
Anthony Inspecting Sea Life
there were all kinds of interesting things in the sand

More on Anthony's sand exploration in a later post.

In the title to this post I used the word “secluded”, but in reality, since the beach is right off the road, “hidden” is a better description. But it turns out that there is a well-secluded beach you can get to from here, if you don't mind wading (or swimming) through a couple hundred yards of ocean. More on that, too, in a later post...

Continued here...


All 9 comments so far, oldest first...

If you waded all the way out there with your D700 and 24-70, you’re a braver man than I….

— comment by Zachary on May 21st, 2009 at 10:34pm JST (8 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

There’s a fine line between brave and moronic…

It’s not like I was in the Mariana Trench or something… I was just walking (something I’ve been able to do for a few years now). The water at worst came up to my chest. I (and the camera) was in substantially more peril while crossing the street. —Jeffrey

— comment by Marcina, USA on May 22nd, 2009 at 9:00am JST (8 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

Walking out in salty sea water with that jillion dollar camera & ka-jillion dollar lenses… Like the lacrosse coach used to say, “Shaky beans, brother… shaky beans!!!”

Nevertheless, nothing can be as exciting as finding a secret beach or even a secret street. Multiply it by 1000 when you can do it with your kid.

— comment by Ron Evans on May 22nd, 2009 at 11:52am JST (8 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

From Burlington Ontario, west end of Lake Ontario.

The images of your young son taken these days will remind
you when he’s much older that the age of
innocence is over all too quickly. And he will change.

You and your wife may only hope that Anthony
still retains his fun spirit over the length and breadth of time.

— comment by Bryce Lee in Burlington, Ontario Canada on May 23rd, 2009 at 8:02am JST (8 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

Ahh! Beautiful! I want to go there!!!!!

Griselda, Arlington, TX

— comment by Griselda Nishikatsu on May 23rd, 2009 at 2:27pm JST (8 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

That beach looks awesome – and it rocks that you had it all to yourselves. Sucks that you guys burn so easily – I love the beach and being out on sunny days.

As others have said – quite a bit of bravery there on taking your camera out into the water without a water-proof enclosure. I’d only attempt that with my POS point and shoot camera.

My absolute favorite shot from this post is “relaxation”. Second favorite is “sorta dramatic”. Runners up – The first one – untitled – and “Toe-deep…”.

— comment by Eric Mesa on May 26th, 2009 at 10:46pm JST (8 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

the vignetting is most likely as you suspected, due to the polarization filter. Shooting at 24mm, and at f2.8 really excerbates the problem.

you could always due a few white wall tests to confirm =P

great beach find btw

— comment by Daniel Chia on May 28th, 2009 at 11:05am JST (8 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

Hi Jeffrey,

I’m a Brit who lives on Ishigaki Island. I just found your blog by chance – lovely photos. I moved here about 6 months ago and I’ve started putting a website together about it:
I’d love to know what you think. I hope it’s okay to post the link on here. http://www.ishigaki-japan.com

All the best,
Richard

— comment by Richard on June 11th, 2009 at 11:41am JST (8 years, 6 months ago) comment permalink

Hello Jeffrey,

I stumbled across your wonderful images and have not stopped smiling. I’ve been to your private beach when my boy no more was your son’s age, 19 years ago. Did you know that there were poisonous fish in the shallows? Everyone there only wade out with shoes on.

Thanks for the images. The boy no more went on to graduate from the US Naval Academy like his sister and just got back from a deployment off the coast of Ishigaki.

— comment by Hiro on November 3rd, 2012 at 2:54pm JST (5 years, 1 month ago) comment permalink
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