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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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Instagram, Photography, Location Feature, azerbaijan, baku, Architecture, zaha hadid, heydar aliyev center,

A Sweeping Symbol of Modernity in Azerbaijan

For more photos and videos from The Heydar Aliyev Center, explore the Heydar Aliyev Center location page.

The Heydar Aliyev Center in Azerbaijan resembles a cresting wave—there are no straight lines on the structure’s curved, white surface. Constructed by British architect Zaha Hadid in 2012, the center’s unique shape is a symbol of modernity in the city of Baku, reflecting the present and the future in progress. Heydar Aliyev stands primarily as a venue for art exhibitions, and its stunning landscape is also popular backdrop for visiting and local Instagrammers alike.

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weekend hashtag project, WHPbwlandscapes, landscape, black and white, Photography, Instagram,

Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPbwlandscapes

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 project was #WHPbwlandscapes, which asked participants to capture beautiful landscapes in black and white. 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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Art, visual arts, writing, Black and White, brazil, sao paulo, User Feature, Instagram,

Shooting letters with @verenasmit

To see more photos of Verena’s play on words follow @verenasmit on Instagram

It all started with an old typewriter and some tired expressions. “I began playing with the clichés we hear all the time,” São Paulo visual artist Verena Smit (@verenasmit), says. “I’ll cross out a letter or a word, but make it so it can still be read. While there’s a part that rejects the cliché, there’s also a part that would like to somehow embrace it.”

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photography, art, collage art, layers, instagram,

Slicing It Up with @bedelgeuse

To see more collages, follow @bedelgeuse on Instagram.

“When I cut paper there is a release of tension, like the object I’m cutting out is confined in the paper and I am releasing it,” explains New York-based paper collage artist Travis Baker (@bedelgeuse).

Travis never planned to become an artist but when he came across anatomical and botanical illustrations in 2009, he naturally started cutting and pasting. “Since these illustrations were done around the same time period, they had a similar aesthetic. My mind instantly came to the idea to create collages from it.” Over the years Travis has built up a large image library which he adds to over time, sourcing illustrations in old science and medical books. “My inspiration is the energy that exists between human and nature,” he says. “So much emotion is expressed by using anatomical imagery.”

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Instagram, Photography, the week on instagram, TWOI, catalunya, nyfw, 9/11, Architecture, landscape,

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Photography, events, Japan, fireworks, fire festival 2014, Location Feature, current event, Instagram,

Igniting Handheld Fireworks at Summer Festivals in Japan

For more photos and videos of the handheld fireworks, browse the 手筒花火 hashtag.

Brave men of central Japan ignite handheld fireworks, bringing exciting showers of flames to local summer fire festivals. These cylindrical, handheld pyrotechnics called tezutsu-hanabi (手筒花火) originated in Toyohashi during the Edo Period (1603-1868) and continue in modern-day Japan with events such as the 19th annual Fire Festival (炎の祭典) this Saturday. To make these fireworks, craftsmen stuff black powder into bamboo trunks casted with thick ropes. Once lit, the cylinders spray sparks of fire until the explosives finish with a loud blast.

Shinto festivals traditionally used fireworks to protect people from evil spirits and bad fortune, and they now make up an essential summertime activity in Japan. The handheld fireworks are still crafted to present as offerings to local shrines until they are fired on festival day. Only a handful of summer events in central Japan feature this type of firework, and the thrilling displays of men inside downpours of sparks offer local and visiting Instagrammers a chance to capture some of the most spectacular moments of the summer.

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sam stern, food art, food, food photography, cooking, recipes, user feature, instagram,

Meals from the Creative Mind of a Young Chef @sam_stern

For more photos and videos of Sam’s favorite dishes, follow @sam_stern on Instagram.

Sam Stern (@sam_stern) published his first cookbook when he was 14 years old, but the young British author has been cooking since before he can remember.

“I come from a large family with lots of taste preferences, so I was always in the kitchen helping out my mum,” he says. “I gradually moved from the little jobs to eventually taking over the kitchen.”

Now at 24 years old, Sam is practically a veteran chef, with six books under his belt and another one on the way next year. But he uses Instagram to share a different, more personal display of recipes: the meals he makes at home, for his family and friends.

“I like to imagine the possibilities of various taste combinations, trying out new ingredients and timings,” he says. “If it starts in my imagination then triumphs on the plate—that is the ultimate rush for me.”

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WHPbwlandscapes, weekend hashtag project, Black and White, Photography, Instagram,

Weekend Hashtag Project: #WHPbwlandscapes

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.

The goal this weekend is to capture beautiful black and white landscapes. Some tips to get you started:

  • When shooting landscapes, aim to include visual elements that will make your composition dynamic. In addition to a beautiful backdrop, look for interesting foreground objects and leading lines that draw your eye deeper into the photo.
  • Try to visualize your photograph in black and white before you take it. Scope out scenes that have both bright and dark areas, as this will create a strong contrast in your final result.
  • To make your photo black and white, try the Willow and Inkwell filters. For a different effect, try applying any of your favorite filters then taking the saturation all the way to zero.

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

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Art, Fashion, illustration, cartoon, rio de janeiro, brazil, User Feature, Instagram,

Between Dream and Life with @iamlubi and @iamfubi

To see more photos and videos from Lubi and Fubi’s colorful carioca life, follow @iamlubi and @iamfubi on Instagram.

Rio de Janeiro illustrator Luiza Bione’s (@iamlubi) portraits of herself as a colorful character named Lubi blur the line between daydreams and reality. Luiza has been documenting her life through colorful illustrations for as long as she can remember. As a small child she created a cartoon version of herself called Lubi and has been illustrating herself for the past 18 years. “Through illustration, even bad moments—like waking up with a bad hair day or sitting in traffic for hours—become funny. Drawing also makes virtually any scenario possible: if Lubi wants to visit the moon she can.” Luiza began using Instagram after her boyfriend Paulo Delvalle (@paulodelvalle) suggested it might be the perfect way to really bring Lubi to life, telling her story as if she were a real person. “Last year on Valentine’s day, Paulo made me a card asking me to be his girlfriend. He created an illustrated version of himself called Fubi, and that’s how (@iamfubi) was born. Since then, I’ve been drawing Lubi and Fubi based on our lives as well as all the things we dream of doing.”

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photography, art, design, crafts, embroidery, Australia, nature, user feature, Art Thursday, Instagram,

Embroidering Nature’s Patterns with @meredithwoolnough

To see more of Meredith’s nature-inspired creations, follow @meredithwoolnough on Instagram.

“I have been collecting skeletonized leaves for as long as I can remember,” explains Australian artist Meredith Woolnough (@meredithwoolnough), whose elaborate embroideries mimic coral, leaves and other forms from nature. “I have always found inspiration in the natural world.”

Meredith’s particular method of embroidery is well-suited for patterns inspired by nature. “I work with a unique technique that allows me to create embroidered structures that exist without a base cloth. It’s not your typical embroidery.”

A near perfect Scribbly gum leaf Meredith found inspired her largest work to date. “I mapped out the internal structure of the leaf and translated the design into a dense network of stitches,” she says. “It took me months to complete and it almost sent me mad, but I am so happy with how it turned out.”