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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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art thursday, sculpture, bass museum, el anatsui,

Making Art out of Waste with El Anatsui

To see more photos and videos from El Anatsui’s sculptures, explore the Bass Museum of Art location page and browse the #elanatsui hashtag on Instagram.

Ghana sculptor El Anatsui finds inspiration in the waste caused by modern consumption. He creates colorful wall sculptures out of discarded aluminum bottle caps, seals and labels produced by local distilleries in Nigeria, where he’s lived for most of his career.

El Anatsui’s current exhibit, Gravity and Grace, features twelve monumental sculptures on show at Miami’s Bass Museum of Art (@bassmuseumofart).

Next, the exhibit will be installed in other institutions across the United States, each time with a unique approach: El Anatsui encourages those installing the pieces to influence them by squeezing, stretching or reshaping the sculptures to best fit the space and context.

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User Feature, ceará, brazil,

Capturing Moments in Rural Brazil with @suckeruser

For more photos and videos from Eduardo, follow @suckeruser on Instagram.

“Once when I was really little, I found my mother’s camera lying around. I grabbed it without her permission and went around taking photographs. When she found out she was pretty angry, especially because film was so expensive at the time. I remember begging her to let me reveal the film, since I was dying to see the photos I’d taken. I think that was the day I fell in love with photography as well as the possibility of capturing moments,” recalls Brazil Instagrammer Eduardo Pedro (@suckeruser).

16-year-old Eduardo is now in his first year of college studying law, though he says his true love is photography. Growing up in a rural part of of the northeastern state of Ceará contributed to his love of photography: “The simplicity and beauty of things here inspires me both in my life and in my photography.” When shooting, he often uses his friends as models. “My friends definitely suffer a bit with me behind the camera. I’m always telling them to jump, run and lie down. I guess they are more guinea pigs than models.”

Eduardo’s passion extends to both analog and mobile photography. He says, “I love shooting on my phone. I think mobile photography has allowed lots of people to develop their eye as photographers, reinforcing that what really matters is the creativity one uses rather than the equipment itself. It’s been wonderful to see photography evolve and people start to recognize its ability to eternalize moments. That is really beautiful.”

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spotlight, romania, Location Feature, User Feature,

Spotlight: Romania

Spotlight Since launching, we’ve seen Instagram spread from our headquarters in California to every corner of the globe. In this series we highlight Instagrammers from countries and cities with thriving communities.

"Every known superstition in the world is gathered into the horse-shoe of the Carpathians, as if it were the centre of some sort of imaginative whirlpool." — Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

With the Carpathian mountains arcing across its center and the river Danube running along its southern region, Romania is a country of vast and hilly peaks and luscious wetlands.

A history steeped in folklore, Romania’s rural and remote landscape served as the fictional home of Bram Stoker’s famous vampire, Count Dracula. With numerous hilltop castles such as Bran Castle, as well as the fairytale turrets of King Carol I’s Peleş Castle in Transylvania, it comes as little surprise that Romania has ignited the imagination of so many.

For a closer look at Romania’s haunting landscapes and bustling cities through the lenses of just a few of the many Instagrammers that live there, follow:

  • Lorant Pandea, Transylvania photographer – @lorantpandea
  • Oana Befort, graphic designer and illustrator in Bucharest – @oanabefort
  • Lavinia Cernău, photographer in Cluj-Napoca – @lavinia_cernau
  • Liviu Ratiu, photographer in Cluj-Napoca – @liviuratiu
  • Raluca Tămaș, journalist in Bucharest – @raltamas

For a closer look at Romania, explore the country through some of its most popular and picturesque destinations:

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hashtag highlight, babysuiting, mommyshorts,

Hashtag Highlight: @mommyshorts and the Art of #babysuiting

For more photos of tiny babies in big suits, browse the #babysuiting hashtag and follow @mommyshorts on Instagram.

"I love coming up with creative themes for baby photos and having my audience participate," says Ilana Wiles (@mommyshorts), a creative director and blogger from New York. Ilana sparked the #babymugging trend, in which people take photos of babies as if they’re sitting in mugs. Dogs were the next to get in on the fun with the popular #muttmuggin hashtag.

"Ever since the success of #babymugging, I’m always trying to come up with the next baby photo meme," explained Ilana. "When my nephew was born, I had the idea of photographing him in his dad’s suit. The photo was so funny to me, I decided to go around to friends with newborns and photograph them in their dad’s suits too."

When it came to giving the theme a name, Ilana polled her followers. “I went with #babysuiting,” she explains, “because it was a nice piggyback to #babymugging, and, in my experience, hashtags work best when they are very easy to decipher.”

Ilana offers this advice for those who’d like to give #babysuiting a shot: “Before you lie your baby down, set up the shirt in the suit jacket, with the tie around the collar. It’s much less likely to disturb your baby if you don’t have to move him that much once he is on the floor. Also, the bigger the suit, the funnier the picture!”

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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.