White-throated dippers (Cinclus cinclus) are common winter visitors to southern Finland. Many of the rapids in the region host a dipper (or more) for the season, usually attracting viewers and photographers: this species is a crowd favourite! I can totally understand that, seeing them plunge into cold water without breaking a sweat is a mesmerising spectacle for me too.
I have a secret spot, out of the city, which not many visit. I was there on a sunny February morning last winter. For a few hours, I sat in the snow and moved my toes inside my boots, but having two dippers chasing each other in front of me was well worth enduring such cold conditions. I hid under winter camouflage so the birds couldn't spot me, and it worked like a charm: they sometimes came very close!
Check the dipper's jump below!
For the curious photographers among you, here are some technical details. I used two set-ups: short exposure (1/2500s, f2.8, ISO100) and long exposure (1/40s, f22, ISO100), on a tripod. I memorised both of them into custom modes 1 and 2, so I could quickly switch between the two. I also recently discovered that there is a function that automatically updates custom modes if you make changes to them: it's wonderful, it really helps having the right settings at the right moment!
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