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208. The Yellow Pygmy-goby (Lubricogobius exiguus)


A Yellow Pygmy-goby (Lubricogobius exiguus) has made its home in a hollow twig, probably bamboo, on a sandy and muddy shallow slope on Bali’s northern shores.

This very small goby, with a maximum size of 4cm/1.6 inches, hence its name, is one of the six different species of slippery gobies (Lubricogobius), a genus in the very large goby family (Gobidiidae). They are always yellow, with sometimes a touch of orange near their heads and a lemon green shine near their tails. These gobies are also transparent, and it is easy to see and observe their intestines.

These little gobies inhabit the tropical waters of the western Pacific Ocean, from Japan in the north to the southernmost islands of the Indonesian archipelago.

The Yellow Pygmy-goby likes to make its home in hollow objects. Hollow bamboo twigs, discarded bottles, the chitinous tubes of marine tube worms, and tube sponges are most often used by these small but beautiful gobies. Very often, these shelters are also used to safeguard their eggs until they hatch.

These gobies are quite popular with underwater photographers and videographers alike, especially when they are found in the confines of a discarded bottle.


As is often the case in underwater video images, suspended particles were present in this footage. If the amount of these particles is not too high, they are quite easily dealt with. To remove these spoilsports, I edited this footage in two layers; the first and upper layer, isolating the goby and the twig, sharpening and colour correcting the subject, and the background or lower layer received a gaussian effect in combination with some noise-reducing software to reduce the visibility of all the flakes and dust drifting by.

To draw the eye even more onto the subject, a vignette was applied on top of the footage. By doing so, chances are that the vast majority won't spot these particles in the final version of this short underwater videoclip.

In many cases, it is much easier to hide certain details in videography, as most viewers do not have the time to notice certain small details due to the constant motion of the image. In photography, this is much more difficult. Spectators can take all the time necessary to inspect a picture in great detail.

The goby has been filmed with the use of a dioptre or macro lens. Diopters are not the macro lens itself but the unit of measurement used to express the refractive power of a lens. Both terms, dioptre and macro lens, are so often used interchangeably that it is almost acceptable to call a macro lens a dioptre in underwater videography. However, the use of a macro lens is sometimes really necessary when filming small subjects like shrimps, nudibranchs, or tiny fish like this Yellow Pygmy-goby. The macro lens allows the camera to capture all parts and aspects of the subject in great detail. Without its usage, many beautiful details would be lost in your final product.

Filming location:

This short underwater videoclip has been filmed in Bali, Indonesia 🇮🇩

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