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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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Photography, Art, design, Artists on Tumblr, Architecture, teresita fernandez, mass moca, berkshire, Art Thursday, Instagram,

Teresita Fernández’s As Above So Below

For more photos and videos from As Above So Below, follow @massmoca on Instagram.

Teresita Fernández (@teresitafz) created As Above So Below in response to the old factory space that houses the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (@massmoca) as well as the light that surrounds it. “The color in the works is meant to radiate a glowing light that changes with the tone of daylight pouring in through the windows of the space,” the artist says. “In many ways, the shapes and color of the works are like cinematic dissolves that seem ephemeral.”

The vivid colors and monumental scale of the works make them popular to photograph. “All of the works in the show deal with the idea of the viewer as a figure in the landscape,” Teresita says. “Visitors have captured that sensibility and played with that idea in their own photographs.”

As Above So Below is on view until March 2015.

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Photography, Architecture, Art, history, india, hindu temple, meenakshi amman, Location Feature, Instagram,

Exploring the Meenakshi Amman Temple in Madurai, India

For more photos and videos from the temple, browse the #Meenakshi hashtag and explore the Meenakshi Amman Temple location page.

In the center of Madurai, the oldest city in India’s southern state of Tamil Nadu, the Meenakshi Amman Temple stands as a mythological and architectural symbol of the region. Initially founded in ancient times and rebuilt to reflect urban planning methods around the 17th century, the Hindu temple is dedicated to the legendary Goddess Meenakshi and her husband Lord Sundareswara (also known as Parvati and Shiva).

The 18 hectare (45 acre) temple complex consists of 12 pyramid-shaped gopurams, or traditional gateway towers, which measure as tall as 50 meters (164 feet) in height. These towers are erected along the outer and inner walls of the temple and are decorated with thousands of carved figures from roof to the floor, each representing gods, demons, heroes and animals appearing in Hindu myths. Other attractions of the premises include shrines for Meenakshi and Sundareswarar, magnificent hallways and the Golden Lotus Temple tank. The temple is home to around 50 priests and a number of annual Hindu festivals, making it an active place of worship as well as a major tourist attraction of Southern India.

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Instagram, portrait, hashtag highlight, Photography, portraits, portraitwithoutface, User Feature,

Capturing Portraits Without Faces with @the69th.

For more portraits without faces, browse the #portraitwithoutface hashtag and follow Anna Pavlova (@the69th) on Instagram.

“‘Why is the person in the portrait always turned away from you’, everyone asks me,” says Russia Instagrammer Anna Pavlova (@the69th), whose #portraitwithoutface hashtag series features photos lacking faces. “My photos have people who don’t show their faces, but there are still people in the shot,” she explains. “Portraits without faces are like an open-ended romance. Everyone can think what they like about the shot. Is this person in the portrait happy or not? Maybe the person is excited or just calmly enjoying the world around.” Want to try taking a #portraitwithoutface shot of your own? “Use different angles and props for the shot,” Anna advises. “For example, use green leaves, basketball balls or matte glass to cover the face in the shot.” She adds, “Do not forget about backgrounds such as a picturesque landscape or a colorful wall—there are a lot of angles worth exploring to make your faceless portrait unique!”

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Instagram, brazil, rio de janeiro, Photography, beach,

Capturing the Moods of the Sea with @rochajuliana

For more photos from Copacabana’s moody shorelines, follow @rochajuliana on Instagram.

“I am not sure where Copacabana beach ends and Juliana begins,” says Brazil Instagrammer Juliana Rocha (@rochajuliana) of her #copacabanasentimental photo project. Each day, Juliana shoots Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana beach in an attempt to capture the beach’s daily moods through photography and witty captions.

Although she’s originally from Brazil’s Northeastern state of Ceará, Juliana has always felt a draw to Copacabana over the eight years that she has lived in Rio. “The beach is the place where the ocean meets the sky,” she says. “Its infinite nature symbolizes everything that is unknown about life.” Her photo series began on a day when she came up with what she describes as an “infuriated” sea. From then on, she felt increasingly in tune with the waters. “In the beginning,” she explains, “I was able to separate my emotions from the emotions of the sea. Today, it’s as if my feelings and the emotion in the photos blend together completely.”

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Architecture, street photography, brazil, sao paulo, User Feature, Instagram,

Coloring in the Gray Areas with @andersonangelico

To see more of Anderson’s colorful São Paulo, follow @andersonangelico on Instagram.

São Paulo might be best known for its gray cityscapes, but local Instagrammer Anderson Angelico’s (@andersonangelico) photos tell a more colorful story. “It’s not easy to find color here, but if you pay close attention you can find it. Colors bring happiness and remind me of something childlike,” says Anderson, who loves exploring hidden and winding streets. “My favorite colors are yellow and red, and the other day I was overjoyed to find a yellow building with red windows in São Paulo’s city center.” Whenever possible, he tries to place people in front of his urban scenarios. “Streets are incredibly inspiring to me. They are full of people, hidden colors and so many different situations just waiting to be captured.”

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portrait, WHPtodayimet, weekend hashtag project, Photography, Instagram,

Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPtodayimet

Weekend Hashtag Project is a series featuring designated themes and 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 #WHPtodayimet, which asked participants to get outside of their comfort zones, make new friends and share portraits with their stories. 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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Photography, food, design, sunday suppers, nana hagel, karen mordechai, copenhagen, New York City, todayimet, Instagram,

#TodayIMet with @nana_ha and @sundaysuppers

In this series, Instagrammers share the stories of meeting people in real life after discovering their work on Instagram. To see more photos and videos by @nana_ha and @sundaysuppers, follow them on Instagram and browse the #todayimet hashtag.

Copenhagen food and travel journalist Nana Hagel (@nana_ha) landed an internship in New York City through Instagram. She had been following the Instagram images of Karen Mordechai, founder of Sunday Suppers (@sundaysuppers). “I immediately fell in love with her style,” Nana says. “I saw that she was looking for help and I knew I had to apply.”

Nana joined the team on Wednesday. “Meeting Nana from across the world and having her come to collaborate with us at the studio is one of the things I love about Instagram,” Karen says. “It really is about expanding your vision and community. It affords us the chance to meet amazing people that we wouldn’t have a chance to connect with otherwise.”

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photography, art, narni, landscape, italy, umbria, Location Feature, instagram, narnia, cs lewis, chronicles of narnia,

A World of Childhood Fantasy in Narni, Italy

For more enchanting photos and videos from Narni, Italy, explore the Narni location page and browse the #Narni hashtag.

There are stunning similarities between the real-life town of Narni and the fictional world of Narnia: blazing green hills, clear blue skies and picturesque stone structures.

In fact, the classic fantasy series The Chronicles of Narnia, written by C.S. Lewis in 1950, is rumored to have been inspired by this small Italian town 50 miles north of Rome. According to biographer Walter Hooper, Lewis was fascinated by ancient history, and Narni—named “Narnia” in Roman times—was highlighted by the children’s author in his personal atlas.

Whether Lewis visited Narni has never been confirmed, but even today, its cobblestone streets and castle fortress look like they belong in a magical, medieval novel. And while there are no mythical, talking creatures roaming the land, Narni still feels like a place pulled straight out of our childhood imaginations.

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the week on instagram, TWOI, Instagram,

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Photography, dance, yoga, Artists on Tumblr, breakdancing, flexibility, germany, User Feature, Instagram,

Feats of Incredible Strength and Flexibility with @rubberlegz

For more breakdance contortionism, follow @rubberlegz on Instagram.

Professional dancer Rauf Yasit (@rubberlegz) can stretch into such seemingly impossible shapes that you might think he has no bones in his body. His self-portraits on Instagram are called “Freezes” that he says require him to “click, run, and quickly get into the pose.” Some positions he can hold for only a few seconds, others for much longer. “With time you get to know your body,” he says. “You grow into it.”

The son of a folk dance teacher from Kurdistan who would make him perform traditional Kurdish dances at weddings, Rauf fell in love with breakdancing as a 12-year-old in Germany. His life as Rubber Legz began when an early back injury forced him to take a different approach, shifting his focus from acrobatics to flexibility. He started watching contortion videos and integrated elements of yoga into his breakdance moves. Rauf is now a full-time dancer with his stage group, Flying Steps, who are currently on tour in Germany. He’s also at work on a book that will feature his poses across the landscapes of Reykjavik, Iceland. He says he wants to “express pure and beautiful things” with his dancing and credits the Instagram community as a motivation for pushing the boundaries of his art—and flexibility.