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Welcome to the Instagram blog! See how Instagrammers are capturing and sharing the world's moments through photo and video features, user spotlights, tips and news from Instagram HQ.

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shakespeare's birthday, current events, stratford upon avon, william shakespeare, english literature, news,

Marking the 450th Anniversary of William Shakespeare’s Birth

For more photos from the sites of William’s Shakespeare life, explore the Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Globe Theater and Shakespeare’s Grave location pages.

Every year at the end of April, a celebration of the life and works of the great playwright William Shakespeare takes place in the market town of Stratford-upon-Avon, England. Shakespeare was born there in 1564 and cultural celebrations in Stratford’s streets, with entertainers, street performers and traditional Morris dancers, go back hundreds of years.

From his plays to his sonnets, Shakespeare’s extensive works have produced a legacy of characters, ideas, histories and, of course, words—it is thought he contributed more than 2,000 to the English language. His plays are a staple on many school curriculums, and continue to be reinterpreted on stage, rewritten in fiction and retold on screen.

The man himself is still very much a mystery and few details exist about his private life. Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway with whom he bore three children, before relocating to London to pursue his acting and writing career. He died at the age of 52 on April 23, 1616—a date which fell very near to his birthday in the same month (the exact date is unknown).

This year marks the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth and, on Saturday, a special procession will take place in Stratford, ending with celebrants laying flowers on Shakespeare’s grave in the Holy Trinity Church. The world-renowned Royal Shakespeare Company will also host a full program of shows.

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daniel krieger, cocktails, how i shoot, User Feature,

How I Shoot: Capturing Cocktails with @danielkrieger

For each How I Shoot, we ask an Instagrammer to tell us about the process behind their photos and videos. For more of Daniel’s pictures of food and drink, follow @danielkrieger on Instagram.

For Daniel Krieger (@danielkrieger), a photographer in New York City, the recipe for an enticing cocktail photo includes “beautiful composition, atmosphere and the best possible light.”

Though he also regularly documents dishes at restaurants such as Estela (@estelanyc) and Maison Premiere (@maisonpremiere), Daniel said that cocktails have something special going for them that most dishes don’t: their ability to transmit light. Captured correctly, “that glass just pops and creates an instant focus for the viewer.”

Here are Daniel’s tips for capturing the perfect cocktail photo:

Camera

"iPhone 5."

Vantage Point

"A 45-degree angle is nice because it shows the different layers of the drink and glass. And try backing up a bit. When you fill the entire frame with a dish of food or, in this case, a cocktail, the frame feels cramped and the iPhone camera doesn’t do as well. Put the drink against a wall, using some of the wall in your frame to create a nice composition. Watch your peripherals. If there’s a crumpled cocktail napkin behind your drink, move it out of the frame. If some guy is in the background of your frame maybe move a little bit to get him out of it. If he keeps following you around maybe go to another bar!"

Shooting

"Either use a cool glass—a coupe is a sexy choice—or a spirit with a rich, beautiful color. As with any type of mobile photography, natural light is a large chunk of the pie chart that makes up a good photograph. I will often use direct sunlight late in the day.”

Editing

"Enhance the image using an app like Snapseed (iOS and Android) or VSCO (iOS and Android). And don’t forget to enjoy the drink. Cheers!”

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location feature, cathedral park, st johns bridge, portland, Architecture,

Exploring Portland’s Cathedral Park

For more photos and videos from the park and its arches, explore the Cathedral Park and St. John’s Bridge location pages.

In the northernmost part of Portland, Oregon, the iconic St. John’s Bridge extends across the Willamette River. Though the bridge has become known for its green hue and distinctly pointed towers, the park underneath has also come to enjoy a fame of its own.

The bridge’s stylized architecture continues even into its soaring concrete supports, which resemble the arches of a Gothic cathedral. Taking its name from the supports, Cathedral Park opened in 1980—a stark change from what had nearly been a junkyard beneath the bridge a decade earlier.

Now, the park’s lush meadow spaces, proximity to the river and dramatic backdrops create a special draw for local and visiting Instagrammers, making the space a favorite for creative outings and InstaMeets.

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current events, litterati, Earth Day,

Doing Your Part on Earth Day with @litterati

For more of Jeff’s finds, follow @litterati on Instagram and contribute your own discoveries with the #litterati hashtag. To see more photos and videos from Earth Day celebrations around the world, browse the #earthday2014 and #earthday hashtags.

Spotting a piece of garbage in the woods during a walk with his young daughter sparked the inspiration for Jeff Kirshner’s project, @litterati.

"Seeing my daughter’s perplexed expression reminded me of when I was a kid at summer camp," explains Jeff. "Before our parents came to visit, our director made us each pick up five pieces of trash. So I thought, why not apply that same crowdsource­ cleaning model to the entire planet?"

Litterati introduces a social element to cleaning up garbage. The steps are simple:

  1. Find a piece of litter
  2. Photograph it with Instagram
  3. Add the “#litterati” hashtag
  4. Throw out, recycle or compost the litter

Your photo is then added to the digital landfill of cleaned-up garbage, and the people who see your photo in their feed are encouraged to participate as well.

To date, more than 40,000 pieces of garbage have been picked up across 45 countries. Visit litterati.org to learn more about where litter accumulates and what items are most commonly found.

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current events, Boston Marathon, Boston Strong,

Undaunted, Runners and Spectators Gather for the 2014 Boston Marathon

For more photos and videos from the 2014 Boston Marathon, browse the #bostonmarathon and #bostonstrong hashtags, explore the Boston Marathon Finish Line location page and follow @bostonmarathon on Instagram.

More than 35,000 runners and nearly half a million spectators turned out for the 118th annual Boston Marathon today. Despite last year’s bombings at the finish line, top athletes from 91 countries convened in Boston again this year. Family, friends and well-wishers—undeterred by last year’s tragedy—lined the 26.2 mile route from Hopkinton to Boston to cheer and document the event.

Rita Jeptoo of Kenya, with a time of 2:18:57, took first in the women’s category. With a time of 2:08:37, Meb Keflezighi took first place among men, the first American to do so since 1983.

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weekend hashtag project, WHPtypeinthewild, Typography,

Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPtypeinthewild

Weekend Hashtag Project is a series featuring designated themes & hashtags chosen by Instagram’s Community Team. For a chance to be featured on the Instagram blog, follow @instagram and look for a post announcing the weekend’s project every Friday.

This weekend’s tag was #WHPtypeinthewild, which asked participants to capture creative photos of typography in the world around us. Every Monday we feature some of our favorite submissions from the project, but be sure to check out the rest here.

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current events, påskris, Easter, sweden,

Celebrating Easter in Sweden with Påskris

For a look at how Easter is celebrated in Sweden and across Northern Europe, browse the #påskris hashtag.

In the spring, florists, markets and city centers in Sweden display twigs and trees sprouting some unexpected blooms: feathers.

Påskris, or “Easter twigs,” refer to birch twigs that have been decorated after being cut and tied together. These Easter trees, especially when displayed in the home, are adorned with colorful feathers, eggs and more.

Beginning in the 17th century, Christian Swedes used påskris—without the feathers—to strike one another as a reminder of Jesus’s suffering. During the 18th century, however, påskris transformed into a more vibrant (and less painful) tradition and have spread to other Nordic countries.

Påskris are placed in water-filled vases and provide bursts of color that Sweden’s spring cannot supply due to its harsh and lengthy winters. If one is lucky enough to find twigs with some early blooms, however, the leaves grow and provide natural color to the påskris, bringing the new life of spring into the home. The more courageous locals will also bring these bursts of color outside the home by adorning the trees that line streets and city centers with colorful feathers and decorations to celebrate Easter and welcome the spring.

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twoi, the week on instagram, instagram news,

The Week on Instagram | 127

News

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user feature, In the Artist's Studio, Javier Calleja, art,

In the Artist’s Studio with @javicalleja

To see more of Javier’s work, follow @javicalleja on Instagram.

"I really hope I can make someone smile every day," says Spanish artist Javier Calleja (@javicalleja), who lives and works in Málaga. Javier’s bright, whimsical creations take the form of drawings, paintings and occasionally sculpture.

Since joining Instagram a year ago, Javier’s built a community around his playful, surreal aesthetic. “As an artist, Instagram gives me the opportunity to share my work around the world,” Javier explains. But Javier’s use of Instagram goes deeper, and he uses the platform to engage with his fans. “I’ll do art just for Instagram,” he says. “It’s a great testing ground.”

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weekend hashtag project, WHPtypeinthewild, Typography, fonts,

Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPtypeinthewild

Weekend Hashtag Project is a series featuring designated themes & hashtags chosen by Instagram’s Community Team. For a chance to be featured on the Instagram blog, follow @instagram and look for a post announcing the weekend’s project every Friday.

The goal this weekend is to capture creative photos of typography in the wild. Some tips to get you started:

  • Words are everywhere! Look for hand-painted signs, colorful billboards, advertisements in the newspaper or all around. Once you start looking for type, you’ll see it all over.
  • Seek out the unusual. Look for characters that are hand-drawn or that are particularly colorful. Vintage signs and antique shops tend to be filled with these treasures.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment with how you frame your photo. Zoom out to show the word or phrase it its entirely or get up close on a single letter to emphasize its shape in an abstract way.

PROJECT RULES: Please only add the #WHPtypeinthewild hashtag to photos taken over this weekend and only submit your own photographs to the project. Any image taken then tagged over the weekend is eligible to be featured right here Monday morning!