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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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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

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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!

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User Feature, art, argentina,

Going 3D with @elo_____

For more photos and videos from Eloísa, follow @elo_____ on Instagram.

“I like the way I can turn my designs into something flat or three-dimensional depending on the color combination, light or point of view,” explains Argentina graphic designer Eloísa Iturbe (@elo_____).

Eloísa, who likes to maintain simplicity and neatness in her artwork, has always been interested in painting and drawing. She explains, “At first I was actually more drawn to textile design. Right after high school, I went to London for 6 months and took a textile design course there. The whole experience in London was quite amazing, as I came from a very small town in Argentina’s countryside. When I returned to Argentina, the only career I found related to textile design was fashion design, and I wasn’t interested in that, so I chose graphic design instead.”

Nowadays, Eloísa runs her own design studio in Buenos Aires and says Instagram has become a great medium for sharing her artwork. “For some time I had been longing to do other kinds of creative projects besides my work at the studio. I wasn’t exactly sure about what that looked like, but only knew it had to be away from the computer. I tried a few different things, but they never lasted. Then I found Instagram, and everything fell into place. The medium of photography suddenly felt right! I found a place to share my work and the motivation to keep it going. It’s been very inspiring and a lot of fun too!”

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current event, cricket, india,

Cricket Season Kicks off for the Indian Premier League (IPL)

To see more photos and videos from the tournament, browse the #IPL hashtag and follow @indianpremierleague.

On Wednesday, the Indian Premier League (@indianpremierleague) kicked off its season of cricket games. As one of the biggest cricket tournaments in the world, hundreds of thousands of fans around the globe tune in to watch the league matches.

This year, the IPL is taking the games outside of India to United Arab Emirates (UAE), where they will start the season with support from their international fans. The league will play at cricket stadiums in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah until the end of April before they return to their home grounds in India to play for local fans.

For a front-row view into the matches of this season, be sure to follow IPL’s Instagram account @indianpremierleague as well as accounts from your favorite teams:

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art thursday, australia,

Sydney’s One Central Park, the World’s Tallest Vertical Garden

To see more photos and videos of the vertical garden, explore the Central Park location page on Instagram.

At Central Park in Sydney, Australia, a 33-floor residential building known as One Central Park houses the world’s tallest vertical garden. Designed by Parisian architect Jean Nouvel, the garden towers at 115 meters (380 feet) and showcases panels of greenery designed by French botanist Patrick Blanc. The panels, some of which are several stories tall, are scattered around the building’s facade and carry 450 types of plants (250 of which are local species).

In addition to the garden, One Central Park is also known for the cantilever that juts out from the top floors of the building. A heliostat of motorized mirrors is installed underneath the cantilever, reflecting sunlight to various areas of the garden. LED art installations designed by French light artist Yann Kersalé are also built into the cantilever, lighting up the environment throughout the night.

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user feature, poetry,

#fourpartpoems with @emolabs

For more photos from Tony’s life and poetry, follow @emolabs on Instagram.

For Texas Instagrammer Tony Ciampa (@emolabs), Instagram serves as a place where images and creative writing come together as a form of self-expression.

After moving to Texas from his native Boston, Massachusetts, Tony took to Instagram to make friends and build a community of his own—and his photos reflect their adventures together. It wasn’t until later when his experiments in poetry began.

"It was a Saturday night, and a girl I was having a fling with wasn’t texting me back, so I was just sitting out on a hill that overlooks the skyline drinking a beer. It felt like this quintessential moment in the life of a young adult, so I wrote down what was in my head, took a photo and posted it," Tony explains. "It was the first poem I’d written since high school, so it was really cool for me to see people respond positively to it." With that post, Tony’s #fourpartpoems series was born, and he’s posted a poem every day since.

As for his aesthetic, handwritten poems photographed in front of sweeping landscapes, Tony cites another artist on Instagram for the initial inspiration. “I follow @lidiagulyas on Instagram, and the photo style comes from her. She does a lot of hand lettering and in one of her photos from a few months ago she had written the phrase ‘I want you’ in a notebook and held it out in front of an out of focus cityscape. It was so moody and really stuck with me.”

Tony writes all of the poems himself, first pouring out his emotions from the day through free writing, then distilling out his rhymes from there. “In my mind,” he says “that keeps the emotion as authentic as possible.” He then embellishes them with line drawings and sets up his photo before dusk, his self-imposed deadline for posting his work.

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Sara Catherine Pierce, User Feature,

Hunting for Colors, Shadows and Reflections in Los Angeles with @sara_cath

For more of Sara’s portraits, follow @sara_cath on Instagram.

"I’ve been drawn to color and shape since a very young age. I grew up believing the best thing about school is art class and the best thing about going to stayaway camp was getting to shoot photos on a disposable camera," says Los Angeles photographer Sara Catherine Pierce (@sara_cath).

"I’ve found that I have an affinity for those three things in photography: color, shadow and reflection. I use these to highlight what I find dear to me in my every day life," she says. Often, Sara turns to her friends for her photos, snapping colorful portraits of @clickinkris, @qualiitea, @keeegman and others in Los Angeles.

"An introspective portrait can be taken anywhere if draped in beautiful light and if the color surrounding pops," she says. "Color coordination makes me giddy. I’ve been squealing a lot these days when I find a particular shade of teal to photograph!" To catalog her shadow photos, Sara also started a series of shadow portraits with the #hishadowhi hashtag.

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User Feature, mytoyplane, putaplaneonit, macau,

Chasing Toy Planes with @vnthota

For more of Varun’s photos, browse the #mytoyplane hashtag and follow @vnthota on Instagram.

As the son of a helicopter pilot, Macau Instagrammer Varun Thota (@vnthota) developed an early love for flying. “I used to play Microsoft’s Flight Simulator for hours and even used it to train for my mock pilot’s certificate as a kid,” Varun remembers.

Now in his late twenties, Varun is still simulating flight patterns but has taken to Instagram to explore his fascination with aviation in a series he calls #mytoyplane. “I decided to start the series when my dad picked up a limited edition Kinder Egg chocolate pack, which included five Airbus A330s inside them,” says Varun. Drawing inspiration from the #putaplaneonit hashtag, Varun adds, “A lot of the photos using that hashtag are quite amazing and it was interesting to see how people even blended in photos of planes with insane backgrounds. I wanted to do something similar, and the idea of using the perfectly sized Kinder Egg planes with someone holding it to add perspective was what I decided to try.”

The results are an imaginative set of photographs that playfully weave viewers through skyscrapers, city streets and the Macau countryside. When it comes to choosing his locations, Varun says, “I try to pick them when I feel they are realistic enough to have actual planes fly over or by them, so this is usually over resident buildings or estates. One of my favorites is looking up through a fire exit ladder.”

More than anything, what Varun looks forward to about the #mytoyplane series, and Instagram in general, is the relationship building: “The thing I enjoy most about the series is how fun it is to include other people in it. It’s always fun to show people the plane, tell them the story and then ask them for a helping hand in taking the shot.”